My brother is a world traveler and I'm a novice to traveling. I want to travel to Europe but not alone. Anyway, he's been almost everywhere and is not interested in Europe as he's been there 4 times already. This year will be his last big trip before he retires because he won't be able to afford traveling abroad like he used to. He's set on traveling to Brazil while I am lukewarm about it.
Anyone travel there or from Brazil? What is it like to travel in the July and August? Help me decide before I spend thousands of dollars on airfare.
[quote] Anyone travel there or from Brazil? What is it like to travel in the July and August?
I've never been to Brazil, but I'm guessing it's hot as hell in July/August
Actually July-August is "winter" in Brazil. In Rio it will still be warm, but unless it's 80, it's not "beach" weather there. August is typically more rainy.
Chile has a better climate and is safer and cleaner.
So Brazil is not safe?
Just go. Brazil has good food, big beaches, attractive people, great music and an improving standard of living. Brazil is on the up-and-up. Don't worry. Go and have a fabulous time with your brother.
R1? Failed 8th grade science, hunh?
Best food in the world, and I've been just about everywhere. Worst - Philippines, Egypt, Russia.
Yeah, Brazil for a younger person and Chile for an older person.
Santiago is supposed to have a hot gay scene though.
Never leave valubles in your room.
[quote]So Brazil is not safe?
I've been to a few countires in So. America. Brazil is the only one I would not want to return to. I'd rather take Chile, Peru (Machu Picchu is great), Columbia, or Uruguay; not Ecuador so much, and never Brazil.
You've got to see the Amazon River.
Manaus is the place up river to see, at the confluence of the Amazon and the Rio Negro.
Thanks, R5 and R7. Can you give recommend some restaurants?
Btw, what else to do besides the beach and visit Sugarloaf Mountain and that big Christ statue?
Sorry hon Vietnam has by far the best food in the world.
Please specify why it's not safe!
To get to Macchu Pichu you have to go through Lima, am I correct?
Isn't Lima about the worst city on earth?
And secondly, there's that fear of being put into one of their notorious prisons and the chance of being framed for a crime one didn't commit.
Lima is beautiful. It was the most important city Spain ever built in the new world.
Ditto R15. Check The Gold Museum while you're there.
[quote]Please specify why it's not safe!
I know two guys who were shot in a robbery. A gunman held them up. When he took off with their wallets and money, they decided to follow (they were big guys). What they didn't know is that those robbers work in pairs. There is a quiet gunman back behind them. If the victim(s) start after the robber, they get shot in the back. Both of these guys recovered.
I know another who was jumped and beaten by 3 or 4 thugs in broad daylight at Ipanema Beach with beachgoers and tourists all around. He had a nice camera and they wanted it.
Previous DL threads, over the years, have always warned not to carry money or credit cards when going out in Brazil and never walk out of your hotel alone. If you wear a watch, buy a cheap one. Don't wear any jewely. Don't carry an expensive camera.
OP, watch this and see if you still want to go to Brazil.
[quote]To get to Macchu Pichu you have to go through Lima, am I correct?
Yes. You don't have to go into the city but you'll miss out on a lot. You can just fly into Lima and change planes to go to Cusco.
Lima is a fascinating city. I enjoyed my stay there. It was great.
Chile is a beautiful country. You can take a boat trip down the coast to the fjords. We started in Valparaiso and went down to Puerto Mont, Talcahuano, and Punta Arenas (the southernmost city on the planet).
This is like asking "is the United States safe?" South Philly? Beverly Hills? Wyoming?
First off - Brazil is a HUGE country. Lots of things to see. Every state has its own totally different climate.
Is it safe? Generally, much safer than 4-5 years ago. Still tons of poor people around, but the economy is going like gangbusters. Sao Paulo is not generally safe at all, but you have no compelling reasons to visit Sao Paulo.
Rio has gotten much safer, but also pretty damn expensive - tons of oil money flowing into the city. About 1/2 of the city's population live in favelas that aren't marked on the maps. You have no reason to travel there. If you stay in the southern part of Rio (Ipanema, Leblon, Tijuca), and take taxis around at night, you'll be perfectly fine. (stay out of Copacabana.) The big tourist spots are perfectly fine during the day. Taxis are cheap and a safe way to go nightclubbing. The bars/nightclubs in Lapa are not to be missed.
Like many developing countries, you'll want to watch your valuables. In Rio the general rule is to a. keep your valuable stuff in the hotel safe; b. go out with perhaps 1 credit card and the cash you need for the day, and a xerox of your passport for ID. Pickpockets are around, but if you use your head and are relatively careful you'll be fine.
Some great cities; Rio. Salvador. (again, lots of pickpockets); Recife, Fortaleza. The Amazon is something, but that's a separate trip - takes hours to get there & you have to book a resort, which is quite expensive.
The weather will be a bit cooler in Rio - 60-70 degrees. Probably drier. Tons of good food, good drink (Brazilian fruit juices are amazing, and can't be found anywhere else). The people are gorgeous, charming, very proud of their country and want to show it off.
There are nice hotels to be had. Just keep in mind Ipanema and Copacabana have hundreds of by-the-hour hotels for sex/prostitution. You'll know when you see one.
If you can, learn a little Portuguese - not too many strong English speakers around, though they do understand Spanish.
So yeah, I'd highly recommend it. Not as cheap as it used to be, but perfectly safe if you use your head. (And don't go chasing rent boys on the street like R9 obviously did)
Lima is Peru, not Brazil, non-passport-bearing DL scrotumfrauen take heed.
r17, when did this happen? Seems like Brazil has cleaned up somewhat but maybe I am wrong.
[quote]tourist spots are perfectly fine [bold]during the day[/bold]... take taxis around at night, you'll be perfectly fine.... [bold]you'll want to watch your valuables.[/bold] In Rio the general rule is to a. keep your valuable stuff in the hotel safe; b. go out with perhaps 1 credit card and the cash you need for the day, and a xerox of your passport for ID. Pickpockets are around...
Pay close attention to the above info, OP. When you see this many warnings, it tells you "Don't go!"
In Brazil, I've been to Santos, Sao Paulo, Rio, Salvador, Recife and Belem. I would tell anyone to skip Brazil and go where you'll feel safer.
In Montevideo (a beautiful city), you could easily walk around alone at night. The same for any of the cities I visited in Chile. I took off on the train for several day trips alone and enjoyed the people and culture.
R26 Thank you for giving an honest review of Brazil. I agree - if someone's giving you that many warnings, it's probably best to skip it. I'm sure the beaches in Brazil are nice, but lets face it - all you have to do is watch the Youtube videos of Brazil and most of it does not looks nice or safe at all.
Brazil is huge and has different climates and environments, indlucing enormous rainforest areas around teh Amazon. I've been there twice during August. Rio is mild in those months and you might want a light jacket at night. It's not classic beach weather. Rio is an old, somewhat faded city that has a small rain forest, alot of intersting old buildings, and beautiful men.
I've had no problems with crime, but know others who have. you need to be mindful of your surroundings, etc. but you don't need to be paarnoid.
Salvador (original capital) is very interesting. there are many beach towns that are resorts, which will be out of season and have nice, largely deserted beaches. Itacare, which is a big surfing resort in the peak season is like this. I did a trip on teh Amazon to the border with Preu & Colombia--an incredible trip. there this an interesting eco-resort about halfway doen the river called Maumuria. The Diamnate Bational Park has the "Grand Canyon" of Brazil with a base in an old diamons mining town. Many places like this are very safe.
[quote]I'm sure the beaches in Brazil are nice,
Heh! That's another thing I forgot to mention. In many areas of Brazil, the untreated sewage is pumped into the ocean.
After leaving Brazil, I spent six weeks in Puerto Rico -- that's where they have some wonderful beaches.
I'd say R20 gives good advice. I've been to São Paulo and felt reasonably safe walking around during the day, although i was staying in a nice area. You still need to have your wits about you, like any large Latin American city, and it helps to walk with a sense of purpose. Most ATMs are shut down in the evening because bandits are known to kidnap people and force them to withdraw money. Taxis are a safe way to get around town (unlike Mexico City!) but traffic is utterly horrendous.
Generally I thought the food was great and as R20 said the fresh fruit and juices are fantastic! The tap water is also safe to drink in São Paulo (again, quite unlike Mexico City!).
I was travelling on business and wouldn't return to São Paulo for pleasure, it's not really a tourist destination. I would definitely make a pont of visiting Igaucu Falls next time.
[quote]Heh! That's another thing I forgot to mention. In many areas of Brazil, the untreated sewage is pumped into the ocean.
Disgusting! Guess I was wrong about that too!
[quote]I was travelling on business and wouldn't return to São Paulo for pleasure, it's not really a tourist destination.
That's what I figured. Other than some good looking men there, I don't think I would bother going.
Millions of people travel all over the world daily, OP. You can do it! I believe in you!
Brazil is "Too dark," and scary. Stick to nice open "light" places like Argentina, Coasta Rica and of course U-R-Gay
[quote]Lets face it - all you have to do is watch the Youtube videos of Brazil and most of it does not looks nice or safe at all.
Could we just take a moment to soak in the jaw-dropping stupidity of that statement?
R34 Why is it stupid? Video footage doesn't lie.
Civilized people do not go south of the equator.
Last Sunday's NYT had a long story on a woman and her daughter traveling in Rio. Both good and the not so good but I had a feeling she didn't really like it all that much. The Feb.17 paper.
I'm surprised no one from Brazil has chimed in...
I was lukewarm about traveling to Brazil but now from all the negative energy here, I'm going to pass. I'm sure it's still a lovely country but when I travel abroad, it has to be place I really want to visit and I just don't feel it.
R37 I'm not surprised. Everyone I know that's been there said that once you go beyond the beaches and resorts, it's a total shithole.
If I want a beach, I'll go somewhere safer.
[quote]Why is it stupid? Video footage doesn't lie.
Because it's a [bold]BIG FUCKING COUNTRY[/bold], you pathetic idiot. It's like basing your entire opinion of the US on rap videos set in inner city Detroit.
OP, please go *somewhere* South America.
Cartagena, Valparaiso, Rio de J., Buenos Aires, Salvador, Cusco and Machu Picchu, the tepuis of the Guyana Highlands, Patagonia, the Chilean/Argentine Lake Districts, the Amazon...the choices of safe, fascinating, amazing places is endless.
Be sensible in your preparations. Then. Just. Go.
I love South America
R40 whips her breasts back and forth, she whips her breasts back and forth...
R38 Have you thought about the South of France?
[quote]I'm surprised no one from Brazil has chimed in...
They don't have much Internet access in the third world.
R36 -- my snobbish ex said of Buenos Aires when we were there, "It's just like New York!" as a compliment. U R 2 ignorant.
I thought South America was great. Beautiful, really.
Brazil was fun.
I was smart enough to avoid unsafe and blighted areas, just as I did in Europe, Asia, etc., when I toured in those places.
Some of you posters on this thread are really too much!
BA is more like a dirty Paris, r45.
OP, just because Brazil is a no-go, don't write off the rest of South America.
Also, you could consider Curacao, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. I've been to all those and would take any of them over Hawaii. I've been to Maui and Honolulu.
The beaches in Rio are unfuckingbelieveable!
OP - don't go just to go. Brazil beaches are nice - not the big cities (which are expensive and sketchy) - but that time of year is not beach weather.
Peru is nice but Lima (esp downtown) is not safe for tourists. Miraflores/San isidro neighborhoods are nice. I have family there and they warn me of the robberies/car jackings etc.
I would (personally) skip Lima go right to Cuzco/Macchu Picchu then onto either Chile or Argentina.
If your brother has taken 4 trips to Europe and think he has seen it all...he must have been on some long trips! There's always something new to see in Europe, why bother with the third world when there is so much beauty in the first?
Well, I don't understand the fascination with Brazil. I think he wants to see the seven wonders of the world before he kicks the bucket....despite what Eqypt is going through right now, he said that was the best trip he ever took when he saw the Pyraminds
..in that case Macchu Picchu is one of the wonders. He talked about it but wasn't sure if he could climb up the heights. My BFF and her husband are going there this summer after they finish their cruise of South America and the Galapagos islands. They invited me but unfortunately, I work and can't take a 30 day trip at the last minute.
OP, I'm a gringo who has lived in Rio for two years now and have never had a problem. The rules are the same for any traveler: be smart, be aware, look like you know what you're doing. All cities have crime, even Chicago and NYC. The worst tourists would likely be exposed to here is pick pocketing or the infrequent mugging.
My friends who have come to visit have all loved it, but they have all been experienced travelers and know what to expect and how to behave.
Crime was much worse 5-10 years ago but the poverty has eased up quite a bit for most and crime has gone down with it. There's no reason to be more afraid of visiting Rio than any other city.
If you're interested in Brazil, don't cancel your trip because people here have scared you. You'll be fine.
[quote]..in that case Macchu Picchu is one of the wonders. He talked about it but wasn't sure if he could climb up the heights.
There are several ways to see Macchu Picchu. One is to hike there from Cusco; not something you can do in just a few days.
Very easy is to fly into Cusco and spend a full day there to get used to the thin air. Early the next morning, take the train to Macchu Picchu. The ruins can be explored without having to be like a mountain goat. There are trails that are tourist friendly. There are also more adventuresome trails.
After a day or a few days at Macchu Picchu, you can take the train back to Cusco to get a flight out.
My friends and I signed for a tour with a guide who was well-versed in the history and all the sites. Our first day was spent bussing around the Cusco area because there are so many Inca ruins to see there. The same guide was with us on the train, and pointed out the historic sites we were passing all along the way.
I'm not one who signs on to be part of tour groups (shudder), but having a guide in the Andes is worthwhile. Going to places in Europe, there is a lot of research you can do on your own in advance and get along without ever needing a tour guide. Ruins along the Inca Trail are still being discovered - even close to Macchu Picchu; that's why it helps to have a tour guide.
Wow, I cant believe there is not one mention of hugely hung Brazilian men on this thread yet. We don't go there for that anymore?
Some of us do, R55.
It should also be noted - if you can't get laid in Rio, there truly is no hope for you.
I think I'd go to Rio again before I'd go to Egypt in the current political climate.
You too could be a carioca, and meet a boy from Ipanema.