Brazil is just flat out awesome, no matter where in the country you are. Sun, sand, volcanoes, jungles, beautiful people all over having fun…
Still, there are a few things every traveler should be aware of before your plane lands. Listen to experienced world traveler Mark Wolters dole out some of his most sage advice about visiting this tropical paradise, while avoiding some of the common dangers tourists encounter.
Dress like the locals:
You don’t want to look rich and sophisticated, that just makes you a target. Fancy attire, jewelry, hats — whatever. Dress like a beach bum in your tees, shorts and sandals. There’s a lot of poverty in this country, despite it being a South American tropical paradise. Poverty leads to theft and an unsuspecting tourist makes for a prime target, plain and simple.
Stay out of the shantytowns:
Mark recommends staying out of them entirely and so do I. I have an intelligent fear of these places and they’re entirely justified. Let’s just say I almost got killed, definitely robbed, in Puerto Rico back in the late 90’s and I’ve never entered one ever since. Stay away from tours, hire a helicopter and fly over them if you really want to see them in person!
Call cab companies instead of jumping into any old cab that comes along:
This still doesn’t offer 100% assurance that you’ll be okay, but it’s better than having the bad guys force you to empty your ATM — or much worse! Fake cabs exist everywhere folks.
Don’t complain or try to reason with robbers:
Like Mark says, don’t give them a reason. Don’t try to be like Jason Statham and fight back either!
No valuables at the beach:
There’s way too much beach and more people than a Justin Bieber concert! You may not get robbed face-to-face on most busy beaches, but it’s too easy for thieves to take your belongings and disappear.
Go into banks to take out money:
No outside ATM’s. Again, this is a hotspot and likely hangout for the bad guys. You may not see them when you approach the machine, but they’ll soon appear once your card comes out!
Don’t walk around with a wallet/purse full of cash:
This is really hard for tourists to do in any country. You don’t think about how easy it is to lose everything until it happens. Carry what you need for the day or outing you’re going on and leave the rest in the hotel.
Camera’s get stolen:
Hey, they’re valuable!
Watch out for spiked drinks:
If it leaves your sight, ditch it! Doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or girl, an unconscious victim is easier to rob or kidnap.