hoons90
Posts: 3116
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:33 am

I want to visit Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo this December or January, and I would appreciate some advice.

1) I've read that it's necessary to dress like a local (in Rio at least) in order to reduce the risk of getting mugged. Is that true, and where can one find these type of clothes upon arrival at GIG? Would it be safe to carry around a back pack?

2) Is it generally safe to stay at hostels, or should I spend a few hundred dollars extra to stay at a hotel? If I select a hotel, this may shorten my stay due to my budget.

3) What parts of the city should I avoid, and what should I do if I accidentally enter a bad area?

4) How can I communicate with the police should anything happen to me? Should I just go directly to the consulate? (I'm a Canadian citizen)

Thanks in advance!
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
signol
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RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:31 am

I've stayed in 2 hostels, both perfectly safe, in safe areas (if noisy with other backpackers talking all night in the courtyard!)
The YHA in Botofogo (Rua Gen, Dionisimo, ISTR) and another just through the tunnel to Copacabana, on an grassy square. That one had small, 4-bed "appartments" that the four of us had, with a little kitchen area as well as bunks.
Watch for restaurants where you pay by weight - most are ok, but a friend did get very ill once.
Most central and southern areas are ok for tourists, just don't go flashing cash / expensive cameras. Avoid the northern suburbs from the railway station northwards, unless on a guided tour, and the favela areas, eg. up the hill north side of Botofogo. The area around the end of metro line 1, is ok if you take a bus up to the national park.
And don't go onto the beach (Copacabana) at night.
If you do accidently enter a bad area:
Carry a "fake" wallet, with a few R$ and US$ and some expired credit cards. If you are mugged, hand this over, don't hesitate. If you need to get out, get on any southbound bus, use the fake wallet's cash to pay the fare.
Clothes wise you will be fine. Busses it's best to sit near the driver, metro is fine.
I've spent almost 2 months in Rio and never had a crime related problem  

Enjoy your trip, write a trip report and take photos  

signol

EDIT:

I think the hostels were here:
http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/brazil/rio-de-janeiro/7138/

and here:

http://www.travelpod.com/hostel/HI_Rio_Hostel-Rio_de_Janeiro.html

We also stayed in some people's flat in Niteroi)

[Edited 2008-08-20 02:40:55]
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
signol
Posts: 2652
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:42 am

EDIT:

I think the hostels were here:
http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/brazil/rio-de-janeiro/7138/

and here:

http://www.travelpod.com/hostel/HI_Rio_Hostel-Rio_de_Janeiro.html

We also stayed in some people's flat in Niteroi)
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:37 am

Dress in ordenary T shirt and jeans / shorts. Nothing fancy.

* Don't use a caps ( That is typical tourists )
* Don't use socks in your shoes. ( That is typical tourists )


Don't hang a big expensive camera around your neck. Have a small copact camera that fits in your jeans pocket. Take it out when you want to take a picture and put it back into your pocket again.

Don't flash around expensive cameras, watches. Don't flash around big wads of money.
Only take what you think you need. Have a few low numbered bills at hand incase you get mugged. Instead of giving the wallet. Give the few bills. Muggers will usually be content with that.

Use cash as much as possible. Rio de Janeiro and Brazil is one of the countries in the world with most card frauds. So only use a card to withdraw money from ATM's and use the money and leave the card behind in the hotel safe.

Always carrie a photocopy of and ID. Preferably a photocopy of your personal information from your passport. Leave the real thing in the hotelsafe. ( In Brazil Police can stop you at any time and ask for your ID )

Never walk on the beach after dark. This applies to most beaches, but especially Copacabana. Always walk on the restaurant side of the beach and not on the beach side after dark. Alot of muggings happen on the beach side.


If a shoe shiner offers you to clean a spot on your shoe, you should be aware that the gum or spot has been most likely added by the shoeshiner himself and that he offers his services only to lift you off from a huge amont of money, referring to tariffs.

Carrie a backpack infront of you and not on your back. Taht way you have certain control of it. You just hang it around your shoulders and infront on your cheast, as opposed to on your back.


Enjoy Rio It's an exiting city.
 
hoons90
Posts: 3116
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:11 pm

Thank you very much for the advice, Signol and Mortyman!

Another question: How long is the walk to Corcovado from the base/ground? Thanks!
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
LipeGIG
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RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:08 pm

Nice choice  Smile

Important.. by the time you arrive at GIG select the yellow cabs with a blue list. A trip to Ipanema or Copacabana wouldn't cost more than R$ 45,00 (US$ 28,00). You also have a regular bus, very comfortable (with air conditioned), which drops you all around South Zone. IIRC costs R$ 4,50 (US$ 2,50)

Quoting HOONS90 (Thread starter):
1) I've read that it's necessary to dress like a local (in Rio at least) in order to reduce the risk of getting mugged. Is that true, and where can one find these type of clothes upon arrival at GIG? Would it be safe to carry around a back pack?

Not necessary. Use your summer clothes, the one people use here in NYC isn't different from Rio. You will see people wearing suits, it's a business city also. São Paulo is different, you wont see people with shorts all around.

Quoting HOONS90 (Thread starter):
2) Is it generally safe to stay at hostels, or should I spend a few hundred dollars extra to stay at a hotel? If I select a hotel, this may shorten my stay due to my budget.

Yes, very safe. The beach hotels hold areas in the sands of Ipanema and Copacabana where you can stay very comfortable. If money is not a problem, look for Caesar Park in Ipanema or the JW Marriot in Copacabana. I live in Rio for 28 years, my parents and mostly friends lives there also, and as a matter of personal choice, i preffer Ipanema. You're close to everything, it's safe, there's a lot of bars, nightlife, shops, and it's calm when you need it.

Quoting HOONS90 (Thread starter):
3) What parts of the city should I avoid, and what should I do if I accidentally enter a bad area?

Stay on South Zone and visit Downtown Rio (very interesting) only during week days.

Quoting HOONS90 (Thread starter):
4) How can I communicate with the police should anything happen to me? Should I just go directly to the consulate? (I'm a Canadian citizen)

The District for Attending to Tourists ? DEAT ? a special branch of the Civil Police, is made up of a Delegate (Superintendent), detectives, investigators and clerks responsible for investigating and recording occurrences. The DEAT has its own offices conveniently located in Leblon in front of the Casa Grande and Scala theaters. The District was instituted and the police officers specifically trained to attend to foreign visitors.

Delegacia de Atendimento ao Turista - DEAT (Tourist Police)
Address: Av. Afrânio de Mello Franco, s / nº - Leblon
22430-060 Rio de Janeiro - Brasil
Phone: (55 21) 2511-5112 / 3399-7170

Imagine you wont need that !

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 3):
Use cash as much as possible. Rio de Janeiro and Brazil is one of the countries in the world with most card frauds. So only use a card to withdraw money from ATM's and use the money and leave the card behind in the hotel safe.

I always use Amex, Mastercard and Visa cards in Rio and never got any problem. Of course do not use the card on non-official business. Restaurants, shops, they are good and safe.

Quoting Signol (Reply 1):
Clothes wise you will be fine. Busses it's best to sit near the driver, metro is fine.

Also tax/cab is cheap and safe in Rio. Use it !

Quoting Signol (Reply 1):
I've spent almost 2 months in Rio and never had a crime related problem

Lived 28 years, now i visit Rio 10 times a year (will be there next week), and never had a problem. Need to take care, but it's in general safe.
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
PPVRA
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RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:29 pm

As far as Sao Paulo goes, what are your plans to get around? I've heard of bus tours, even bilingual Taxi cab tours (white/orange cabs), as well as some people choose to just take the subways around. I suppose you could do a mix of them too.

And I agree with Lipe, you can use credit cards, just be choosy as to where you are going to use them. I also wouldn't carry more cash than you have to, and make use to the safe wherever you are staying.

[Edited 2008-08-20 10:36:08]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
hoons90
Posts: 3116
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:05 am

Thanks for the advice, LipeGIG and PPVRA!

Although I should definitely learn at least some Portuguese before going, is it still easy to get around with (very) limited Portuguese skills?

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 6):
As far as Sao Paulo goes, what are your plans to get around? I've heard of bus tours, even bilingual Taxi cab tours (white/orange cabs), as well as some people choose to just take the subways around. I suppose you could do a mix of them too.

I guess it depends where I'm headed to. If the subway network can get me to most places, then I'll rely on it a lot.
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
LipeGIG
Posts: 5048
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:18 am



Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 7):
Although I should definitely learn at least some Portuguese before going, is it still easy to get around with (very) limited Portuguese skills?

Yes it is. And there are around 300 words similar or closer to english.

Various similar words in English = Varias palavras similares em ingles
Metro = Metro
Bus = OniBus
Train = Trem
Master = Master
Beer = Cerveja (ser-ve-já)
Taxi = Taxi
Hotel = Hotel
Service = Serviço (sêr-vi-so)
Day = Dia
Good = Bom
Thank You = Obrigado (o-bri-ga-du)
Capitain = Capitão
Board = Bordo

I will try to check some valuable websites with basic conversation comments.

Have a nice trip.

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
hoons90
Posts: 3116
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:20 am

Thank you very much, LipeGIG! I'm looking forward to the trip, I have always wanted to visit Brazil!
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:28 am



Quoting HOONS90 (Thread starter):
I've read that it's necessary to dress like a local

Well if you do not wear jewellery and cameras with you you will look like a local! There are businessmen, hot girls Big grin , guys in shorts and in jeans. Black and white people mixed with Asians. Try not to act like a tourist and you will have no problem.  Smile

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 3):
Carrie a backpack in front of you and not on your back.

That is no good idea if you ask me because then they will realise that you are not a local.

I have been in Rio 3 times now and I stayed at a friends place in Flamengo. We stayed out on the street until 2 in the morning drinking and nothing happened.

Just once a guy ( bad looking Big grin ) came by and asked for a zip of my beer. If that happens... go give him your beer. He will be thankful and will leave. If you send him to hell he might do it as well.

Don´t go there being afraid! That is the most important advice.

Have fun and enjoy!

P.S.: Go to Garota do Flamengo! A very good restaurant.  Smile
 
hoons90
Posts: 3116
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:50 am

Thank you OHLHD!

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 10):
That is no good idea if you ask me because then they will realise that you are not a local.

What's the best way of carrying personal belongings (like sunscreen, maps, camera, passport copies etc.) ?
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: Need Some Rio De Janeiro Travel Advice

Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:02 pm



Quoting Hoons90 (Reply 11):

Just keep it in your backpack as there are many locals who have backpacks. BUT if you head to the beach just take your towel and your suncream in your hand and go there. A friend of mine took twice a backpack with him and twice it was stolen at Copacabana. You might know those waterproof tubes you can wear on a band around your neck. Put your money ( little money) and your copies inside there.  Smile

Have fun!  Smile

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