Reading about this makes me wonder, is it really that violent or is the media exaggerating this? Reading the article makes me say that Los Angeles is absolutely a joke compared to what i see about Rio.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
Pope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1828 times:
I've been to Rio several times. I absolutely love the city but if you go a couple of streets in the wrong direction, you're litterally risking your life. It's shame. If you stay in the tourist areas you're generally safe.
Quoting Pope (Reply 2): but if you go a couple of streets in the wrong direction, you're litterally risking your life.
The problem of Rio is that it often takes just one street corner to get from "heaven" to "hell", e.g. next street from skyscrapers of the financial district is a very dangerously looking area with burning tyres, not to mention on weekends very deserted parks between Gloria and city center and where gangs of teenage criminals have free reign.
Aeroflot777 From Austria, joined Mar 2004, 3302 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1776 times:
Ok, so I'm planning on going to Rio on my own in July. I really want to see the city as it has been my dream from early childhood! Is it dangerous to go and stay in a hostel or cheap hotel for instance? Just walk around the city during the day and night alone?
Pope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1775 times:
Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 4): Ok, so I'm planning on going to Rio on my own in July. I really want to see the city as it has been my dream from early childhood! Is it dangerous to go and stay in a hostel or cheap hotel for instance? Just walk around the city during the day and night alone?
If I had to generalize, I would say yes. It is dangerous to walk around the city both day and night if you don't have a really good idea of where you are or where you're going. That is true in a lot of cities not just Rio. IMO the big difference in Rio versus another major city is the level of physical violence that is introduced for what are ultimately economic crimes. While you can certainly get mugged in any city around the world, you're much more likely to end up hurt or dead in Rio if someone wants to steal your wallet.
I would pay a little more and stay at a nice place. Have the hotel arrange a taxi for you and stick to large crowds. Don't go wandering around Rio alone without a local to guide you.
L410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5870 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 1760 times:
Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 4): Is it dangerous to go and stay in a hostel or cheap hotel for instance?
Not necessarily, imho*. Being a student at that time and therefore at a tight budget we stayed at a fairly basic yet reasonably clean hotel in Gloria and with the exception of the park I mentioned earlier the whole neigborhood seemed fine and I did not feel unsafe. The hotel was close to metro, nice beach, locals live there so it did not feel touristy. The name of the hotel was Hotel Ferreira Viana, Rua aFerreira Viana 58, Gloria, Rio.
Moving around the city we used the buses and they were extremely cheap, fun to use (every driver probably feels he's another Ayrton Senna) and quite efficient. Sometimes, eg coming back from the Pao de Azucar late at night we took a cab.
As Pope mentioned hiring a taxi is a good idea. Instead of taking the funicular we had a guy take us in his taxi all the way up on the Corcovado and then next day we hired him for more than half a day, he gave us tour Rio, took us to the Tijuca Park and dropped us at the bus terminal, which is located in a not-too-pretty part of the town. It was very reasonable as far as price and the guy was really nice and it certainly did help to have a local show you around.
* This was in 2001. I don't know how much the situation changed since
Travelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3600 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1739 times:
Um, we are going to Rio next February (as part of a broader trip to EZE & Southern Argentina). It doesn't sound nice at all (and I am from Los Angeles). Maybe I should rethink plans. I didn't realize it was THAT bad.
AA787823 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1721 times:
As long as you use common sense and stay in well lit areas, dont dress like you have a million bucks, and stay in the tourist areas you will be fine. Dont miss a sunset from Sugar Loaf, or head to Impanema Beach to watch the sunset as well. Oh ya and be sure not to miss Help Disco, on Atlantic Avenue.
AirSpare From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 589 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1703 times:
Don't miss it if you have a chance to go.
Yea, it's damgerous, I worked there for 9 months, 97 to 98. A friend was robbed next to Help at knife point, rather early, 2100. My last time there was March of this year for 10 days on Starwood and AA points.
I have a lot of stories to tell, from being in the bairro Penha at 3AM without site access as the gaurd was dead, to watching a coke head get shaken down by the police at a resturant on Copocabana. And many more non viloent and GREAT experiences, Carnival at the Samdomono, resturants, motocycles, , my palm reader, my apartment in Ipanema, the list goes on.
I just left a 9 month job in Luanda. After all of the security precautions we took there, a work mate went to Belgium for a visa trip and was assaulted before he got to his hotel. He lost his work PC, 5k USD working fund, Passport and wallet.
Oh yea, I worked in LA. Driving to Compton at night wih an off duty cop he chambered a round as we neared the work site. Shit happens everywhere.
Go, have fun, take pictures, bring your sombrero and secure your stuff. Just like Belgium.
Thank you for the info. I'm most likely taking a bus there from Buenos Aires, I really want to see the scenery. Crime happens everywhere, I'm sure it's the same there. Just be aware of your surroundings and everything should be fine I guess.
"Long-haul" buses in Brazil are excellent and VERY comfortable. Especially the more comfy ones, called "cama" have 2-1 configuration and sort of like "old school" semi-reclinable business class seats in wide body a/c. There are some even more luxurious, especially in Chile with 15-seat lie-flat seats fitted in 1-1-1 configuration into a regular bus. All buses have a completely seprated pax cabin from the driver's area, in the night shut with dark curtains so the headlights from the incoming traffic do not bother you. People from all walks of life use buses in Brazil/Argentina/Chile, therefore it is not stigmatized as a transport for people in lower levels of social ladder the way Greyhound is in the US.
The negatives are that given the demography considerably more small children tend to travel than eg in Europe and they just love to start crying at 5.00 in the morning. If you have the choice, try not to sit in the back of the bus, because of the toilet which sometimes tends to smell. Older buses might have a bit noisy main air-conditioning unit located in the middle of the bus.
Neverthelss comfort-wise nothing in Europe or the US I've had a chance to see comes even remotely close. Did a 32 hour bus non-stop trip from Buenos Aires to Pto. Montt in Chile in 2002 and it was much more bearable than 14 hours Prague-London on a European bus.
BSBIsland From Brazil, joined Jul 2005, 384 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1620 times:
Rio de Janeiro is indeed a very dangerous city and with big social problems, but it has been this way for decades and these days violence seems to be getting worse. Now with the Pan American games in the next days, they are trying to do something about this, but we will have to see how will it be.
I believe it is just a matter of "taking the risk" and visiting one of the greatest cities in the world, with great places, beautiful people, great nightlife and lots of things to do and see.
Of course, there is a big part of the city that you must avoid and it is just a matter of being cautious, RELAX and not going to the wrong places, or walking on the streets with your expensive cameras, watches and jewelry.
It´s really sad to see such a great city with all those problems. But really, Rio is worth experiencing.
Virgin744 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 921 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 1605 times:
from the report: In the Vila Cruzeiro favela, police officers nervously finger the triggers of their assault rifles at check points, trying to prevent weapons and ammunition from getting in, while traffickers relax just a few hundred yards away, smoking marijuana and lounging on street corners alongside their AK-47s and piles of banana clips.
Good to see that the police are really taking pro active steps to enforce law and tackle the escalating problems
PPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 9059 posts, RR: 37
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 1579 times:
Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 15):
Are the gangs that powerful? Is no amount of police effort or Military intervention can stop these thugs?
It's not that. They've put the military there before and the city is quiet as anything, crime drops to the point of newspapers reporting in their main page that there were just a handful of little petty crimes that day. It's amazing lol. But they can't leave the military there all the time - legal reason, and they are not a police force.
Point I tried to make is, if the economic situation doesn't improve, you can't expect people not to try to make a living. It's a problem that will keep coming back, over and over, something that exist even in the USA (although to a much smaller extent). For the same reasons alcohol prohibition didn't work in the USA, and that was even during the hight of economic boom in the USA. It's impossible to win.
Most of the battles are between gangs, and a para-military group made up of off-duty police officers who are sick and tired of gangs near their neighborhoods, and do pay-back for their dead fellow officers as well as operations that the police simply isn't allowed to do under the law (the really effective types ).
Remember the gangs are not after tourists. The average tourist thieve doesn't want the attention of murdering anyone, he'd be most likely caught in little time. But also remember he may be armed in some fashion, so in most cases I wouldn't react. Given them what they want and walk out of it.
And stick with the tourists. I know they have English-speaking officers as well.
edit: BTW, I'm not from Rio, but the situation is similar where I live (Sao Paulo) as well as other places.
[Edited 2007-06-23 06:25:55]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat