Safety Issues in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is a metropolis with over six million residents. This city of social contrasts is not the place to flash your priceless jewelry. Situational awareness is a crucial concept. Your wallet and smartphone are in your front pockets. You do not spread your valuables on the sand at the beach and go for a dip. You do not engage in risky behavior or escalate a tense situation. You know 3-digit emergency numbers, such as ambulance or police. That’s a good start!
10 Basic Safety Tips
Smartphones & Other Devices
We appreciate how attached people are to their smartphones. They keep our contacts, favorite apps, social networks, photos, documents, and emails. We would be lost without one. That’s why we always back up our data to the cloud before we travel.
Some phones offer full insurance that covers damages and theft. This is the kind of protection you are looking for. If you are a victim of theft, report it to the police. You need an official copy of the ‘Boletim de Ocorrência’ document.
Refer to the insurance policy for further information. If the item is in stock at a flagship store in Rio, they may even replace it. The same applies to high-end smartwatches, tablets, and notebooks.
When your device is damaged, go to the shop for an evaluation. Sometimes, it takes forever for a spare part to arrive in Rio. It may be in your best interest to have it fixed back home.
Expensive camera and video equipment should also be insured. Drones weighing more than 250 grams (8.8 oz) must be registered with ANAC. Only bother if you’re a professional.
Refrain from bringing along flashy jewelry. Even with insurance, it will rouse the wrong kind of attraction. Cariocas are very discreet that way, and you don’t need your bling to stand out.
Risk Behavior Alert
Putting yourself in a vulnerable position abroad can quickly ruin your vacations. Keep a positive attitude and show respect. They always work in your favor.
Do not escalate a tense situation. Avoiding words that, taken out of context, could be perceived as racism or intolerance. Do not scream at anyone.
Do not explore on your own ‘cruisy areas.’ They may be dangerous or subject to frequent raids. Do not engage in outdoor activities that could be construed as indecent exposure, lewd behavior, or harassment.
Never invite strangers back to your room or apartment, including people you have met through dating apps. There are ‘adult-only’ motels in Rio where you can entertain without putting your valuables at risk.
You will feel safe in areas recommended by our website. Many parts of Rio are perfect to enjoy on foot, at your pace. Try to blend in as much as you can. Walk with a sense of purpose.
Join a group led by an experienced local guide to explore nature trails or other special interest tours and activities. You don’t want to get lost.
Health Insurance & Emergencies
While we never expect anything wrong to happen, we always take fair precautions. Traveling with health insurance is the least you can do. Some credit card companies offer complimentary insurance when you use them to buy your air tickets. Please keep a copy of the insurance policy and their contact numbers handy.
If you have been taking the same medication for a long time, bring enough for your stay. Pharmacy regulations vary from country to country, especially with controlled medicines.
In the case of emergencies, public hospitals are your best reference. You can summon an ambulance using a three-digit emergency number. These services are offered free of charge.
Reporting Crime or Abuse
According to the legislation, discrimination due to race, origin, religious persuasion, gender, or sexual orientation is a hate crime. Penalties are harsh. If you feel you were a victim of abuse or discrimination, report it to the authorities.
Another reason to file a report is when you are a victim of theft. You will need the statement to claim insurance. Go to a precinct named Delegacia Especial de Atendimento ao Turista (D.E.A.T.) in Leblon.