The Pinoy OFW

Brazil

How Safe is Brazil?

Brazil is one of the biggest countries in the world. It is also one of the most diverse in terms of culture, religion and history. It is also rich in natural resources, with beautiful oceans and lush rainforests. Indeed, Brazil is a fascinating place to live in and is also a tourist’s dream, and should be a part of everyone’s travel itinerary.

Speaking of traveling to Brazil though, is it really safe to go there? Are there any safety concerns that we should be worried about before packing our bags and flying the next plane to this amazing country? Well, this article focuses on the safety facts of Brazil.

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Why Brazil is a Safe Destination for Tourists and Expats

Before talking about the safety of Brazil, let’s first discuss the main reasons why you would want to go there in the first place. Here are some of the most common motivating factors for a much desired trip to the Federal Republic of Brazil.

Delicious Food

If you like sweets, desserts, and everything delicious but not necessarily healthy, then Brazil is the place for you. You should try their chocolate desserts, such as the chocolate fudge truffle.

Some of the more popular local desserts include brigadeiro, beijinho, coxinha, acaraje, kibbeh, and so much more. You will also really enjoy the variety of fruits that Brazil has to offer.

The national fruit of Brazil is the pineapple, but the country is really known for its unique fruits, like the cashew apple, jabuticaba, passion fruit, pitanga, pitomba, and other rare fruits.

Amazing Beaches

Most of the wonderful beaches in Brazil can be found in the Northeast, but other places have amazing beaches as well. Most of the popular beaches in Brazil have white sand and clear blue waters, but some offer unique features as well, such as those surrounded by awesome cliffs.

Here’s a list of some of the paradise-like beaches you need to see in Brazil: Ilha do Amor Beach, Lagoinha do Leste Beach, Guarita Beach, Bonete Beach, Forno Beach and Castelhanos Beach.

National Parks

Brazil has a lot of national parks, 72 to be exact. Each one is awe-inspiring and are there to preserve important natural habitats.

Some of the most beautiful national parks in Brazil include the Lencois Maranhenses, which is mostly made of miles and miles of sand dunes, with the valleys between dunes turn into lagoons during the rainy season. It’s really amazing to behold white sand that contrasts with the blue waters.

The most popular national park in Brazil is the Iguacu National park. In that park, you can see a huge collection of waterfalls, and a bird park that lets you know more about the bird species that the government is trying hard to conserve.

Carnival

Brazil is famous for its Carnival, which is a spectacle of people wearing over the top costumes, dancing in the streets, and partying all night. The Carnival only happens once a year during the beginning of Lent or the forty-day period just before Easter.

The Carnival is not only popular among locals; in fact, tourists by the hundreds of thousands go to Brazil to celebrate the Carnival. It really is a huge party that unifies the country and makes the cities, especially the ones near the coast, spring to life.

Nice weather

The weather in Brazil is such that you can afford to have a holiday any day you want to. It may be hot sometimes due to the tropical weather, but rain will always be available, and when it rains, you get relief from the tropical heat.

Temperatures in Brazil almost never go below 20 degrees Celsius, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit, unless you are going to the mountains or in the Southern places. It can be quite humid in the Amazon rainforests.

Friendly to tourists

Brazilians really love it when tourists visit their country. In fact, they treat visitors like friends. Tourism is a big thing in Brazil, and constitutes a major part of their economy.

Brazilians are truly warm and friendly. In fact, when you stay with a local for a few days, pretty soon the whole neighborhood will know who you are, and you may even get to meet them and make friends with them.

Brazilians just love having new friends and meeting new people. When you visit a small town in Brazil, you will be treated well, since it is just a novelty for them to be able to be with a foreigner. Some may even throw a party for you.

Amazing Culture

Brazilians are well-known for the music they produce, the dance steps they popularized, their love for soccer, their traditions and celebrations, and their close family ties.

Brazilian culture is mainly derived from its Portuguese influence. However, Brazilian culture is quite distinct since it is a combination of Western influences and African people.

Portugal has colonized Brazil for three centuries, and as a result, the country has inherited some of the following Portuguese laws and beliefs:

Language

The national language of Brazil is Portuguese and it is spoken by 97.9 percent of people. The two next most popular languages are German and Indigenous Languages, at 1.9 percent for German, and 0.2 percent for indigenous languages.

Coffee

Brazil used to be the largest exporter of coffee in the world, but it is now surpassed by Vietnam. However, Brazil remains to be the largest coffee producer in the whole world.

Brazil produces 3,558,000 metric tons annually, while at second place, Vietnam, produces 1,830,000 metric tons of coffee annually.

Safety in Brazil

Now that we know how amazing Brazil is, let’s focus on why it is relatively safe to go there, and that’s by pointing out some of the safety concerns you might encounter. By knowing what to avoid, we will have a much safer time in this country, and enjoy everything that it has to offer.

Crimes

Crime rates in Brazil vary depending on where you are within the country. For example, when you are in shanty towns, also known as favelas, many governments warn their citizens not to be in those towns since crime rate is particular high there.

Violent crime is common in certain areas and during certain times in Brazil. In particular, carjacking, armed robbery and mugging occur at the big cities, and especially during large gathering celebrations such as festivals.

When it comes to protests, they can be quite common in Brazil, and a peaceful protest can turn violent. The best thing you can do is to simply stay away from these sorts of public gatherings.

You should also be careful when using public transportation, such as riding taxis. One of the safest options you can have is to use Uber and other related apps. You should also only ride in official taxis.

So where do most violent crime occur in Brazil? Here’s a list of these places. You don’t necessarily have to avoid going to these places, but just be extra careful and use your common sense.

  • Bars and night clubs
  • Tourist spots
  • Car parks
  • Public transport
  • Public beaches
  • Unregistered taxis
  • Outdoor markets
  • ATMs

How can you prevent yourself from being victim to violent crime? Here’s some useful advice:

  • When you’re at your accommodation, you should lock your doors and windows.
  • If you have to go out at night, to buy something perhaps, be with someone and never be alone.
  • Don’t leave your important belongings unattended. These include your luggage, and even your food and drinks since somebody can spike them.
  • Try to stay away from favelas, or shanty towns, even if you’re going out with a group.

Health

As of the time of this writing, COVID-19 is still a major health risk all over the world, including Brazil. Hospitals, clinics, and other health facilities are all feeling the pressure of countless patients suffering from this harmful virus.

As a consequence, other services are compromised. If someone gets in an accident and needs emergency medical treatment, this may not be as readily available as before, when COVID-19 didn’t exist yet.

Still, the health services of Brazil are robust, and if it is necessary, a patient can be transported to a hospital in a bigger city so that they can get better treatment.

You should also be careful about other diseases, such as yellow fever and measles. There have been several outbreaks of these two diseases over the past few years, so you really need to have been vaccinated to fight these diseases before you come over to Brazil.

Other insect-borne diseases that have been reported in Brazil include filariasis, chikungunya, dengue, malaria and Zika virus.

The best thing you can do to prevent infection is to be sure that the place you are staying in is insect-proof. You can also use insect repellents.

Natural Disasters

Brazil has its own share of natural disasters. The two most common ones that hit the country are flooding and droughts.

What do you need to do when a natural disaster, like the two mentioned above, occurs? Here are some practical tips.

Your passport is a really important document. Therefore, you have to keep it safe, especially during natural disasters. Place it somewhere where water can’t reach it.

During natural disasters, it is also important to reach out to your family and friends. That way, they will know where you are, what your situation is, and if you need any help.

You should also listen to the news and listen to any important announcements. For example, the government may announce that you need to evacuate as soon as possible.

In the previous example, when that or similar announcements are made by local authorities, you should follow immediately.

When do landslides and flooding occur? They usually happen during the wet seasons, and that starts on December and end on March in Brazil.

Local Laws

When you’re in Brazil, you have to comply with the local laws and customs of Brazil. That means if you break these laws, you will face the penalties.

Severe penalties await if you are caught possessing or trafficking illegal drugs. You can be sentenced to long years in prison.

Another thing you need to do is to always bring your passport with you. That is what the law requires. You can also bring the government issued ID. You can carry a photocopy of your passport plus an original ID.

What can you do so that you reduce the risks of violating the law? Here are some important tips to remember.

  • You should do some research. This includes not just the laws of Brazil, but also the attitudes and the customs of its people.
  • Be aware of the local laws. Even if you disagree with some of them, you should obey them still.
  • An important thing you need to remember is what things you can do and cannot do while you’re in a locality.
  • You should also be aware of your legal protections so you can make a case for yourself.
  • It is also useful to read travel advice which you can access from the government websites of certain countries.
  • There are online forums as well where people share their experiences in Brazil and provide useful advice before you go there.
  • One seemingly unrelated but very important thing you can do is inform your family and friends about your itinerary in Brazil. That includes where you’re going and what you’re doing. Contact your friends and family regularly.

Important Emergency Contacts:

In case of fire, you should contact the hotline number 193.

In case of medical emergencies, you need to go to the nearest hospital. You can also call 192.

You should also go to the local police station when necessary. A hotline number 190 is also available, although it’s likely the operators in the other end of the line can’t speak English.

When you happen to be in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo or other major cities, there are English speaking police, called the Tourist Police that are available in these cities and also in major international airports.

So is it worth visiting Brazil? Definitely. While not as safe as other countries, it is safe enough and there are so many things you can do, places to visit, food to enjoy, and so much more. Going to Brazil will definitely be a memorable experience.

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