View Full Version : Rio de Janeiro - Crime & Safety

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08-04-03, 15:54
Please select "Add New Report" to begin this section.

08-04-03, 19:57
Excellent new posting area! Thanks J.D.R.!

I've been to Rio 5 times in my life - more than most of you and less than some of you WSG readers here. I've felt as secure or insecure in this city as in any other city I've lived so far for longer periods of time (in Europe and the U.S.A.).


- the extreme poverty
- the relatively violent society
- the amount of drugs and gangs

That exist in RJ and surroundings (incl. the 'favelas'), it's almost amazing (!) to me how safe this city is!

HOWEVER: if you're not familiar with Rio, its society, its rules and its way of life, it ("a cidade maravillosa" - the wonderful city) may feel threatening to you at times - no doubt about that!

I've had only one, well let's put it that way, "dangerous" experience in RJ: One night, at about 3 am, walking down Avenida Atlantica from Hotel Meridian toward "Help", I was approached by a street vendor ("camelao") who insisted on selling me something (don't remember what it was - doesn't really matter). I refused and guess what? Yes: that guy almost broke the bones of my right hand/wrist and "requested" a "purchase" again. Since I knew the police guard was just 200 feet away (toward the "gringo open air bar"), I refused again and - to my surprise - a streetwalker came to my help and distracted the assailant. I was able to free myself and got a couple of feet away from that guy. The assailant wasn't chasing me nor the girl but kind of collapsed and cried. He just wanted to make a couple of Reales 'cause he didn't make any money selling his stuff. I felt much more sorry about him rather than being angry at him!

"We" westerners come to this country with wallets full of money to purchase p***y and stuff and therere are people in this country who aren't even able to decently feed themselves or their kids and wives.

So, to make my point, go to Rio íf you want to get to see a beautiful, fantastic city! You will have to worry less there about safety than in parts of NYC or East LA or downtown Miami or, well you name it as long (!) as you observe a couple of basic precautions:

Uno: Don't leave the tourist zone (i.e., Copacabana, Ipanema) without a taxi. Don't go to downtown or the harbor area by night with your rental car. Should I really extra mention not going to the favelas lile Rocinhas or Morro de Alemao? Forget about using city buses as long as you are not desperatly living on a shoestring.

Dos: don't carry more valuables with you than you actually might need that night. That will be a max. of 150 USD in most cases I would assume.

Tres: Shy the TVs ! Whatever your sexual orientation, forget getting involved in any way with them!

Quattro: Leave your passport, TC, Rolex etc. in the hotel safe.

Cinco: Don't attempt to play "Clint Eastwood" in RJ: You most probably will lose. If a serious attacker wants your money: give it to him. If you're smart, you'll have put before a couple of Reales somewhere where ad-hoc attacker won't be looking (e.g., your shoes).

Seis: Have fun! Enoy this wonderful city! And return to Rio ASAWP (or as soon as your wallet permits :=))))

Have a good night!


Doc Bill
08-05-03, 06:31
Thanks for the great advice, Charly! As a first-timer going in September it's very helpful. Could you elaborate a little bit on the tv's (=transexuals there?)? Are you saying that they are crooks/dangerous all around?

08-05-03, 21:57
Re: Posting on Security by Mr. Charly

I have visited Rio regularly since '97. never experienced any trouble. however, i beg to differ with what Mr. Charly laid out in the posting below. I feel that he exeggerated that 'danger' aspect of Rio very typical of a gringo. Frankly, Mr. Charly's observation is applied all over America and the world. To use but one example, even here in good old middle America Denver Colorado, I am not walking around in the suburbs, let alone downtown with a wad load of money. if some punks point want my money here in Denver, i definitely will not play Clint Eastwood and engage in a shoot out. You are definitely not going to walk around with your $10,000 Rolex in the middle of night in San Francisco. My point is, when gringo visit a foreign country, they tend to exeggerate the danger and got into a situation that they are afraid of their own shadows. of all the gringos, my fellow americans seem to be most nervous about everything. i note that europeans are less paranoid. i think it is a culture thing. look at our country, everyone is loaded with guns and ammo thinking that someone is going to break down their house and begin shooting. :) So, Rio is not as dangerously as any american city you go to.

Two important points. DEFINITELY is safe to ride a local bus. in fact it is quite a fun trip. i took the local bus which took me into the favella and some fellow passengers on the bus offered me lots of interesting stories about her favella. In fact, when i am in Rio, I travel mostly on buses (the cheap one where the local rides). Secondly, DEFINITELY visit areas outside the tourist areas. Lots of fun people to meet and hang (if you speak portuguese) and even if you only speak english, you make lots of friends just by coming out of the scary gringo mode.

good fun and good travel.

Cutting Edge
08-06-03, 00:58
Right on Johan, my motto is ''you're never going to meet any fit pussy in the back of a cab''. On some bus routes in Rio, there's always some nice piece of ass getting on/off. Its easier to start talking to a girl on a bus than some poncy wine bar.


08-06-03, 19:32
Well said Johan.

Much of how you travel will depend on your on personal experiences and personal safety. For me I like a sense of adventure. On the other hand many play it safe, yet still have a good time.

You are your own best judge. Travel within Rio has its good and bad places to be visited. By all means visit the good and bad using your own best judgements (and see for yourself), according to your own philosophy on traveling general walkabouts in unfamiliar surroundings. (i.e., go in groups, no 'loud' jewelry, don't go at night, take a cab or guide ...etc)

In other words "common sense" type stuff!!!! By all means be adventurous, Rio, Brasil and other Brasilian cities have lots to offer, but use some comon sense at the same time.


08-07-03, 19:15
I'm glad Jackson created this section. A while back I posted an account of my experience being robbed in Rio on the Rio board. Yes, I know I dropped my guard and should have been more careful, so I don't really need to hear that again. As far as how safe Rio is, you must make your own judgment. I intend to go back, because it is such a wonderful place to meet women.

Anyway, I believe the below link will take you to my report:


Charm City Dave
08-09-03, 00:29
Look is Rio Beirut in 83, no it isn't. But it is a dangerous place. On a popular soap opera they are killing off a main charecter by having her killed in by a stray in the a gun battle that the city frequently sees. Is this happening in a poor neighborhood. No it is in Leblon, a class neighborhood right next to Copacabana.

BTW when I mentioned this with many other FACTs that show how dangerous Rio is, someone claimed this was not going to happen. Well it happened. Here is the link


I also predicted the iminent violent death of a tourist. That was disregarded as well. Others robbed at gunpoint. Here is the link to that.


Rio is a dangerous place. Go at your own risk!!!

Ponce de Leon
08-13-03, 16:19
A popular girl that works at 4X4 was murdered yesterday. It most likely was her boyfriend who might not have known she worked there and got jealous. The whole thing is sad but it underscores the importance of being careful down in Brazil. In Rio it probably costs all of R$50 to hire someone from the fervelas to kill someone. Brazillians are very jealous (both male and female).

This is one reason why sometimes I'm hesitant about pulling girls outside of the termas. Imagine if her Brazillian boyfriend saw you walking hand and hand with his girlfriend and just lost his mind.

Stay safe down there and be careful. I'm cutting and pasting the article for those that are interested.


Charm City Dave
08-15-03, 14:38
Ponce de Leon, thanks for the report. A friend in Rio related her work name to me. I knew that girl. She was a very sweet kid. Always had a smile on her face. What a tragedy.

And for us, just go read all those reports of guys who love to hook up with Therma girls outside of work. You could have been in that taxi with her.

Rio is a dangerous place!

08-15-03, 17:40
Thanks for the post, Ponce de Leon. Also check out new section Jackson created for crime in Rio.

08-15-03, 21:45
Ha ha, my bad........I thought I was looking at the regular Rio section, I didn't realize I was in fact in the crime section....lol.

Cutting Edge
08-16-03, 02:50
Where does it mention 4x4? There are about 30 ***** houses down centro.


Originally posted by Ponce de Leon
A popular girl that works at 4X4 was murdered yesterday. It most likely was her boyfriend who might not have known she worked there and got jealous. The whole thing is sad but it underscores the importance of being careful down in Brazil. In Rio it probably costs all of R$50 to hire someone from the fervelas to kill someone. Brazillians are very jealous (both male and female).

This is one reason why sometimes I'm hesitant about pulling girls outside of the termas. Imagine if her Brazillian boyfriend saw you walking hand and hand with his girlfriend and just lost his mind.

Stay safe down there and be careful. I'm cutting and pasting the article for those that are interested.


Ponce de Leon
08-18-03, 18:05
Cutting Edge- First of all I want you to know that although I don't post too much on WSG I'm not rookie and I wouldn't post anything that wasn't a fact. The girl was a popular girl at 4X4's and several of my friends knew her well. It was sad but it underscores the fact of the need to be careful. Stay safe all.


08-20-03, 14:15
I have heard this kind of story a 100 times and each time I have to ask..... Why are you walking around at 3 AM...... are you that stupid.... Not meant at you directly, Charly....

But it seems that almost every person telling his story about getting mugged in Rio is because they have done something stupid...
You're adults so take some of the blame yourself and stop blaming Rio..... Remember that late at night or early in the morning the only kinds of people walking the streets are Hookers, Drunk or just Dumb Tourists and Thieves....

Take a taxi.... and you will most likely never have any problems..

Traveler Tom
08-20-03, 17:31
Another word of warning - no matter how 'careful' you are.

Two colleagues of mine were in Rio last year and brought back a couple of young ladies to their appartment from one of the larger discos.

There were drinks all round at the appartment. One of the guys could not come to a satisfactory financial arrangement with his gal. She went off after a tip and all amicable. He went to bed without having his drink.

The next day, his friend discovered that the other girl had slipped them a Mickey Finn. The Guy who went to bed missed out on the drink, the other, unfortunately did not. The girl left with his cash etc.

So - the only moral here is NEVER LEAVE A DRINK ON THE TABLE, UNATTENDED when the girls are around. It is too easy for them to slip something into them; this has been a standard trick for many years but is now becoming a much more widespread way of carrying out theft. The trouble is that it can become a disaster

No matter how well you look after yourselves OUTSIDE, be cautious once you get INSIDE, as well.

08-23-03, 13:04
Here we go again. I live here in Rio, and read the papers regularly and never read anything about that. I'm sure it would have hit the papers and everyone on the streets would have been talking about it. Again, I heard nothing about it, or read about it either.. If in fact your colleague did happen to die, that is certainly a shame. But this sounds like Total Bull *hit to me..

Traveler Tom
08-23-03, 14:21

Unfortunately it is 100% true. The Press did get hold of it but the way it was handled by the Police was swift, and to say the least, professional and surprisingly efficient. The feeling was that this publicity was not needed and the sooner the matter was sorted out, the better - as indeed it was.

To make a report such as this is delicate, to say the least, and it was posted as a warning. If you live in Rio I am sure that you are aware that this kind of thing goes on - I was hit once in Latvia in the same way but am still around to tell the story. I would not make a posting such as this if it was not completely factual and a bona fide warning to visitors who are new to the area or the game.

I do not think that you should be so sensitive although I understand your wishing to protect the city where you live. It may be that there are other stories of things happening in Rio and, I expect, that by and large there is no smoke without fire - I am not aware of them although I have visited most major cities in Brazil over the years and was, indeed, aware of the amount of sensationialist stories published. I would not dream of going into all the details as to what happened but it was a very distressing situation. - already I feel slightly guilty in relaying any details but if it does make people aware as to what can happen then it will help.

Not everything reaches the papers, as I am sure that you know - especially if it is not in the general interest of the Country concerned.

No B-S my friend - I have better things to do than make up stories (especially as poignant as this one!)

Cutting Edge
08-23-03, 16:41
Actually druggings do happen and I've had friends who've been caught out. In point form for easy reading.

- The drug is called 'Boa Noite Cinderella'.

- The kiosk across the road from Help/Sobre das Ondas sells it to the girls.

- Attempted druggings are easy to spot;

- you meet a girl over outside Help. After a while she will suggest going over to sit at the kiosk for a drink. Thats when you get hit. The other modification is that she will say 'lets go back to your apartment for a drink, we can buy beer over the road at the kiosk'. She will add the BNC to your drink while back at the apartment.

- Other warning signs, if a girl asks you if you are staying at an apartment or hotel. If you say hotel and she suddenly looses interest that she may have had a drugging in mind.(hotels check ID etc).

However, in view of all this, I have heard that drugging is much more common in Thailand and many guys die each year from overdoses.

08-23-03, 20:36
Sounds like everyone knows someone that gets either mugged or drugged in Rio, right.. I have been going to Rio for 4 years and I have been living here for 1 year and during that time I have literally met hundreds of male tourists. I have only met ONE guy that got drugged in all that time.. I know him personally and I was the one he called when he came too... I have a hard time believing any stories I read on anonymous sites like these. It’s too easy to Bull *hit here…..
Everyone I know of here, knows better that to walk on the beach side of Av. Atlantica at night... even the girls will not want to walk on that side of the street at night...

Cutting Edge
08-24-03, 16:04
Hi Nodd,

the two instances of I know of were personal friends, if you think my facts are suspect just say 'Boa Noite Cinderella' to some girls and see what the reaction is.

Some guys are just too trusting, as for going over to that side of the road, I too would be very cautious but its not uncommon to see some fools go walking off down onto the beach even at 3-4am.

In general I find that bars/clubs in Brasil are a lot safer than those over in the UK. Very few drunks and all that pushing/shoving/bar room brawls we get over here is very rare.

Are you in Rio at the moment?


08-25-03, 01:32
Yes, I live here in Copacabana now. I have been here now for a year.
I know all about 'Boa Noite Cinderella' as I mentioned before I know of one man that was robbed after being given some in his beer.

If you stick to Water they can't drug you with that stuff because it's light yellow in color. That's why beer is best for hiding it.

As for walking along the beach at night with a girl. I think it would be nearly impossible to find a girl that would walk with you late at night or early in the morning. They know better.

08-25-03, 22:48
I agree with Nodd_N to an extent. While I do acknowledge the fact that some rookie guys might get drugged I think the chances of it happening are very small. I haven't been going down to Rio for years or live there but I know a ton of guys that either go down monthly, live there or have been going down for years. None of them had this ever happen to them. I think part of it is if you are being stupid or not on your guard. I've seen tons of drunk Americans in Help that can't even walk straight. They leave with dog ugly girls because their beer goggles are on. These are the type of guys that are asking for trouble.

If you practice common sense you're odds of something bad happening to you are significantly lower. I've walked around Copacabana very late at night. Sure I see some shady characters but I'm never drunk and always alert.

I'm sorry to hear that happened to your friend. I also agree with Nodd that every single girl working in Rio knows not to walk on the beach side of Avenida Atlantica late at night. Your chances of something not good happening are probably high on that side. My girlfriend's friend got robbed at knifepoint on that side and it wasn't late at night.

I think it's safe to say Rio can be a dangerous place but it isn't as dangerous as some people make it out to be. Stay safe all.

09-04-03, 19:06
Gentlemen, I´m an italian guy who actually is in Rio and I registered my nickname only to give the news of the 4X4 girl recently killed. Then I decided to skip when I saw that an other guy had already given this information to the forum.

I want only add that, before coming to Rio, I didn´t have any information about this fact and, during the flight, I was happy thinking about seeing her again. Then her cousin, who even works at 4x4, told me. I´ve seen that nobody called this marvelous 22yrs mulatta by her art name and I respect this decision. Nobody making part of 4X4 staff liked to give detailed information on this fact and on who´s taking care of her daughter/son. I met her last year and I was fascinated by her beauty, her body and her magnificent smile, something to die for, and for this reason every time I came to Rio I looked for her. I read now in this forum that it was probably a passionate killing and it seems to me hard to understand how it is possible to kill a so wonderful girl. I hope that everybody wants to join me giving honour to a girl that many of us knew and appreciated.

Gentlemen, let´s pray for her.

Robin Hood
09-22-03, 02:43
I know this report is old but I figured it's still interesting to read:

Click or copy and paste

EDITOR's NOTE: Posting of this report was delayed pending revisions for capitalization and punctuation. To avoid future delays, please refrain from using the "chat room" style of writing with no caps or punctuation. Thanks!

09-23-03, 03:59

I'm sorry that something horrible like this happened to someone you knew. It's kind of shocking and scarey. Sometimes you can't understand why things like this happened.

I don't mean to in any way disrespect this girl and I'm not talking about her but guys have to remember that it can be a dirty and ugly business these girls are in. Yes, it's a business. Most of them are doing it only out of the need to survive. We look at it as fun and games and sometimes it's not that. Also, we have to remember that just because you spend a few hours with a girl doesn't give you insight to what a girl's REAL life is like. I know guys that thought they were in love and then the girl will pull a con or scam on him later on.

Remember that there is more to love than sleeping with someone. How can you be in love with someone that you can't communicate with, she can't understand you, you have no clue what their life is about, etc. Be careful down there.

09-23-03, 09:15
Vadinho Quote,

"I read now in this forum that it was probably a passionate killing and it seems to me hard to understand how it is possible to kill a so wonderful girl."

Its terrible when you hear about things like this. "Passion Killings", unfortunately, is something that happens far too often in our own society. Males, by nature are jealous and protective. I think most guys who knowingly date pro's are asking for trouble, and putting their emotional stability to an extreme test. It's difficult enough keeping jealousy in check with a normal girlfriend. I can't imagine the stress I would feel if I knew my girl was a pro. That's why, I and most rationale guys, will not put themselves in that position. I learned the hard way about jealous boyfriend and why I don't take pro's out who are involved with someone else. Here's a couple of my past experiences with jealous dude since I started mongering a few short years ago.

The first time I was lucky since my friend was very quick witted, and no doubt been in this situation before. I was a naive monger visiting Cali, Colombia. Ramon spots jealous boyfriend half a block away coming towards us to confront his girl. Ramon simultaneously gets her in a cab and distances myself from the chica so dude doesn't realize she's with me. The cab rolls away as jealous dude runs towards it with fists clenched in the air. We catch a cab going the other way thus avoid any possible confrontation.

Another time, probably the same trip, I had my neck wrung from a drunk ex-marine. He was pissed because his girl seemed interested in me. I go to the bar with a couple of chicas. I meet jealous boyfriend and other dudes with their dates. I realize the game his girl is playing, so I distance myself from her and jealous dude. But jealous guy always finds a reason to provoke as they are usually in an irrational rage. He confronts me as I try to make an exit with my hired help. He blames me because his girl was crying as she wanted to go dancing with me and my girlfriends. This guy has his hands wrapped around my throat asking me what I did. "I don't....know....what....your...talking....about", I stammered. The dude finally relents as I'm on my knees, red in the face, grasping for air. Next day, jealous guy realizes what an asshole he was and slips a 2-page apology note under my door. . Was almost worth the pain as I got exteme TLC from my girl that night.

Last May, I'm at Nuevo Estilo strip club in BA taking advantage of their 5 peso beers. I spot jealous dude at the bar with rage in his eyes. He was a nervous wreck watching his girlfriend work in the club. I buy him a beer and try to calm him down. I was finally able to convince him to leave before he made a scene and jeopardize his chica's job.

Here's the things I hope one can take from my past experiences to hopefully avoid jealous boyfriend.

Being out in public with a pro was the root problem of the 1st incident. If not for my friends quick thinking, there might not have been a happy ending. Not properly observing or understanding the potential volatililty of situation #2 caused this incident from happening. Finally, being aware of my surrounding with simple observation at Nuevo Estilo, I was able to spot jealous dude and avoid a potential problem.

Stay safe out there!!!



09-26-03, 05:48
Let me keep this simple. What other city has a crime section on WSG? Enough said.

09-26-03, 07:15
I recently spend two weeks in wonderful Rio and i had no safety problems whatsoever. I did hear of some local guy getting attacked outside the hotel - but i never saw anything crime or felt unsafe in Rio.

09-26-03, 11:21
I second Junior : never had a problem or felt unsafe in Rio, even at night in bars or clubs of Centro and Niteroi or even in Zona Norte (Duque de Caxias) where GF lived ; Ipanema, Gavea, Leblon or others Zona Sul areas (except Copa) are much safer than many Europeans cities ....

The worst area in south and central Rio is Copacabana, between Help and Meia P , a mugger's delight (funny how most visitors think that Copa is the safest, quite stupid IMO) ;

Cutting Edge
10-05-03, 00:56
Some on the ground info on the dead 4x4 girl. Actually it appears she was killed by trafficantes, reason unknown. I was talking with a friend of hers, I asked about a girl being murdered(shot in the head in the back of a taxi she confirmed), she said it was her friend of one year. I asked who, a boyfriend, she smiled and said'talvez'(maybe). I said a 'cliente'(punter), again she smiled and said 'talvez'. To me the MO of the hit was an assasination, not a love crime, I therefore asked 'talvez a trafficantes', no smiling this time, her face changed to a frown, no answer and she immediately changed the subject.

10-06-03, 23:02
Funny, but I have know one of the Rio girls for 3 years and I finally went to her home in Barra de Tijuca. There in an outdoor bar, I felt the most unsafe in Rio as I ever have. No gringos, no tourists, middle class neighborhood, a lot of young guys, not so many girls, and not so many girls that looked like my friend (hot). I got many unapproving stares and was about two minutes away from being challenged by a group of 5-6 drunk guys. My kung-fu may be good, but not that good. So we left. At least in Copa, I know where I am, I know what to expect and I know there are police. 8 times in 3 years and I have nevere had a problem, the only time I felt threatened was in Barra of all places.

Charm City Dave
10-07-03, 18:07
Look, I went to Rio many times and never had a problem. I thought it was safe as well. Then I found myself looking down the barrel of a cocked revolver.

Was I drunk late at night on Atlantico. No, it was 10:00PM on a street full of people on Siqueira Campos. I was walking back from the supermarket.

Here is a headline

Criminals Practice Free Will In Copacabana.

Here is a link to the article


And to tell the truth I am 100 times more afraid of the police then the criminals. They would think of nothing of planting some drugs on you and shaking you down for all it's worth. Hell the UN is investigating Brazil for police murders of civilians. Am I making that up? Here is the link to that article.


Finally I have a Brazilian girl who works in my office whose own mother does not want her to return to Rio for a visit. The reason. It isn't safe. And that is for a person who blends in. How much of a target do you think we Americans make?

Ok, now will come the replys from those that make their money off of the tourist trade and who troll this board for easy marks. Rio is not so bad they will say. Others will say it is no different then NY. I live in NY and I can tell you armed gangs have not shot up the highway from JFK airport to Manhattan. In Rio though armed gangs have on several occasions shot up the highway from the international airport to town. Yes in Rio you might not even make it to your hotel. If you decide to go. Have a safe trip.

Yada Yada Yada.

Doc Bill
10-09-03, 07:07
Having been back from Rio for five days I got a call today from my credit card company, informing me that charges were still being made on my card in Rio, even though I have the card. Apparently there is a racket whereby they use a pager-like device to copy the metallic strip on the card and use it to make a new card.

I am not being held responsible for the charges, but the bank told me that this is very common in Brazil. They copy it when they take your card in a bar or restaraunt to make a charge. The only prevention is to not let the card out of your sight.


10-17-03, 14:45
I saw a news report here in the States about that machine that copies your credit card info by scanning the card itself. I think you can buy these on the Internet, in which case, they are probably in the hands of criminals of everywhere.

Moreyada, good points. Having been the victim of an armed robbery myself (see report elsewhere), I don't buy at all this silliness that Rio is no more dangerous than any other large city.

That said, I still plan to go back. You just can't beat the women!


10-17-03, 22:52
Credit Card Issues.

Friends. Just keeping an eye on your credit card is NOT enough. At issue is your receipt. Check your credit card receipts. Here in good ol' USA, only four digits of your card numbers are printed on the receipts. In Brasil, all 16 digits are printed, some even print your card expiration date. Make sure your wipe out the numbers before returning the receipts to the merchants.

10-17-03, 22:58
Friends. The "metalic stripe" has nothing high tech about it. It is just the 16 digit card numbers embedded in that stripe. Nothing more. Note that the merchants even have to manually punch in your card expiration date when you use it. So, if I have your 16 digit card numbers on paper plus your card expiration date, i don't need your card at all and still good to go. Despite what they said, credit card is still very much a low tech business.

Cutting Edge
10-19-03, 23:48
JoshJosh69, its funny but I've had similar type experinences to you in Barra. While in Rio, the only times I've been close to a fight has been with some middle class spoilt brat. Seems they consider a gringo a threat to their social standing. On the odd occasions I've been down to Barra, I've noticed a few nasty stares and the odd 'gringo' comment, by contrast I've been in favelas many times and only been meet with smiles!

What I also found funny was that many of these guys down in Barra seem to model their wardrobe on one of those 'Revenge of the Nerds' type films!

Charm City Dave
11-01-03, 03:11
Two interesting articles for those considering going to Rio. GE is pulling out of Rio due to the violence and danger there. I know people here like to say Rio is no more dangerous then US or Cities in Europe. For those that say so, can you name one such city GE has pulled out of?


And here is an article about ' weekend during which rampaging gangs of teens terrified bathers and there were several robberies on the city's most popular beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon'


If you do go be careful.... very careful

Yada Yada Yada

11-04-03, 22:52
Things are not exactly better in Sao Paulo:


11-06-03, 20:26
DocBill, did you stay at the Arpoador Inn in Rio, Because I think they have some Thieves working at that Hotel, and I am Talking about the managers at the front desk.

They steal your Credit Card Number after you use it to pay for your Hotel Stay, and wait a while and start to use it in Sao Paulo and other Cities!!


Rio Bob
11-07-03, 04:45
My first time in Rio was in 1980 and there was beach crime then too and there always has been. One time I was on Ipanema and someone was shooting a gun off and everybody got off the beach and ran. I ran all the way to Copacabana and when I got to my hotel my friend noticed blood rolling down my arm. Luckily it wasn't my blood but it did get me worried for a minute.

Doc Bill
11-09-03, 06:15

No, I didn't stay at that hotel but I guess it's common practice. All of my fraudulent charges began appearing after I left. The charges were all in Rio and were for things like gas, shoes, etc.

Carlos Primeros
11-10-03, 04:48
Hi brothers,

I went with a garota do Sol y Mar Restaurant - actually a very posh place between Rio Vermelho and Flamego. My credit-card was copied there while I paid with it. They swindeled the credit-card company out of 1000 $. In the end we all have to pay for this with our credit-card fees. Beware!

Carlos Primeros

11-11-03, 20:08
I was in the Rio for the 1st time recently. I never feel any danger around me. I don’t speak Spanish or Portuguese. I felt very comfortable to take bus or Metro, even as late as 11PM.

I don’t concern about someone using my credit card. I am protected by my credit agreement on unauthorized transactions. That’s what I pay hundreds dollars annul fee on my AMEX Platinum card for.

11-11-03, 22:57

you posted factual reports and nice pics, that's cool. I'm happy you can afford high-fees CC's, but I have to tell you, the same level of protection is also in the free cards!

11-16-03, 03:29
this hapeens everywhere. last year in ft. lauderdale at the tiki bar at the bahaia cabana hotel that a group of us stayed at. anyone that charged a round at the tiki bar had their card scammed. 5 out of 8 of us. all were reimbursed and 3 of us were called by our cc companies about strange purchases all over the country. it turns out the bartender asked how long we were in town for then hand over the cci nfoirmation to a friend that would buy crap up until the day we left. got 5 of us a free trip back to fl to testify against the ring.

Java Man
11-17-03, 06:40
i was in Rio last week. met Kenny and took him up on his "cruise to nowhere." i'll see if i can find his business card. if i can't locate it, i can call someone in Rio and get his number. you can also PM me.

Charm City Dave
12-03-03, 03:29
Rio continues to be a very dangerous place to visit. Two articles in the English news this week.

A War Zone in Centro


Bandits are using mortars to fight police in the center of the City. When you read reports about 4X4 and 65, this is the neighborhood.

And if you think staying in rich exlusive areas will make you safe. Another article.

Few Leads in Brutal Attack on Utah Couple in Brazil


An American couple hacked to death in a 'guarded' exclusive community.

If you go to Rio, please take care!

Java Man
12-11-03, 04:17
i heard from a friend in rio that this afternoon the copa branch of Bradesco bank was held up. i was told three armed men entered and held everyone up. does anyone have additional information?

12-18-03, 19:05
Moreyada, just because you read a two articles you think you know what is going on here in Rio?

Firstly that American couple were most likely killed because of some shit the husband was into in the Middle East and Russia. He was in the oil business and had spent years there doing "DEALS". Their deaths were most likely a hit. That hit would have occurred anywhere that they lived, even in your home town. At this point everything is being looked at. Until they find out why the couple were killed, don't say that it was a random act of violence just because they lived in Rio.

Secondly: the police are cracking down on Illegal Street vendors in Centro not Bandits. I wonder what the authors definition of a "MORTAR" is ? If the street vendors were using rocks, pieces of wood, coconuts, and even chairs. I don't think they were using anything like what we would consider a "Real Mortar". These people could not afford anything like that.

Yes, Rio can be a dangerous place but please do not believe everything you read. And please do not pollute this board with hear say. Think about what you read before you re-post any false information.

12-18-03, 20:39
I was in the middle of battle between 20 riot polices and some people. It happened near 4X4, right on the Ave Presidente. Someone from the other side street threw tennis ball size rock at police and police threw rocks back. It was Friday afternoon 5PM rush hours. Local people did not seem to be surprised by what happened. After 5 minutes childish rock throw battle, these 20 riot polices (with shield) charged cross the street. Everything was back to normal, except the broken glass door of one bank.

If it was gun battle, I would be very scared. But with rock, it was almost fun to watch.

Charm City Dave
12-31-03, 20:31
Nodd_N, I am sorry if PRESS reports about real violence in Rio is effecting the ability of some to make money off of sex tourists who are first timers in Rio.

I have been to Rio over 25 times over 10 years. I speak the language pretty well. My motivation in posting is not monitary (unlike others). My motivation is that before an person (with a life to loose) chooses to go to Rio they should understand it is as you admitted a 'dangerous place'. After I almost lost my own life in Rio, I felt a moral obligation to share with others what the true dangers are. I had posted so many articles on the pleasures I felt some balance was needed. No I do not beleive everything I read, but I would beleive an article in the press over a hypster looking for new clients.

The police do not know why that couple was killed. Yes I could understand that the local tourist board wants it to turn out to be related to the persons business. Of course the maid who was fired is still a prime suspect. Perhaps you are right it was business. Perhaps we will never know.

BTW a friend just returned to tell me he was assaulted by two men on Avenida Altantico at 5:30 in the afternoon. It was by luck he escaped without serous injury. He now joins the ranks of many who will not return to Rio.

01-01-04, 21:54
Firstly I also traveled here about 4 times a year for a year or two before I decided to move here. I live here now and I have for a few years now. That just might give me a better handle on what is going on here over someone that comes here a few times a year for short visits. I'm retired and DO NOT work here or make any money from sex tourism.
Where did you get the idea that I profit from sex tourism?

Before you start to REPORT on anything like the violence here in Rio or anywhere else for that matter, I think you should get your facts straight. ----- If they were killed as a random act of violence I would not have said anything to you.
But you posted your remarks like you knew exactly what happened. You posted that article like that killing was just another murder in Rio and all the members here should take your advice and stay away or be warned. You're so informed and important that we should all listen to you, right?

People get killed here in Rio all the time just like in the USA and throughout Europe and other South American countries. That comes with the territory. Innocent people the world over die all the time. I bet the people reporting to work on 9/11 thought they were very safe in NYC also. You never know what will happen at any time anywhere. If you and your friend decide not to return to Rio that is no big deal. Many others will take your place. I myself was mugged at gunpoint in NYC in 1996 and that did not stop me from going back there.. Some people just have no backbone and let others dictate their actions.

01-03-04, 08:02
The first time I went to Rio, it was in May of '01 and I was one of very few Americans there at the time (or so it seemed). At that time, I spoke no Portuguese, and was looking around dumbfounded and obviously a newbie who didn't know squat. One would think I was a target for muggings and scams, but aside from a few guys on the beach bum rushing me to buy stuff and patronize their girls (which always happens, no big deal ), I found most Brazilians there to be very helpful. They offered me advice on how to spot scams and what not to do, and all kinds of stuff when I really didn't ask for the advice. A girl from HELP even told me to hold on to my drink to avoid being slipped a roofie after I set the drink down. I wasn't even into this girl and she knew I wasn't gonna take her home, and she looked out for me anyway. One might think that during off season (especially early May when there doesn't seem to be many tourists), con artists and thieves would be drooling at the sight of a young American looking around bright eyed and ignorant of Rio's ins and outs. An easy score I would have been, no doubt, but I felt completely safe. I felt looked out for, which is more than I can say for most American cities. Maybe I'm incredibly lucky-I don't know. I'm not saying bad things don't happen, but if you conduct yourself relatively proper and don't do anything stupid, and you treat the people of Brazil (who are your hosts, which is something some folks seem to forget) with some respect, you will enjoy your trip immensely and return again and again.


Charm City Dave
01-09-04, 15:47

I am glad you had a good time and stayed safe. One thing to think about is your sharing 'A girl from HELP even told me to hold on to my drink to avoid being slipped a roofie after I set the drink down'. How prevalent must druggings be to garner such advice. One word from someone who was once a first time visitor, became a frequent visitor and will never go again. When you 1st go to Rio your senses are overwhelmed by the girls.... Often it takes repeated visits (or armed robbery as in my case) to clue you in on the dangers. Once clued in you see the true dangers. Also, you have not been there in 2 and a half year. I can tell you my friend a lot has changed.

Nodd_N. Where did I get the idea you profit from sex tourism? First I could not understand why someone would intentionally misslead readers about how dangerous Rio is. With some people I could have a reasonable debate on the topic, but you seemed somewhat emotional. Second I checked your posts in the reports forum where you seem to steer people to one of the ‘apartment guys’ in Rio while putting down another. Perhaps you just had a good experience with one and a bad with the other. Perhaps the relationship is personal or fiduciary. I don’t know.

As for OBJECTIVE info on safety in Brazil in particular (and I think Rio and SP drives these statistics),

From the NY times
‘Annual homicide rates on the outskirts of Brazil's biggest cities exceed 100 per 100,000 people, among the highest in the world. One in every 20 citizens in Săo Paulo was a victim of armed robbery during 2002, at a rate of 1,704 reported incidents a day. Mr da Silva says the overall cost of crime to Brazil's economy is $100m (€79m, Ł55m) a day.
Rising crime is causing rising concern among Brazilians. A survey published last month by the CNT, a transport industry confederation that conducts regular public opinion polls, found that 84.3 per cent of respondents felt violence had become worse over the previous six months, up from 79.1 per cent in October.

One problem is a general sense of impunity. In the state of Rio de Janeiro, for every 100 cases of murder, just two are solved by the uniformed police on patrol, known as the Military Police, and one more by the Civil Police, who carry out investigations. Police intelligence shows that bank robbers and kidnappers regard the threat of arrest as an irrelevance’.

Will most visitors go to Rio without incident? Of course. However especially on this forum it would be immoral not to let people know they are not going to NY, London, Bankok, Amsterdam or any other comparable large city. Whole buses are not robbed at gun point in NY. Tourist attractions are not grenaded or sprayed with automatic machine gun fire. The highway to the airport has not been closed on multiple occasions due to shootouts between armed gangs and the police. All these happen in Rio.

Rio has a significant violent crime problem that is materially different in nature then almost anywhere else. As you walk the streets you can see the men who are sizing you up as a potential victim. I have traveled the world (and still do). I’ll be in Bangkok in late January. And generally I will not let others ‘dictate my actions’. At the same time I would not walk through a war zone just to get my pipes cleaned. Based on what I have seen and heard I have crossed Rio off my list. Of all the major cities covered here it is the only one I would not visit. Am I a coward? Well one day we may meet and you might find out. But that aside I have nothing to prove. I like my life and have to desire to have it shortened just to visit a Terma.

Yada Yada Yada

01-11-04, 14:05
Moreyada, I have said that Rio is dangerous in the past and I continue to say it is dangerous now. DO YOU HEAR ME NOW!!
You do not understand why I post opposing opinions to yours? Well let me think. When you pick an article from some news agency somewhere and post it as “gospel” that gets me upset. No news agency gets it right! They are only interested in their circulation, not necessarily in the truth. I live here in Rio and travel around the city at all hours day and night, mostly by my self, and I have never had any trouble. I have never even witnessed a mugging here in Rio. I will say this again, just for you, Rio is as dangerous as any other large “Tourist City” in the World. You would not want to wander into parts of many cities in the USA alone and you would not ever want to try and visit a Favela here in Rio alone either. As long as you take normal precautions here in Rio, you should be OK.
You can spout all the statistics you like, but if you knew anything about statistics, you would know that they are pretty much useless because they are almost always slanted in one direction or another. Most of the areas that these killings take place in are the Favelas among the drug gangs. So the average tourist walking around in Copacabana or Ipanema during reasonable hours, is reasonably safe. YES, there are exceptions…… and people have been mugged in broad daylight in Copacabana…… just like in Paris, Rome, Madrid, NYC, Chicago, Detroit or Atlanta, etc... get the idea?

Yes, I have mentioned a few apt. renters here in Rio I have used in the past. I thought that was allowed.. If we know of someone in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba or Costa Rica that treats his or her clients with respect why should we not post something about it? People post recommendations all the time here on these boards without having any financial gain…If we know of anyone that goes out of his or her way to help with questions or problems why shouldn’t we share that information with others. I thought that is what these boards were all about...

01-11-04, 17:18

Sorry to note that an "armed robbery" in Rio occured to you - and that therefore you "never go again" to visit "Cidade Maravilhosa" -
OK - we heard you over & over - we undestand danger while travelling, specially at night looking for sexo.

Now that you have posted your concerns - Let those of us, who want to visit RIIOOO do so. We are adults, mature enough to make up our own minds, without scare reports.

Personally I will visit Brasil & Rio - fingerprinting - danger or what ever.

I just returned from 6 weeks in Brasil - have posted 18 reports so far on WSG - in the SP, Rio, Curitiba & other areas forums. More reports to follow. This was my 14th trip in the last 5 years.
I just walk around in daylight, dressed down with a local newspaper in hand. If I sense danger, immediately take a bus / taxi out of the area. I have a habit of taking the Metro, getting out at a station & walking round - If I smell danger, I immediately get out.
At night - its only taxi's.

Since you are going soon to Bangkok - maybe also other SouthEast Asian nations -
Per your report - in other tourist spots -
a) - "buses not robbed" - buses robbed & bullet sprayed on the road from Vientinne to Luang Prabang in Laos.

b) - "tourist attractions not grenaded" - in Cambodia

c) - "tourists not murdered" - in Pattaya, Thailand

d) - "tourists not drugged" - very common in Bangkok, Thailand

e) - "airport not closed by shootouts" - in Colombo, SriLanka - was there when it happened about 3 yrs ago.

Finally about "Armed robbery" - Yes, once I too was robbed at gun point -
Where - when I first arrived in Chicago as an immigrant from SriLanka 36 years ago.
Chicago too is a dangerous city - dangerous as well as safe neighbourhoods - Chicago had the highest murders total in a USA city for 2003.
Have I run away from Chicago & the USA ??
NO - I still live in Chicagoland & hope to die in the USA.

So Muito obrigardo for your concerns - you have repeated them loud & clear - over & over.

But let those of us who wish to go to "Cidade Maravilhosa" do so.

Ceylon1 (WorldTraveller aka Charles)

01-11-04, 17:32
Just spend another week chasing girls in Rio. I am glad to report that I had no security problems whatsoever. However the crime rate in Rio is high - so never ever walk alone at night, especially around Copacabana where the local mugging industry targets turists.

01-11-04, 22:42
In my last sexpedition in Rio, around 6 weeks ago, I had to deal with a safety issue: a Help girl tried to use knock-out drugs with me, but I realised on time and sorted out the problem, so nothing serious happened.

It was on a Saturday night, I arrived at Help at about 3 am and after some reconnaissance chatted up a chick. She was fine, smooth-talking, had a non-hardcore look and seemed to be sweet and cuddly, so I recruited her for TLN for BRL 200.

Before leaving Help, at around 4 am, she told me to write the address of my apartment on a paper for her friend, so that she could go the following day at 1 pm and the 3 of us would go to the beach. Her friend was one of the hardcores. She had insisted on having quite a few drinks in Help, which seemed a bit weird to me but didn’t give it any importance.

About half an hour after arriving in the apartment her friend turned up with a silly excuse and then they started to talk, we were all sitting in the living-room and the lights were off, there was just light from a couple of candles as they said they liked it that way. Obviously they were preparing drinks all the time… I thought we would talk for some time and then the hardcore would leave.

The talk went on and on and I was starting to feel asleep, which was normal, I thought, as it was late and I hadn’t slept much the last few days, but suddenly I felt extremely sleepy so decided to stand up and went to my bedroom.

In my bedroom I realised that I was too sleepy, and that couldn’t be natural as when you stand up and walk, regardless of how sleepy you are, you wake up, but I was feeling more and more sleepy even after walking, so there was only one explanation: the sweetie and her hardcore friend had put some knock-out drug in my drinks. This explained many things: so many drinks in Help, writing the address before leaving, the lights off to help me fall asleep, the hardcore appearing in the scene half an hour later to help rob the apartment, etc.

My first impulse was to kick them out, but then I decided to act more subtly: I told the hardcore, politely, to leave because it was too late and I wanted to fuck the sweetie (I didn’t make them know I had found out their intentions). The hardcore left, I was feeling better, more awake, I had stopped drinking, I knew I wasn’t going to fall asleep: the situation was under control.

When the hardcore left I started having fun with the sweetie, she insisted on having more drinks but I told her to forget about the drinks and suggested a BBBJ, so she reluctantly started with the BBBJ. It was funny, I’m sure the last thing she expected was to end up giving head to her potential victim. But then she started to interrupt the fun, to make silly excuses to stop, etc, and I finally decided to kick her out. In that moment the hardcore turned up again, the fucking ho had been just waiting for me to fall asleep and she’d probably though that by that time I should have already be knocked down, so that’s way she came back to help the sweety clear the apartment. I didn’t open the door to the hardcore and locked from inside so that the sweetie couldn’t open either.

I gave the sweetie BRL 20 for the taxi and told her to fuck off, we hadn’t done anything, just 10 min of BBBJ so I wasn’t going to pay her: no work, no pay. The sweetie claimed the BRL 200 that we agreed in Help, but I told her to forget about that.

The hardcore started to hit the door and to scream so that I open, the sweetie told her through the door that I didn’t want to pay. I suppose some of the neighbours called the doorman because of the noise and the guy turned up. When I heard him talking to the hardcore I opened the door and kicked the sweetie out, I pushed her as she didn’t want to leave. I told the doorman to call the police because they had tried to rob –I didn’t have phone- and closed the door.

They kept saying the doorman I didn’t want to pay, so I opened again and told him they had tried to rob, in that moment they both attacked me trying to hit me, so I kicked the hardcore very hard in the stomach and punched the sweetie on the head, over the ear. They both stopped in pain, the hardcore leaning against the wall and the sweetie looked as if she was about to cry.

Some neighbours came out because of all the noise from the fight, I just told them to call the police and closed the door again.

I waited from the police to come, but 2 hours later no one had arrived so I just went to sleep.

I didn’t see those 2 chicks anymore although I kept going to Help and the other Rio hunting grounds as usual.

I had checked the sweetie ID, her name was Maria Paula Da Silva. She was a white girl, black and long hair, nice face and body, 23 yo.

From now on I’ll be always careful with the drinks when I hunt freelancers, just in case.

01-11-04, 23:42
You are a true hero!!!

Dick for Brains
01-12-04, 00:25
Gladiator et al.,

It seems like I'm reading more reports lately about mongers being drugged lately (see Captain Dave's report in Buenos Aires section.) Could you please describe the sensation as explicitly as possible and how you were able to overcome the effects of the drugs?

I think many of us can learn a lesson from your experiences and possibly prevent future occurrences.

Thanks for sharing.


01-12-04, 03:42
I am glad that Gladiator came out ok. That kind of situations is one of reasons I do not go to Help. At least in Termas, those kind of things are pretty much under control. NEVER take drinks from ANYONE!

Charm City Dave
01-12-04, 05:33

We have met. We had a drink at MPs a few years back. And you are a true gentleman. I hope your daughter is doing well. You where very proud of her achievments. I understand you know the Rio scene and have no desire at all to stop you from going.

Given your medical history (as I remember it), one girl (such as the one Gladiator met) who puts to much drugs in your drink and you may not wake up. I hope to God that never happens. But given your repeated trips to Rio, I know you are making an informed choice and more power to you.

I would never go to Laos or Cambodia as I consider both not worth the risk. I think most people who go there understand they are going in to the wild wild west and take an informed risk. However just reading the report board here, one might think Rio very safe. Both you and I know the opposite is true.

Charm City Dave
01-12-04, 05:48

Thanks for the story. You are lucky. Some of these girls have made friends with someone in the police. I remember a few years ago an American was dragged out of the Atlantico when he refused to pay a girl who did not perform. She called a friend in the police and they messed him up. Prostitution is not a crime. Non payment is.

Finally, one word of advise. Watch you back the next few trips in Rio. This girls sees you again and she may call a Brazilian Boy friend. And as tough as you might be, you will never see it coming.

Stay safe.

01-12-04, 07:57
I have heard about statistics similar to what Moreyada has said from reading papers, my Brazilian friends, my girlfriend, and from her cousin, who’s a cop in Sao Paulo. I’ve heard the figure of something like 11,000 murders in Sampa per year. That’s about as many that happen in the whole of the US. So these comparisons of the crime rate between Brazilian and American cities, like NY, are simply ludicrous. Remember, SP and NY are two cities of roughly the same size (around 20 million with surrounding areas), but SP has an infinitesimally higher crime rate than NY. My friend was telling me that Sampa can have around 40 murders on a week-end.

This same friend (a Brazilian man) has been mugged five times and his brother was shot in the head and lost his eye in a hold up. Thankfully, he survived. He says that the mugging rate is probably closer to 1/5 in Sampa.

And crime is the primary concern of most of my Brazilian friends.

Now this is Sampa, I have never been to Rio. Though I hear it’s much worse there, mostly because it’s not as spread out and everything is closer together, so you “feel” the violence more.

As for violence only happening in the favelas, it’s often said that the favelas are the safest areas in the big cities because the drug dealers “protect” the residents. Besides, another friend of mine has had her car broken into twice and had her apartment robbed in Barra, which is supposed to be a safe area.

Now will that scare me from going back? Absolutely not. Nothing happened to me there. And I have family obligations now so I have to go. But it doesn’t mean that I won’t be careful. Besides, I’ve been mugged several times in a “safe” country like Canada and had someone break into my house (I lived in a good area when I was there). But nobody ever complains about the crime in that country.

Point is that there are millions of people living in both cities and the vast majority of them live their lives without incident on a daily basis. But playing down the level of violence over there is simply absurd.

Now, the real question should be how the hell do many of you manage to take as much time off as you do?! What kinds of jobs allow you to do this? Anyone hiring?

Travel Capt
01-12-04, 22:20

I'm a new guy to this board. Thanks for the spots to stay away from. I'm trying to learn all I can for my frist trip to Rio.


Rio Bob
01-13-04, 02:13

Thanks for that informative and honest report. I find it very interesting that you suspected that they slipped you a boa noite cinderella and was still able to function. I always thought that when slipped one you would be out for the count but I guess not. One of the reasons I am interested is because on my last trip I suspected I was slipped one to. I met a girl in Help took her back to my apartment and when we entered the apartment I locked the door from the inside and I hid the key. We had some drinks and I got up to take my pants off and I fell hard on the floor right after that I fell sound asleep. I had no interaction with the garota at all. Now if she was smart the first thing she would have done is test her exit strategy while I was out for the count, she did not find the key so the only way out of my apartment is if I opened the door for her so she would be stupid to rob me, she was stuck. A couple of hours had passed while I was sleeping then she woke me up and told me she wanted to leave. I never fall asleep with a girl in the room without doing anything this was a first. Before I let her out I made sure everything was secure and it was. I don't think she left happy but I wondered what had really went on that night and your report has helped me put some pieces together. Cuidado (Be carefull) in Rio guys, this can't happen in a hotel because they keep their identification at the front desk and when they leave they call to check if your ok, in an apartment your on your own so hide the key.

01-14-04, 04:55

Rio is not the only place this thing can happen. Recently, similar situation was experienced by one of our friends in Buneous Aires. Read the 1/1/04 report by Capt. Dave in the Argentina Board under the General Info section. He was totally cleaned out. I think apratment living makes you somewhat vulnerable as compared to staying in a hotel with security. Rio Bob, you were very smart to hide the key. In fact, that was also Jackson's suggestion for this kind of situation. Safe mongering everybody!


01-14-04, 20:51
Dick for Brains,

The effect of the drug was just making me sleepy, that's why at the beginning I found nothing suspicious as I hadn't slept much lately. Also, I had been drinking beers and whisky from around 11 pm till we left Help, I wasn't really drunk but there was enough alcohol running through my veins to make me more vulnerable and prevent me from realising I had been drugged.

The drug itself was fine, it made me feel relaxed and sleepy, I had never tried a drug like that before. The critical moment was when I started dozing off in the sofa, with the 2 chicks talking and all the lights off, and I stood up and went to my bedroom. While I was in my bedroom thinking out what to do next I felt really sleepy, I thought for a moment that I might just fall asleep even being standing up, but somehow I managed to keep awake and proceed with my plan.

When I went out of my bedroom into the living room, as I explained, I told the hardcore to leave because it was too late and I turned on all the lights in the apartment. I also opened the door, so that the hardcore could understand that she definitely had to leave soon. It took around 15-20 minutes for the hardcore to leave since I came out of my bedroom as she was finishing her drink, going to the bathroom, etc. So that was the critical period over which I felt the knock-out drug effect was actually at its highest and then it started to stabilize, i.e. I was feeling more awake, more in control. There was a moment before the hardcore left when she told me 'you look very tired, why don't you go to sleep?' I replied 'I'll go to sleep after fucking your friend'. That was just another piece of evidence against them in my mind. When the hardcore finally left I was positive that I wouldn't fall asleep, even though I still felt a bit sleepy.

There was no problem starting having fun with the sweetie, I was still horny. I suggested taking a shower first but she refused strongly, obiously a shower would contribute to wake up his victim (more evidence), so she started with the BBBJ without even having had a shower.

I also thought that knock-out drugs took effect abruptly, I've read some reports on this board and that was always the case, but that wasn't my experience. They might have just given me a lighter dose, although the key factor was realising in time and stopping drinking.

After hitting hard the chicks, when all had finished and I was just waiting for the police, I felt my mouth and throat extremely dry and I also had very red eyes. These were both aftereffects from the drug, I haven't got any doubt. For the rest, I was fine, only a bit concerned about what action the corrupted Rio police would take. But the doorman explained to me the following day that they didn't even call the police as they convinced the chicks to leave so as to avoid further problems, and that was it.

I talked to the doorman and one neighbour the next day, explained to them what had happened and apologised for all the hassle, and they were great, very understanding, they seemed to have no doubt that I was telling the truth, they just told me that they have heard that from time to time some tourists are robbed by chicks employing knock-out drugs. The doorman even congratulated me for having hit back both chicks when they attacked me. He said they wouldn't have stopped otherwise.

Anyway, that was a good lesson from which I learnt that I must not take chances with freelancers and security must be tight regarding drinks. At the beginning of my hunting career I was very careful with drinks and freelancers, but after having picked up plenty of freelancers with no problems at all in that respect I kind of relaxed the security measures up to the point that my control over drinks was finally minimum or even inexistent. From now on I will step up security again to avoid problems. It doesn't really take any effort keeping an eye on what you drink.

It's also true that this can happen in any country, it's not just Brazil.

In Rio I suppose knock-out drug chicks will target only those of us who stay in apartments, as hotels require ID's and don't give them back till they call you back to see if all is OK, so saying you're staying in a hotel should be an effective way to avoid being a target: they'd probably move on to look for a new victim.

Rio Bob
01-14-04, 21:41

Your right about relaxing security, I find this happens every so often. Things are going so good for a long time and you put your guard down. This has happened to me on several occasions and then something happens and Bam your like whats the matter with me I know better than that.

Actually one time I was in Barbarellas and I was talking to a garota and I was having a drink. I went to the mens room and took my drink with me for security reasons. She commented to me on the way back why I took my drink with me. I told her because I was worried about somebody slipping me a micky a boa noite cindarella. She told me that she thought I was taking the drink with me so I had something to use to swallow drugs down with. Then she told me that she doesn't understand what everybody is worried about. But now we know better don't we?

I am going to continue to use apartments and I am going to continue to hide my key and everything else. Usually after we enter the room and then the garota goes to the bathroom, I hide everything except the money I am going to give her while she is in the bathroom. Thats the only thing I keep in my pocket so if anything does happen then the only thing she can get is the money she was going to get anyway.

01-16-04, 02:13
Driving in Brazil:

There has been some discussion in the forum about cabs versus rental cars so I thought I'd offer this insight. I always rent cars, everywhere I travel, because I like the flexibility and I hate being ripped off by cab drivers. It's also the best way to get to know an area like a local. In Brazil, car rentals are dirt cheap. Someone mentioned that rates are 100 R per day. That's ridiculous! They're under 50 R/day if you go through Expedia, and less still if you know the local off airport rental agencies.

What you do need to know are your rights as a driver. First of all, you do not need an international driver license in Brazil if your stay is less than 6 months. Even the car rental agencies get this wrong sometimes. I got stopped by a policeman one day, who threatened me with a 5000 R fine for not having an international license (I didn't have a way to check him out), so I bribed him 200 R. Later, I found out that the going rate for a bribe is 50 R, plus found out that the international license thing was a scam.

Parking on the streets is organized chaos, but it works. You pay generally 2 R for parking everywhere on the street (if they ask for more, I still give them 2R). Sometimes you get a receipt, sometimes not. I've never had a problem with any of the parking urchins, and sometimes I've parked for free.

There are also lots all over Rio, and they're pretty reasonable, like 10 R for all day in Ipanema.

Despite the corrupt cops, bad traffic, and lack of street parking, I will continue renting a car because it helps me to discover the area at my own pace in my own way. And if I feel like driving to Barra da Tijuca, Centro, Niteroi, Buzios, Angra dos Reis, or even Sao Paulo, I can do that without having to make complicated arrangements.

01-16-04, 22:55
>> so I bribed him 200 R

So you really came out ahead there, didn't you?

You could just go to the AAA and get an Americas license for a few bucks, and then you wouldn't get shaken down like that. I disagree with your statement that this isn't "required", and your own story seems to prove that in fact it is.

01-17-04, 00:19
I read somewhere that Brazil doesn't even recognize international liscenses. Maybe this cop was trying to get you on a shakedown.

Carlos Primeros
01-17-04, 04:59
Driving in Brazil:

It is correct that a small Fiat Punto without AC costs around 50 Reis. Usually the car rental companies like to sell you also a theft insurance which will cost you another 30 Reis. Otherwise they will block on your credit card an amount of the value of car, which is usually around 10.000 Reis. After you return the car, there is no extra charge.

It is correct that as a visitor you do not need an International Driving Licence. The police is very often trying to get money from you. Very often they work together with these little hoodlums which are hanging around at the traffic lights. One time, when I stopped at a red traffic light at Avenida Atlantica one of these little bastards came to my car-window and demanded money. I told him to f**k off. This little bastard signaled to a traffic cop, the cop came over and told me that it is mandatory in Brazil to buckle up (which it is but nobody does it in Rio) and that he has to fine me 500 Reis. I told him to shove it up his a** and simply drove off. What can this guy do? Charge you with what? Simply ignore it and get away. Never start an argument or get out of the car. In the car you are faster than a cop by foot with a note-pad. Remember this!

Usually I rent a car if I stay longer in Rio in order to venture around. Last time I had only 4 days in Rio and therefore I used the taxis. As I know my way around the taxi drivers do not have a chance to rip me off. One con-artist tried it but I simply paid him what the usual charge is and walked off. I ended up paying a little less for taxis than what I would have paid for 4 days car rental. One benefit was also that I did not have to look every time for a parking lot and you know that during the day at the Copa it is difficult to get a parking lot.


Great advice Carlos! I've been utilizing these same strategies for years, especially the cop on foot trying to give me a ticket. I remember driving in the DR a couple of years ago, and at every small town there would be a cop standing on the site of the main street just looking for white faces driving rental cars. Once he spotted you, he would waive you over to initiate the extraction of funds. This is typically very easy given the pussified nature of most Americans traveling in a foreign country. Fortunately I learned a long time ago what their game was, so now I just wave back and keep on driving. HA HA!


Rabo Verde
01-22-04, 19:50
I was gonna rent a car in Brazil. My gold credit card ordinarily provides damage insurance to the vehicle if I charge the rental to that card, allowing me to NOT buy the expensive insurance from the rental company. Just to be safe I called my Credit Card company and found out that Brazil is one of a very few countries where they do NOT provide this insurance coverage. To give you an idea, one of the other countries was Afghanistan!!!!! SHEESH!!!!

01-23-04, 06:21
On driving in Brazil, and other countries where the cops like to shake down drivers for bribes, I agree with not stopping when cops standing by the side of the road try and get you to pull over - Just keep on going. The best advice I have ever gotten for these types of situations, however, was - While driving, never look at the cops in the first place. In fact, do not even look in the cop's general direction once you see one. If he is on the right side of the road, look to the left and keep looking in that direction until you have past him. Works every time.

Though I must admit, I do not have the cohones to wave back at the cop like Jackson!

Carlos Primeros
01-23-04, 14:05
When you rent a car in Brazil, it has already a basic accident insurance. You will be held responible for damages above 4000 Reis = apprx. 1,300 $. Alternatively you can buy a cover for approx. 30 Reis/day. That is a decision which is entirely up to you.


Rio Bob
01-28-04, 14:25
The Secretary of Public Safety announced that the number of assaults of pedestrians has decreased in 34% since the installation, six months ago, of seven video cameras on Avenida Atlântica and two on Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana. The result compared numbers from the second semester of last year with the first six months of the year.

Alexandre Sampaio, vice-president of the Brazilian Hotel Association, is very pleased with the figures and plans to propose that the Secretary increase the number of cameras installed, which, he thinks, should also monitor the side streets in Copacabana and banks entrances.

Secretary of Public Safety, Anthony Garotinho, announced last December that Barra da Tijuca and Jacarepaguá will be next to receive the system, whose installation in Leblon and Ipanema should be completed by the end of February. Garotinho promised to have the system installed in all police stations by the end of the year; a goal he intends to achieve as soon as the Ministry of Justice releases the R$ 40 million he has requested to finance the project.

The cameras, which have allowed police to reduce the time it takes to answer calls, play a key role in the State’s security plan, which foresees all police stations inter-connected to a monitoring center, in the Central do Brasil building.

Rio Bob
01-28-04, 14:28
An analysis ordered by the Environmental Committee of the State Legislative Body determined that the sand at 25% of 12 beaches and 3 squares in Rio de Janeiro is not suitable for recreation. Currently, there is no state or federal legislation to control sand pollution. André do PV, president of the committee, says that clear safety standards need to be established. To insure just that, he wants to approve a law that will determine that the state to create these standards and use them to evaluate the level of pollution every three months.

According to the samples, no fecal coliforms were found near the ocean, at Posto 10, in Ipanema, or in front of Farme de Amoedo street. However, the same areas, near their sidewalks, were among the most polluted ones, as well as the sand in the square Nossa Senhora da Paz. Barra also passed the test, near the ocean, by Pepę, and near the sidewalk at Quebra-Mar and in front of the Condominium Barra Mares. Another option is Posto 12, in Leblon, both near the sidewalk and the sea.

The most contaminated sand was found at Posto 6, in Copacabana, near the side-walk and at Arpoador, close to the sea. Săo Conrado’s most polluted area was that in front of Hotel Intercontinental, by the ocean.

Although the following locations scored under the maximum limit established by the City Environmental Secretary to determine safe recreation, those who live in Leblon might be best to avoid the points near the sea and by the sidewalk in Jardim de Alah. In Barra, the points are near the sea at Quebra-Mar, in front of Condominium Barra Mares and at the sidewalk, by Pepę. In Săo Conrado, it is better to stay clear of the sidewalk near the Hotel Intercontinental and the sea, near the paragliding route.

Rio Bob
01-28-04, 14:32
The State Secretary of Public Safety has decided to increase security in tunnels during the peak hours in the morning and at night, when people are going to and coming back from work.

As a response to a recent attempted assault that created panic in Tunnel Joá, in Săo Conrado, and closed the expressway in the direction of Barra da Tijuca for half an hour, two police officers were placed on guard at the location last Friday. Extra man power is being assigned to Săo Conrado and eight policeman on motorcycles will patrol the tunnels Joá and Zuzu Angel, that connect Gávea and Barra.

Saturday, in a radio interview with State Governor, Rosinha Matheus, Secretary of Public Safety Anthony Garotinho defended police action in the latest confrontations with drug dealers, emphasizing that the police have the right to react when under attack and that they will always respond assertively.

As part of his strategy to improve public safety, Garotinho has decorated 23 officers with medals for outstanding work, reviewed and annulled orders of reintstatement granted to 16 policemen under investigation and placed other 21 under new administrative proceedings.

Only Looking
02-02-04, 00:09
I just got back from my first trip to RIO. And at no time did I ever feel threatened in any way at all. I was in Copa, Ipanema and even Centro all times of day and night. I was never followed or felt like I was being watched.

It may help that I am not white (I am brown-skinned) and may pass for a local until I open my mouth.

I also did not have a single bad experience with many taxi rides.

The closest thing to a problem was a verbal altercation with a big black dude selling stuff near Meia Pataca. I sensed a scam and told him I had nothing to discuss with him. He got pissed off and started yelling at me. I just ignored him and got a table at the Havana Cafe and drank a beer.

It also may help that I grew up in a big city in a third world country and I am well aware of how to take care of myself.

I also heard about the Help girls drugging stories but I spent very little time at Help. There are MUCH better and cheaper ways to get laid in Rio.

Will be back. COUNT ON IT!

02-03-04, 15:59
Yes guys, I am in Rio right now, writing this from an internet cafe! Like Just Looking I did not see a change from what I experienced before on my trips to Rio in the past year and a half. No problems whatsoever.

I walked back to my hotel which is not even on the avenida Atlantica after checking out the last of the action at HELP last night (4:30am) Except for the usual bunch of kids and hawkers trying to sell stuff, everything was very friendly and positive. I did not feel I was about to be mugged, I kept my wits about me and did not get drunk so I think that helped.

I was outside HELP both on Sunday night and Monday night after midnight and the selection seem very weak. I did not go in though. Of the exiting garotas from both nights I could count the 8's & 9's on one hand unfortunately.

But it is still amazing to me even after my sixth trip and these girls going to 'this disco' can be had for a song by U.S. standards. Personally, I keep to my limit to about 200 reais for the normal ST encounter and hope some chemistry happens and the girl WANTS to stay.

Over and out for now,


02-08-04, 02:50

Looks like new cameras in Copa caught something...

02-09-04, 01:24
Perhaps some of you already know about Vitor Belfort, he is a very well known fighter from Rio, just recently fought in Las Vegas. His sister has been missing for a few weeks now, presumed kidnapped or killed.


02-19-04, 20:49

Imagine if you got caught doing the do with his sis, never mind attempt to kidnapp or kill her!

EDITOR's NOTE: Posting of this report was delayed pending revisions to correctly spell the words "you", "are" and "because". To avoid delays in future reports, please refrain from using "u" instead of "you", "r" instead or "are", "em" instead of "them", and "cuz" instead of "because", etc. Thanks!

02-20-04, 19:00
I would love to see a Hollywood ending where his sister makes it back safe and sound and Vitor finds the guy(s) who took her and beats them to a pulp, but I fear the worst here.

I'm not religious, but those of you who are should pray for her, and all the of the other folks in Brazil who disappear, that we never hear about.

BM Rio
02-25-04, 17:36
an interesting article from tv globo news (wednesday 25 february 2004) detailing the illegal activities of rio’s finest which should be of interest to members:

“two members of the polícia militar (pm) were arrested in the early hours of this morning in copacabana after robbing an israeli tourist of us$5,000. the israeli air steward stated at the civil police station that he was stopped around 0200 in avenida atlântica by two policemen and obliged to hand over his wallet and remain within a car for around half an hour. after being released by the policemen, the tourist was assisted by residents to go to the civil police station and register a complaint. the policemen were interrogated by police internal affairs and charged with qualified robbery.”

no doubt there is more to this story than meets the eye as it seems to me like a lot of money to carry at 0200 in the morning. a popular pm tactic is to extort tourists they catch (or plant) with drugs or **** girls (or boys) for several thousand dollars which might have been the case here.

Carlos Primeros
02-26-04, 22:16
BM Rio,

if there is a Blitz by the PM there is one rule:

1 officer, minimum 2 - 3 regular cops and 1-2 cops which are doing guard-work are there. If a indivdual cop or two try to stop you - better get attention from other wittnesses. Only then they will not dare to rob/extort you. If you drive a car in Rio and a traffic cop wants to stop you by waiving you to the curb, just wave back and continue to drive!! These guys are notorious for extorting money from you.


02-27-04, 15:19
Bombar in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro.

Hi Guys!

If you speak portoguese and go to the club Bombar in Leblon, dont talk to the security guards there.

They are very friendly and try to make ´friend´with you, then they tell you that they will protect and keep an extra eye on you, for your safety.

Great, right?

-Not 2 hours later when they come and charge you for money for their "protection"! :(

As there also seems to be some off-duty police hanging out there you don´t want to make to much trouble as they could plant some drugs in your clothes, accuse you with drug-possesion charges to put more preasure on you to pay.

It´s also verry hard to get out without paying them the extra fee as they have a good overview of the club from their working area.

Bottomline: don´t socialise with well dressed scum-guards and corrupted polices, it´s only getting you into trouble.

Rio is full of clubs so you could go to another club where you dont have to put up with this sh*t.

Over and out / Ken

BM Rio
02-27-04, 21:30
Carlos Primeiro,

I agree with you but every situation is different. I was driving on Avenida Brasil this morning at around 0300 and twice passed through the PM checkpoint there without problem but this is a location and time that you should stop if challenged due to nervous trigger happy police looking for armed drug traffickers from the nearby favelas. It’s a different story however for a PM checkpoint on the Aterro de Flamengo on a Friday afternoon when they are looking to make weekend spending money (minus the kickback to the battalion commander) from Zona Sul drivers without their documents. Occasionally the drug traffickers dress in police uniforms and mount an illegal blitz – Alto da Boa Vista has been one such location – and in this case it’s probably better to stop, lose your car/money and live happily ever after!

In my opinion the best rule of thumb is try not to drive in Rio unless you really need to and always try to avoid driving in Zona Norte at night apart from the reasonably well policed Linha Amarela, Linha Vermelha and Avenida Brasil. Driving is just such a recipe for lengthy insurance claims, police extortion attempts, potential car-jacking and trying to find a parking space that I usually prefer to take a taxi and enjoy the freedom to drink as many caiparinhas as I feel like!


Rio Bob
02-28-04, 03:58
They come to see our glorious Carnival and, unfortunately, get a bit more than they asked for. This Carnival, in Rio, reports show that thirty six tourists were robbed during their stay in our town. Just yesterday morning, two tourists went to the police to report a robbery. A Finnish man had his photographic camera taken in Copacabana. A Peruvian was doped by a woman, who took US$100 from his wallet along with his passport.

On Tuesday, during the parade of Banda de Ipanema, police arrested a man and a group of Israelis was chased by three armed youngsters. The Israeli businessman complained that there was not enough policing, but sadly, when there was, instead of helping...

Two officers from Military Police Battalion number 23, a soldier and a Sergeant, actually assaulted an Israeli tourist in Copacabana, this Tuesday, taking US$5 thousand from him. The victim reported the crime and identified the officers, who were

03-01-04, 01:07
When I was in Rio the last time I was drugged by a lady who I took to my appartment on Copacobana. She took my cash and all the valuables she could stuff in her purse apart from my passport and Visa (which meant she had some sympathy for me). Anyway since I hear this happens a lot in Rio I guess we should discuss some of the typical approaches of these girls. In my case it was very obvious but I was thinking with my dick.

1. She said she was getting a makeover (a haircut) the next day. (Simply a way for you to give the wrong description to the police).

2. She was very concerned about bring something to "drink" to my appartment. When I told her I didn't have any beers at home she told me we just had to buy some at a nearby kiosk. When I accidentally forgot the beers in the cab she insisted that we would buy new ones.

3. She asked me different details about technological stuff I had laying around. She asked me about my camera and my audio recorder.

4. She poured up the beers in a glass. I don't think she put in enough drugs because afterwards she took a shower and when she came back I was still feeling ok. I walked in to the bedroom and told me to finnish "the glass" which I did. I fucked her and later on she told me to rest and I didn't wake up until the next morning.

Out of these four signs I'd say the "we need something to drink" is the most obvious one. Also that the girl might be excessively interested in you. Something very similar happened to me in Ukraine a year later but at that point I saw it all in advance and managed to avoid it with minor losses.

Rio Bob
03-01-04, 02:06

Thanks for the story and the tip, I would also like to add and this I said before but this for the most part will not happen in a hotel because they hold their cartao identidade (identification) at the font desk and they should call you when she leaves. If you do not answer the phone then they should hold her and go and see if you are ok.

If you are staying in an apartment then you have more exposure to such things like this, you need to take more precautions such as hide everything as best possible, don't leave all your eggs in one basket, spread it all around and when you lock the door if you can lock it with a key from the inside then do so and hide the key when she is in the bathroom. Therefore when you are sleeping she can't leave with the goods.

03-01-04, 21:19
Luckily, I didn't get drugged or robbed while in Rio for my first time.

RioBob, I stayed in an apartment that locked from the inside. I had no idea what this was for, until I contacted the person who rented me the apartment, and he said that you have to ALWAYS lock your door from the inside and hide the key when the girl is in the shower. When you wake up, take inventory and make sure nothing is missing before you allow her to leave the apartment.

The apartment was also pretty good about getting their document information upon entry, so I guess that's a possible deterant in itself.

It's kinda scary that some of you have actually been drugged or robbed while in Rio. During my time there I was absolutely oblivious to anything of such nature, although I don't truly believe anyone was afraid of me, maybe they just weren't in a robbing mood that day.

In any event, I had a wonderful time in Rio, was there for 7 days total, and was able to knock down 16. I'll be in Bahia in May, so we'll see how my numbers look there!

03-01-04, 23:22
It's true that it's good to spread your valuables around and not keep them all in one place. I thought I was smart doing that. I had put some cash behind a painting, some cash in a medicine box in my a purse but she found all of it, she had even looked through all the little boxes in the purse. She didn't actually take anything on me though, like my watch, my goldnecklace or my goldring, maybe she simply forgot about it or she was scared to wake me up. As such perhaps it's a good idea to hide some cash under the sheets of the bed where you plan to sleep which means she'll have to go through some hassle to roll you over.

Anyway, I only stayed in Rio for a week. Nothing else happened to me even though I must have pushed my luck by walking around the streets of Copacobana alone at night. I spent four months in Salvador later on though and that was a different story. If you go there be very carefull as the place is dangerous. Don't go out alone after 10 pm (although you can get assaulted at daytime as well). It might just be that I spent more time there and got to experience all the bad sides of it but that's definately a city which merits it's own "crime and safety" branch.

Rio Bob
03-02-04, 01:25

Thanks for the response that was some very good information.

Sterling V
03-02-04, 10:20
I actually hide my cameras, iPod, sunglasses etc in plain sight. The trick is to have them in a designated place. Whether it's on the nightstand, shelf or dresser, they are always in the exact same spot. This makes it simple to take inventory with just a quick glance and it's also much more obvious if they suddenly wind up missing.

It also makes it easy to access them without having to get the safe open without her seeing where you've hidden the key.

The added benefit is some girls see the camera and instigate photos before I even ask.

Of course, my passport and cash always go in the safe. I'm not insane.

Sterling V

03-02-04, 14:48
Usually what the use to drug you is a yellow color so Beer, Wine or any darker booze is the perfect place to put it. If you stick with Water, Gin or Vodka you will notice the color. Never let them pour you a drink and ALWAYS take your drink into the bathroom with you. Never leave it where they can mess with it.

03-03-04, 03:42
While in Rio for this year's Carnival, I encountered a new scam, one that I had not seen before. The garota demanded the money up front!! Since in all my trips to Brazil, I have never paid in advance, I knew she was trying to scam me and told her to leave the apt. We argued back in forth in portuguese for a while -she demanded to know why I wanted her to leave, promised to refund some of my money afterwards if she was no good, etc., etc. Bunch of lies. I finally got her to leave the apt building.

I met her at Help - I had see her on previous nights and later saw her on subsequent nights in the same spot - just before the bar on the right side of the club after you come up the stairs.

She said she normally works at Barbarella's. She was drop dead gorgeous, about 21-22 yrs old, 5 foot tall, 95-100 lbs, rock hard tight little body, long brown hair with a touch of highlights and tanned light brown skin. Claimed her name was Elizabeth, but I saw her i.d. card as she entered my apt - it said her name was Lettica (I think I am spelling it right). She wanted R400 for a hour and R1,000 for all night (yes!!) when we first discussed prices at Help. In portuguese I talked her down to R300 for the night while we still were at Help, but then when we got back to my apt, she demanded the money up front. After I finally got her to leave the apt, I went back to Help and picked up a cute garota and had a great time all night with her- paid her R200 the next morning when she left.

I have never heard of this pay in advance scam before, but I didn't fall for it. Be aware of it and don't fall for it either.

Also, although I am aware of Barbarella's, I have never been there. I always heard it was a rip-off joint full of hotties. This garota certainly was hot enough to work there, and seemed to be living up to it's rip-off reputation. I would avoid the place at all costs if I were you.

Rio Bob
03-04-04, 01:10
Elmo: Primeiro Dinheiro, yes I have seen this before but not much, they ask for the money upfront and then you get a deadbeat lay, no incentive. Its like giving the waiter a tip before he starts. Once I did it in Help because she was nice but she was deadbeat. Then when I would see her in Help on subsequent nights she would approach me and I would say No way Primeiro Dinheiro. And to be honest I paid up front another time and the whole situation was fine.

03-06-04, 06:16
Thanks for the info Rio Bob. Sorry to hear that there is more than one garota practicing "Primeiro Dinheiro." i had never heard of it before. When I was confronted with it, I assumed the garota was trying the old "grab the cash and dash" scam. Glad you at least got a lay out of the deal, but still, no use having a dead beat lay while in Brazil given all of the available options.

I think the conclusion we can draw from "Primeiro Dinheiro" is that you will get a dead beat lay at best and a scam at the worst. With so many other options available in Brazil, if confronted by "Primerio Dinheiro", it is probably best to get rid of garota #1 and move on to garota #2, if possible. Easier said than done, I'm sure at times.


03-14-04, 22:03
Hi guys,

I was wondering if any of you frequently partake of the street action in the various Brazilian cities rather than the strip clubs and termas.

Is there a difference in the frequncy of disease?

Unlike many European countries, Brazil does not require all prostitutes to undergo health checks, consequently prohibiting infected girls from working. Correct?


Cutting Edge
03-16-04, 02:07
- primiero dinheiro, I've had this a few times, I guess when a guy rips a girl off she gets worried and starts to demand the money upfront. In everycase, I've shown the girl I've got the money then put it to one side. If she's still not happy then I say goodbye. (by the way, I'm pretty particular when I choose a girl and am happy to go home empty handed if need be, I know other guys who have had there rooms trashed by such girls , maybe coke heads?).

- the COPS, its common knowledge that certain girls inside/outside Help have set gringos up in the last year after they have helped a gringo buy some illegal substance. Last year I was sat at Bobs, a gringo and GDP were just crossing when some cops ran up and grabbed him, he put something in his mouth and the cops grappled with him to get at it, WITHIN 20 seconds they had him in their car and away. I guess the chick had set him up.

- BRIBERY - a few years back the cops followed a group of us onto the beach at 11am in Ipanema. They searched us and found a block of Marajauna in this gringos pocket(idiot was too mean to ditch it). They took us ALL back up to the road and made us stand near their cop car and sat this guy inside the car. The cops took the ID's of the Brasilians and made us leave in pairs to go to cash machines, hotel etc to pay a bribe of 1000R$ (at that time it was 1.7R$ to the dollar). Once the bribe was paid, they gave him his grass back!

- BOMBAR - went there last year, small and crowded, mainly drunk guys, pretty crap. Maybe you are correct about the police associations, I was outside SIX last year, a Policia Federal 4x4 came past with M4's hanging out of the windows. The cops got out like superheroes and were shaking hands with the door staff etc, maybe they were off duty cops as well?

According to expats.com.br, the police in RJ state killed around 1200 people last year!!!

J Wadd
03-16-04, 06:24
Great report, Cutting Edge. I totally agree -- never give that money away up front. It's your only leverage. Show it, put it to the side -- and if that's not enough then, ciao babe!

The cops killed 1200 last year? Fuck!


Rabo Verde
03-16-04, 08:17
I bought a PAC-SAFE travel-safe last year and really love it. I put all my valuables in it and lock it through a chair. It won't stop a determined thief with tools, but stops the casual grab and run. It is lined with chicken wire so it cannot be opened with a knife. Also works great at the beach, I lock it to a beach chair or palm tree while I go swimming. I highly recommend it.


Also available though

Cutting Edge
03-16-04, 20:57
JWadd, a quote from expats

"The new security program launched in November of last year by Secretary of Public Safety Anthony Garotinho has led to the deaths of 61 people so far. The number strengthens the arguments of those who speak out against police violence in the State, claiming that each year, the police in Rio kill an increasing number of people. In 2003, 1,195 cases were registered. In 1999, they were only 289."

I guess it must be higher as many bodies must just get dumped or buried in the Zona Norte.

J Wadd
03-17-04, 02:49
Thanks for the quote. If I lived down there (and perhaps I should be more accurate and say - - in all humilty -- WHEN I live down there), I go back and forth as to whether or not I should buy a small pistol and carry it around with me (knowing aforehand those few social-venue places that have metal detectors (e.g. Help)). Dunno. Probably a much worse idea than it might sound. Probably the dumbest long-term decision I could make. But I still go back and forth.

I just know how easy it is to use it and get away with it down there. Most of the places I've been strong-armed are dark, desolate and quiet. Do it, wipe down and leave the gun, and walk away. But most muggers aren't after your life. Just hand over the valuables and live, right? It's those kidnappers that spook me the most.

I guess I have such a deep mistrust of some Brasilians (over time) that I always want to be able to respond-in-kind if a "good friend" (like a Love Story bouncer, or a employee-friend from Kilt) decides to set me up with his underworld buddies. If (ahem, when) I move to Brasil, I'd probably be going to those clubs 3-5 times/week, and thus leave myself open to this very real (though remote) possibilty. Still dunno.

I'd be interested in all views/opinions on this. Brasil has a real wild-west component.


03-17-04, 12:52
This may help you to decide, If you get caught with an illegal gun in Brazil

03-17-04, 18:41
in the last stop coming to rio (s. paulo) i read on the newspaper that the day before about 10 persons died for different causes (shooted by police, a [CodeWord123] (http://isgprohibitedwords.info?CodeWord=CodeWord123), an assault to a bus)
that got me nervous
when there, as ever, i felt safe and comfortable
i think rio is a dangerous place the same as many others but for sure less than an average big american city (l.a., new york, chicago)
the main difference is that the girls in rio are thousands times better...

BM Rio
03-17-04, 23:33
The following article was published today 17 March 2004 on www.expats.com.br It shows why you should watch out for and avoid these usually middle class carioca thugs who can spoil a good evening out.

Brazilian "pit-boy" attacks Americans

The term "pit-boy" became popular during the 90's to designate members of groups of young men who would engage in fights and acts of vandalism during the late hours of the night. Alluding to dogs of the race pitbull, famous for their ferocity, these youngsters generally practice martial arts, shave their heads and like to flaunt tattoos and muscles under tight shirts. Twenty-four-year-old student Roberto Neves Grova de Souza seems to fit the profile.

Yesterday, at dawn, he and a friend, who has yet to be identified, attacked American promoters Siara Andrews and Wan Ly who are vacationing in Rio. The fight started at Boate Cozumel in Jardim Botânico and ended at Prudente de Moraes street, in Ipanema, where Roberto broke a bottle on Siara's head. According to the promoters, they were dancing when Roberto and his friend started to harass them. Roberto allegedly, then, forced Wan to kiss him.

Disturbed, the Americans decided to leave and were followed by Roberto and his friend to Prudente de Moraes, where they argued again. Although bleeding heavily from the deep cut on her head, Siara managed to write down the license plate of the car Roberto was driving. Contacted by the police, Roberto's father disapproved of his son's actions, taking him to the police station where he was charged.

Cutting Edge
03-18-04, 21:18
These pit boys are more hype than anything. Like whats been said below, these guys are middle class guys trying to be macho. Despite their love of fighting, you'd never see then venture into a favela. I suspect some are gay guys and use the macho thing as a cover(closet homosexuals). You rarely see one with a battle scar, so they can't fight that often. You also very rarely see them with chicks, usually they wander around in groups of 4 or 5(thats because they are so hard). I once saw this pit bull type guy being faced up to by two skinny favela type boys outside Club Monte Librano, this PB guy was sh*t scared and nervous as hell. In Rio, muscles mean little with so many guns about. Generally though they are not a problem, Porto Seguro was full of them during Carnaval.

Cutting Edge
03-18-04, 21:26
Jwadd, in Rio state I think there is a mandatory 2 year prison term for being caught with an illegal firearm. I think thats why people employ an armed guard. If a shooting does occur, he s the one that will shoot and he is the one that will end up having to explain it to the cops.

Most companies sell bullet proof/armoured cars in Brasil, they term them 'Blindados'. Even small things like an Audi A3 are available.

As for being set up, I think keeping a low profile helps a mile. I'm always amazed at how many guys outside the cafe at Help claim to be billionaires/government hitmen/CEO's of Fortune500 companies etc. (those are true quotes).

At the end of the day, Copacabana is the equivalent of Soho in London or the red light area in Amsterdam with all the associated hustlers. Would you want to live in such a place?

J Wadd
03-19-04, 01:46
...No, I wouldn't. Good point, too. I've been to Amsterdam about 10 times, and lived in London for a year (frequenting Soho and the red-light district in A'dam). Not places to live. Buuut, crime is so insidious in Brasil. It's often the guy you trust who's the one to pull a scam on the careful ex-pat. I guess it's jut the price of admission. Guns are a bad idea. Thanks for the god advice, guys.


J Wadd
03-21-04, 00:09
I mean good advice.

BM Rio
03-21-04, 00:33
Just saw a report on the Estado de S. Paulo’s newswire (Saturday 20 March 2004) saying that four Brazilian youths were arrested this morning after a fight on Friday night in the Baronetti club in Ipanema. A policeman from the State Police special operations unit was badly beaten by the youths when he tried to stop them repeatedly kicking their victim in the face. The policeman was even carrying two pistols but sensibly didn’t use them as the place was crowded with people.

I’ve actually met this policeman who was beaten up and he is a big guy experienced in security work which should clearly show to any doubters that these anti-social idiots know as “pit boys” can actually do some damage to you as they hunt in packs. I’m not that keen on the Barra and Ipanema clubs for many reasons but their popularity with immature kids like these is most definitely one of them. The three who were not minors (one was only 16 years old) are now due to be spending some time in the “Polinter” holding cell where hopefully some new friends from the favelas will widen their circles if not their minds!

Cutting Edge
03-21-04, 22:46
Hi BM Rio, those kids must be absolutely crazy to beat up a cop, I guess he wasn't in uniform? You can bet those four kids are going to have a hard time in the prison, thats if they all get out alive.

Of all the places in Brasil, I find the attitude in Barra to be the worst. Its the place where the wannabee yuppies live. I found Nuth to be one of the most overrated places, the chicks going in were not goodlooking and we ended up queuing for 2 hours for nothing.

BM Rio
03-22-04, 04:49
Hi Cutting Edge,

I imagine he was working as one of the security staff for the club and therefore not in uniform. It seems the fight started when they attacked a guy who got upset about one of the youths stroking his girlfriend’s hair which fits what you said about them being fighters rather than lovers. Latest published news is that they are in the cells for at least five days although this may change once their families’ lawyers have finished the weekend. Here’s a photo from O Globo showing where “pit boys” should be safely kept!

Cutting Edge
03-22-04, 20:01
Have you the link to the original story BM?

During carnaval in Porto Seguro there were lots of these guys, always in groups, they would stroke and sniff girls hair as they passed. Funnily, most despite there efforts as body building, didn't seem to get a girl at the end of the night. Walking the beaches you notice that most of those of pit bull appearance seem to collect around the gay parts of the beach. This has lead me to believe that many are actually gay boys.

Rio Bob
03-23-04, 02:04
Two fights, with a couple of hours in between them, scared the customers of the night club Baronneti, in Ipanema, this past Friday, March 19th. Barăo da Torre street, near the square Nossa Senhora da Paz, was closed and eight people were arrested. Out of the three injured, there was a civil police officer who refused to draw his gun. The first fight happened at around 2am. Two youngsters argued for an unknown reason and one of them was hit in the face with a beer bottle. The attack led to a general fight, and police were called to restore peace. Four customers and a security guard from the night-club were taken to the police station for arguing.

A couple of hours later, while police were arguing with the suspects, another fight broke out. This time, the problem started in the payment line at the exit of the club. Twenty-three-year-old Law student José Borges was celebrating a birthday with other colleagues when, supposedly, 22-year-old Francisco Eduardo Guinle Buzar touched Borge's girlfriend's hair. Borges said that he complained about it to Francisco, who then hit him in the head and started to attack him with three other men. He added that he would certainly have been beat up if it weren't for a police officer who happened to be in the club at the time.

Police officer Tulio Souza Alves da Costa, said he tried to break up the fight but ended up being attacked himself with beer bottles and ashtrays. He said he preferred not to draw his gun out and to use only physical force for fear of hurting innocent bystanders.

Published on March, 22nd.

BM Rio
03-23-04, 16:02
Cutting Edge,

You should still be able to find the original story at the following link:


Latest on this case is that the deputy secretary for public security has instructed the chief of police that any groups of youths starting fights in Rio de Janeiro’s night clubs are to charged with “forming a gang” which carries a harsher sentence.

03-31-04, 21:44
The hotel Marina Palace in Leblon was robbed yesterday, at dawn. At around 3:30am, four armed men invaded the hotel, tied up the employees, and proceeded to the rooms where they robbed a Canadian tourist. They took the weekend's cash receipts, approximately R$ 4 thousand, two computers, a telephone, and a radio transmitter. Although the band destroyed the camera security system installed in several points of the hotel, police were able to retrieve images of the assault since they are sent to an outside center where they are stored.

The cameras registered the moment when the four entered the building pretending to be guests. According to witnesses, they were young and well-dressed. At the reception desk, they asked for two rooms and checked in paying R$ 785 in cash for two nights. They went up to the 14th floor and then returned to the reception area, where they tied up the five employees, including the security man. They kept the floor manager as hostage, forcing him to open the rooms where the security equipment was kept. The other employees were placed in another room, where one of the thieves watched them during the whole robbery.

Rio Bob
04-07-04, 02:47
One day last week I was walking down Copacabana beach and saw many people standing up looking out on the water. I stopped and asked a pretty girl (of course) whats happenning? She told me that just now some guy in front of the Othon Palace went in for a swim and I guess people spotted him out their struggling as the undertoe and rip tide must have been strong that day. At this point nobody could find the body, I stayed there for a while and it turned out to be a big scene, with the firemen and life guards fishing for him and they had 2 helicopters hovering overhead to see if they can spot the body floating. I don't think they found him. I never go in past my ankles in that water as it can be very rough and strong undertoe. Especially if this guy was tired from the night before and may have been drinking 2 many caipirinihas on the beach that day. Also one time I almost got hit by a motorcycle, the buses are bad too, there are many things to watch out for in Rio besides the banditos.

04-10-04, 20:46
To all:

Two of my friends that I normally travel to Rio with were held at gunpoint by the police and robbed.

After missing their puddle jumper to Florianopolis, they got the bright idea to rent a car and drive there from Copa. Needless to say, after driving along the coast probably past Rocreio, that had to stop and get directions. They asked a cop which way they should proceed. The cop pointed them to a turn to a side street and two cops pulled out pistols and made them get out of their car.

The cops told my friend (who speaks fluent Port) to leave the car and come with them. My friend told the cops he wasn't going to leave his belongings which included a guitar and a sax and go with them.

My friend asked the cops if there could be other arangements. The cop took half their cash and let them go to the tune of 500.00USD

I suppose they got lucky.

04-13-04, 21:21
On the last day of my trip in Rio (sat10th) there was news of lots of shooting in Barra and we were warned not to venture there by Termas and Helpi girls as drug barons were fighting it out with the Police - apparantly 4 innocent people were shot in the cross fire!

We actually were in Hard Rock Cafe on fri the 9th and saw lots of Police cars and vans with machine guns near the fashion mall, but just thought it was the norm only to find out later that even the Rio locals were staying away from the area!

I am not bothered personally as I believe crime is actually worse in places like NY and London, but its just blown up more in Rio. I live in London and I never venture in to the rough area's or where I hear there is something going down on the news - same goes for Rio. You just gotta keep your eyes and ears open and you will be fine.

Isolated cases will not keep me away from the beautiful land.

04-14-04, 08:00
You kidding me? Crime is worse in NY or London? What have you been smoking? Brazil (as much as I love it) is one of the most violent countries in the world with one of the highest murder rates. It has a murder rate as high as Colombia and there isn't even a civil war!

My girlfriend's cousin is a cop in Sao Paulo. He tells me that there are between 9,000-11,000 murders in SP each year. Rio's numbers are apparently much worse. NY? Less than 600. London’s is even less than that.

Generally, if you dress down, act cool and casual, avoid the favelas, nothing will happen to you. This applies for Sao Paulo. Rio is more dangerous because it is not as spread out as Sampa and a much greater percentage of the population lives in the favelas, so crime will be more concentrated and you will “feel” it more.

Furthermore, the drug lords have pretty much taken over the city now and it's almost a lost cause. Lula has offered to send in the army, but it's not known if the Rio State governor will accept this request.

Have you heard of the recent drug wars in the Rochina and Vidigal favelas? Normally, people wouldn’t care, but it’s spilled over to Leblon and Gavea, which are good neighborhoods.

Yes, I will say that crime is probably overrated in much of Brazil, so long as you use COMMON SENSE. But Rio is bad!

04-14-04, 23:37
Stud Lee,

Did you live in NY 10 years ago? Rio was probably safer then!! Or even 2/3 years ago and Sept 11th? I feel more threatened in London, what with all the bloody terrorist alerts, trust me no one feels safe getting on the tube or trains or ANY public place!

Crime is Crime and should be translated when your safety is at risk! Will you even get that in Rio - think not!! Or in UK where innocent childeren get kidnapped off the streets and killed for no reason - sicko crime for no financial gain!! Anyway, in London, people have their hands cut off for Rolex watches - just read the news!

What I am saying is yes Rio has hig crime but it is mainly drug related or due to extreme poverty and only in isolated area's. I think you will find Washington DC has one of the highest murder rates in the world, but again in area's where the average guy is not going to wonder around! I probably feel safer in a favela than in the worst part of DC!

Of-course common sense is necessary, but I don't see much difference between Rio and parts of NY, London, DC etc.

I know where I rather live!

04-15-04, 00:50

Also wanted to warn you about a scam at ATM machine in HSBC in Ipanema!

My friend and I went in - we waited in line and were chatting when the guy in front of us motioned that we go ahead of him to use the machine. My friend took his card out when we both noticed that there were now 2 slots for the machine, one being the traditional one which you put your card IN and another black looking one attached to the side where you had to slide the card DOWN! As we looked at each other another guy came from behind us and said that we need to use the slide one! We both realised the scam as we had drawn money from these machines many times so we just said nothing and walked out - as we did, we turned around and the guy who had given up his turn to us was now at the machine and obviously taking the fake card slot thingy away - he did not look happy. Hahahaha!

What must be happening is card cloning. Now am not sure if they need the pin to use the card, but just be careful guys as if it had been my 1st time in Rio, I would probably have been less wise and would have thought it was a genuine attempt to help us use the machines.

We went back the next day just to see if we were being paranoid and had had too many beers, but sure enough the extra slidder thing was not there!

04-15-04, 12:23
Stud_Lee, please don't let those numbers in Sap Paulo through you... I studied statistical analysis in college and those numbers in Sao Paulo just tell you how many people in total died and not under what circumstances they died… Most of the people being counted in those figures are drug dealers and their gang members killing themselves off in drug wars. Those numbers do not reflect the number of normal people getting killed while going about living their normal lives... also Sao Paulo has nearly 3 times as many people living there than the number of people living in NYC…

As for the crime being more localized in Rio you're probably correct but most of the people visiting Rio will never be effected by it or even see it. It's not in the tourist areas. Most of the crime is in the Favelas and in other areas the tourists never go into….

Yes, there is a war going on now in the favelas of Rochina and Vidigal... but it still has not effected too many people living in Barra and Leblon and Sao Conrado. The police are there in force to keep those 2 factions apart. Those that are effected are effected because they simply chose not to drive from one area to the other.

04-15-04, 19:03
Nodd_N: Metro Sao Paulo has 18 million people; metro NYC has 22 million. And the statistics show the number of MURDERS that happened there. So yes, it’s pretty apparent how they died; they were killed by someone else! But even if Sao Paulo was three times the size of NYC (and it isn’t, it’s a little bit smaller), the murder rate would still be a lot higher! And Rio is a much smaller city than both Sao Paulo and New York, yet it has even more murders than both cities.

Also, the gang wars have somewhat spilled into Leblon. I hear that they are thinking of moving the American school because they feel it’s been affected by the violence. Of course, Barra will not be affected because it’s cut off from the rest of the city by a mountain. Honestly, though, I think Barra would be a fantastic place to live.

Rezza: New York was a disaster 10 years ago, but we’re not talking about 10 years ago, we’re talking about NOW. There is a huge difference. And now, New York and London are two of the safest large cities in the world and Rio is definitely not!

I have nothing against Brazil. I go down to Sao Paulo a lot to see my girlfriend and her family. Hell, I am even going to move down there at the end of the summer to get married and live with my girlfriend’s family. I love Brazil, including Sao Paulo. But the reality speaks for itself: Brazil is a very dangerous country and nothing anyone can say will deny the facts. Thousands of people are murdered every year in Rio and Sao Paulo. Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Yes, much of the crime there is drug related, BUT innocent people do get affected. Lots of people are mugged and express kidnappings have become the rage. Most murders in the US are also drug related and the rates are still lower!

As far as comparing the favelas to the slums, have you ever been inside of a favela, Rezza? And I’m not talking about the Rochina tours. I have not been inside a favela, but everyone eventually drives through them and I’ve never seen conditions as bad as those in the US. I live in New York City and I used to work in the South Bronx (which is a bad area) and I’ve never seen anything that bad over here! You really think you’ll feel safe in a favela? Why not go ahead and try it out yourself?

I am not saying not to go to Brazil. I would be a hypocrite to say that since I’m moving there. But do be aware of your surroundings and don’t forget that it is a dangerous place. I think Sao Paulo’s crime is overrated, but you should try to dress down as much as possible. And because Sao Paulo is more spread out, it isn’t as dangerous as Rio. I think if you use common sense there, you’ll be fine. Then again, there’s a reason why Sao Paulo has the most choppers in the world -- the rich are too scared to walk the street so the use choppers to get around the city. I do think, however, that Rio is dangerous, mostly because it’s not as spread out so you will “feel” the crime more.

04-17-04, 02:18
I hear you Rasta Man!

I won't bother to respond any further. Its all relative!

And he says I smoke! I don't think I am the paranoid one!

If it happens, it could happen anywhere in the world!

04-18-04, 14:28
Studd_Lee, I agree with almost everything you said....

I love living here in Rio. I have not been to Sao Paulo so I can not speak about it first handed.

However, I wonder where you get your numbers from?
NYC has a population of about 8 million people. I am not sure what you mean by Metro NYC but if you are counting the population of Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York and the population of New Jersey’s Bergen and Hudson Counties you should also have to include the murder rates of those Counties also....
However I doubt if you added the total population of all 6 extra Counties you would get a population of 14 million people... Actually according to the Census numbers for these 6 counties the total population is only 5.7 million people. Bringing the total to about 13.7 million not 22 million....

That being said, I will agree with you before you even state the if you added in all the murders in that total area it would still fall far short of the reported numbers in Sao Paulo and Rio.........

I will also say that the murder rates reported have actually nothing to do with the amount of danger you are in simply by living in Sao Paulo or Rio. The numbers quoted are simply not accurate. You, as a resident or tourist are never likely to wander into a favela by accident........

Travel Addict
04-20-04, 16:24
As of this week, we entered Brazil at Rio ariport without fingerprinting or photos, they just stamped our passports and waved us through.

RCA Knight
04-23-04, 23:15
SP is dangerous city but if act rationally nobody will get shot. My uncle and cousins have been living in SP for over 30 years. In the 70s, the crime rate was not too bad. Just theives, pick pockets mostly. Crime got worse with the worsening of economy. The 80s and 90s the crime rate skyrocketed. In the 90s, my uncle was car jacked 2 times. One time in front of his house as he opened his gate with remote and waiting for the gate to open. 2 young thugs pointed a gun at him told him to get out. He followed and gave them the car. He asked these guys to kindly return other keys and they did. These thugs said to my uncle" have a nice day "and sped off. 2nd time it happened at a parking lot of a restaurant. Again 2 young thugs came and pretend to ask him direction then pull out a pistol then demand the car. My uncle said no problem and told these 2 thugs that the gas is really low and he said he would give them 40 reais for gas. These 2 thugs became very friendly and started to joke around with my uncle. They then told my uncle after they use the car for something they will call him to pick up the car somewhere. After 4 days these thugs called and told my uncle to pick up the car in some gas station in Tatuape. But of course he reported to the police in case they use the car for illegal business. My cousin was also car jacked once and rubbed 2 times in the past. Some guy car jacked him at a red light in Pinheiros at gun point. Also he was rubbed with his wife when they went to Embu for weekend market. Lost all money and documents. Also one time a man went into his office and rubbed him and his employees with shot gun. The guy also took notebook computer and digital camera from the office. Now his office installed surveilance camera and a security guard in the office parking. My aunt and my cousin's wife were also have been rubbed a few times. But just act cool like my uncle and these thugs will not hurt you.

I am lucky after so many times in and out of Brasil, still nothing happened to me. The southern states are much safer. But the crime rate has increased as well in Floripa, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre as well.There are gun robberies and car jacking too now as few years ago these things are unheard of in these southern cities. But the south is still much safer compared to SP,RJ, or the north.

04-29-04, 15:36
I was attacked on Avenida Atlantica by a group of from seven to nine guys who I had seen before during carnival. On Easter night around 3:00 am I was walking with a girl from Balcony towards Mabs. I noticed them waliking fast towards me each one looking directly at me. One was calling to me. They were coming from the street and I was leaving the maze of street stands that were being broken down. I was near the buildings.

I broke into a run with all of them chasing after me. One finally tripped me soccer style in front of the Chinese restaurant. We both got up to see that his friends were long gone headed back towards Balcony. He took off too.

I didn't loose anything but I did skin my knees and one elbow. The girl caught up with me on Prado Junior. The guys didn't bother her.

These guys are not street kids. They are older and better dressed. Last Saturday the police had them up against the Praca do Lido fence searching for weapons.

04-29-04, 23:08
To Sunset,

Can you describe this bunch? I know alot of the locals that hang around Mabs and I also know one character in particular that started changing his attitude towards Americans for the worse last time I was there. The economy looks like it isn't doing so well or at least it was that way in October last year. From various reports, I have decided to stay home this year until, possibly, after the election here in the US. I want to see what effect this will have in the future of visiting Brazil.

Over the last year, I have sensed some tension around Copa. I wish the opposite. But as much information as possible is needed.

Rio Bob
04-30-04, 01:44

I had a similar situation happen to me in 2001 close to where you explain but furthur down near the Excelsior hotel. It was midnight and I was walking down Ave Atlantica towards Help. I walked into a dark area with trees, 2 guys come out from the trees and they are well dressed and late twenties. One guy says to me in English, Hey you, do you see my friend, I said yes. He said, that he has a knife and they want my money. I looked over and I said your right he does have a knife and I said take it easy, there should be no problem and no need to use it.

Then something happened to me, I snapped and I told them that if they want my F----n money then they would have to come over here and take it from me. I said this with a very loud voice and with a crazy look in my face.

I think they got startled and they paused. Then a group of people were approaching us and I sort of got lost with them and hailed a taxi to the cafe outside Help, sat down and had a few beers till I stopped shaking. Then I went into Help and you know the rest of the story.

But this taught me a big lesson which is that I do not walk down many blocks alone at night anymore like that.

Bango Cheito
04-30-04, 08:46
When they tabulate the population of a city, they usually include all surrounding areas from which people regularly go to said city. In NYC this includes Paterson and Newark, generally everything one county over. This number is now around 22 million as of 2003.
In LA its close to 15 million. SP is around 17 million and Rio is around 14 million.
8 million people in NYC is just the five boroughs, basically where the subway goes, plus Staten Island.

Of course, crime statistics are done within city limits, regardless of how sprawled out a city is and where people actually conglomerate. That's why many people end up comparing apples and oranges when talking about crime.

Rio Bob, sounds like you did the right thing. I've never had a problem being aggressive in any place where I've been. I think you have a much better chance of escaping unharmed and un-robbed that way. If you cave in to a mugger, you give him/her no reason not to slit your throat for fun if that's what their whim is.

Of course being able to back it up with ability to physically confront someone doesn't hurt either!

05-15-04, 20:04
Back in March, two of my friends went to Rio. I told you all about one other story involving these two. One of these two guys is totally insane. The other was a newbie to Rio.

Through a few people and them I was told that friend "A" (we'll vall him Bill for now" was in the Professor Bar with friend "B" (we'll call him Bruce) having beers or whatever. One of the regular hookers (ugly as hell and lives in the hill" puts a packet of coke in Bill's shirt pocket. Bill at first thinks this is his "order" because he regularly buys coke while in Copa and Leme. As it turns out, the garota put this packet in his pocket because the police were looking for her to bust her. What became of the coke is unclear.

A moment later the police pick up this girl anyway. Another moment later another garaota comes running in the bar after Bill yelling "you got my friend busted!". A fight ensues and Bill punches her to the ground and she comes back after a few stars and birds circling her head rams a bar stool over Bill's head.

Bruce is watching in amazement. Enter a boyfriend (name unknown) attacks Bruce instead of Bill. The police arrive. Bill is long gone. Bruce not far behind.

The following day, the girl that got beat up by Bill is tracking Bruce on Avenida Atlantica and holding a cell phone talking to someone. Bruce turns down Prado Junior and wham! Gets jumped by two Brazilians. Bruce is in good shape and a big guy. Not much damage. A few bruises and a cut eye brow.

They lay low and the next day head out of town to Sau Paulo and then Florip.

Bill calls me up about every weekend with a new recollection of the story. My other friends warn me that I am associated with Bill and should stay away from Copa for a time. Every trip I've been on with Bill has always ended with a brawl and police. It used to be quiet and relaxing. I never really tell this guy whenever I go these days. I am staying out of Rio for a while and I am going to Fortaleza my next trip anyway.

Not to mention this other local creton (Alex) who is a coke delivery boy trying his hand at extortion. I don't do coke and I smoke a little, but not in Rio. Or at least not anytime soon.

I remember afternoons at Mabs ordering choppes and talking to the German regulars that I recognise. I am aware that there is a drug trafficking trade in Rio and one could easily rub elbows with someone in that business. But, no one asks and no one tells. I don't get involved on that level. I go for a vacation.

But its starting to hit home.

I like the girls as much as the next guy and I will go to a Terma or two. No harm there. But the drama has got to end...

Anyone got any similar stories?

05-17-04, 19:29
Hi guys,
I was wondering if the Brazillian customs still give Americans a hard time with their backlash against our policy of fingerprinting and identification. I know during Carnival when I went with my ex-girlfriend, they kept us their for 9 hours in customs. Did you guys have any more problems with that?

Also, I notice that a lot of the shady looking characters along Copocabana look the other way from me when I approach perhaps because I am Asian or they think I know kung-fu or something and think I can kick their ass. My former girlfriend felt really safe around me even when we saw a Caucasian guy go to the police with a swollen eye report a robbery. Perhaps Brazillian target the Caucasian Americans who walk their beaches alone at night and fear the Asian guy.

05-17-04, 22:12
According to the local papers, the federal police just recently ended their strike. The federal police handle immigration and for the last few months occasionally would go on strike causing havoc at any given moment. For instance, when I last came through they were holding brazilians and foreigners in the same line and every 30mins would let a batch of brazilians through. All the US people were eventually rounded up for photographying and finger priniting. Took about 3 hours to clear immigration.

So with the end of the strike, the consistency of immigration procedures should improve but I haven't heard anything regarding the dropping of the photographing and finger printing of American citizens. Given the dominance of the issue of reciprocity to RICH Brazilians I doubt it will get dropped even though it was a waste of money (statistics show that per capita Americans commit less crimes than other foreigners in Brazil) and probably harms tourism.

05-18-04, 12:45
From what our clients have been telling us, Rio is not taking fingerprints and photos any longer. Sao Paulo was... as of last week..

05-19-04, 00:16
>> perhaps because I am Asian or they think I know kung-fu

I've seen this come up many times on this board, and it seems like such a silly assertion, that Brazilians automatically fear all Asians because they assume all Asians know martial arts. Guess what? Many Brazilians learn jiu-jitsu and could tie your average Tae Kwon Do black-belt up like a pretzel.

It's just too inane, I must really be bored today to comment on this...

...let the flaming begin.

05-19-04, 01:49
The asian thing/Bruce Lee syndrome or whatever doesn't apply here. We have to have reports that can help anyone traveling to Brasil. We need facts and we need to here all feed back.

Personally, I think we need alliances so we can protect each other from anything that MIGHT happen. So far, everything everone has to say has been mild in contrast to other places in the world.

Lets get focused and let evrything come out on this forum. This is a great place to exploit our fears and concerns. The more info the better.

Damn, I wish I were in Rio right now! I love the place. I am busy with work and I can't break free. Besides, June July and August rains too much anyway. But, you know what? I'd go anytime if time permitted.

05-19-04, 14:57
If you fear Rio's crime then instead of walking, take cabs from one place to another. Learn at least the basic phrase "Eu quero ir a......" which means I want to go to ......." or just "eu vai a ...." meaning "I go to...". I feel safe walking around Rio and the beach because I stay out of trouble and I learned to fight. Not every brazillian can afford to tie someone up like a pretzel HeadGames and I can also be a grapple fighter as well because there are some grappling moves in kung-fu also. Remeber that most Brazillian thugs are poor and can't afford to take lessons. I personally have not had trouble in Rio and I write from my own experience. If you find someone following you and you can't fight, duck into a shop and call the cops.

05-19-04, 15:52

I am totally with you on the take cabs instead of walking. I certainly don't fear walking along the walks on the beach or across the street on Avenida Atlantica. But there are times one should take a cab to Help or whatever. Especially at night.

If I have to change money, I most likely would take cabs to and from.

I also used to walk around Rio Centro and a place called Taquara when I had a girlfriend there.

If someone is watching me too close, I tend to keep moving anyway. I say hello to any cops I see. Some of them recognise me from time to time. That accounts for the fact that most Brazilians are friendly anyway.

Sal Dali
05-20-04, 04:56
"If you fear Rio's crime then instead of walking, take cabs from one place to another. Learn at least the basic phrase "Eu quero ir a......" which means I want to go to ......." or just "eu vai a ...." meaning "I go to...".


I think "eu vou" (I go) is a better fit. Gostaria de ir (I would like to go) is even better.


05-20-04, 12:51
That's the beauty of the Portugese people. Even if my Portugese is not gramatically correct, they still understand me. Thanks for the correction on my Portugese grammar Sal.


06-03-04, 00:10
I have posted this in another section, but thought it appropiate to stick it here as all of my mongering is now conducted in Brazil.

I never thought my poss. biggest contribution would come in this section!

I have been to Brazil 5 times since my friend had a wedding there 2 years ago. Obviously, I fell in Love with way of life and everything, but most of all the wonderful selection of hotties. Anyway, my 1st time there, I really got carried away, we went to porto seguro as well and there were many girls available and one night I picked one up from a club, no money ever discussed, we went to the beach and had sex,……..with out condom! She was a beautiful college student of 20, I was drunk, had no condoms in some tiny village at 5.00am, the odds were stacked against me and my little head gave in! This was unusual for me as I always have protected sex with one nighters or casual lovers. So, my behaviour was playing a little in my mind, but this quickly went after the next trip. I managed to stay safe again in Brazil until last October where I ended up with a GFE for 6 days (3 days unprotected!) – she was what I call a semi gdp who I met with her friends on the beach in ipanema and took out to Melt that night, an 8 easy, tough to resist – have had gfe’s before but not unprotected, this girl was hot and was crazy for me to come insider her (I took her to pharmacy for pills next day before you ask!) Anyway, she had a rich boyfriend who was sending her money every month so did not do helpi or agency – I only paid her 1st 2 nights and then bought her a few gifts. As she put it, she did not need any money and had sex if she was herself hungry for it with someone she was attracted to - boyfriend only there 6 months a year to have sex with her and this was not good enough – this is probably a separate lesson for some of us guys! Anyway, she was having an operation to enlarge her beautiful breasts which this guy was paying for! Sorry, what I am trying to say and my point is she was all checked out before her operation which was in a week – I went to the doctor with her myself as she was a bit nervous before her operation – this girl was surely clean! Still in touch with this girl.

Now, back to the UK and it still played with me that I had unprotected sex with 2 girls even though risk was low and recent porn star guy new catching it did not help – my main worry, the one nighter as I had lots of protected sex in Rio before and my dick was a bit battered and bruised from condom sex - was also receiving messages through things (call it paranoia for now) that I should have an HIV test to overcome any doubts.

So finally last week (after deciding I went to go to Rio again soon), I booked an appointment at the local health centre to have a needle prick test as I didn’t want to wait 2-3 days for lab tests - was confident to be negative of-course. Went in on the day and was called, the test took like 5mins, but the whole process including the wait felt like 5hrs. Anyway, came back 20mins later for the result and she calls me in the room again which I thought unusual. Then she says she needs to do the test again as this one came up with a very faint line! I said, well what does this mean? She said that she has not seen one and she needs to do the test again and also take my blood through needle to send to lab just in case the next finger prick one comes out the same. So I again come back in 20 mins and this time the counsellor wants to see me!!!!!!!!!!! I SHAT MYSELF AT THIS POINT! I have survived a very bad car accident 2.5 years ago and a high fever bug I picked up in Malaysia 6 years ago. Anyway, this was a worse feeling even though no physical pain - I went totally empty – had my mongering finally caught up with me? Was it my one night stand in porto seguro or gfe last October! Anyway, he sat me down and said they could not get a result again and he could not tell me about the faint line! I asked him is it supposed to be clear totally if negative and he says YES from his experience, but also that when positive, there is clear red marks. He says we will know for sure when blood tests come back from lab in 2 days! YIKES!!

I went home and looked at this site and others for some info – I was very nervous and decided to call up further health centres to see if they had any experience of this faint red line. Got hold of this lady at a biggest health centre for HIV tests and I was relieved to hear her say they had 1 incident like the faint line and the guy was negative,..pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!She said the senior advisor would call me though. Felt a bit better although still in shock about the whole thing. Now the senior women rings me 3hrs later and says IF THERE IS ANY LINE THEN YOUR POSITIVE!! BOMB, again! I went null. I swear guys, like I said I have faced really bad pain and nearly died before, but this was different, HIV+, what would my family go through knowing am going to die from sex disease– this was my main concern. The senior ***** (explain later!) said she was there for counselling and I could call her or the other guy – I said, how is it possible, only 2 unprotected encounters with girl none anal, am not gay, no drug abuse, chances must have been so low, no symptoms either (although this may not be a determinant) – she said, did you have unprotected sex with a girl in Brazil and I said yes – she said well that’s how you have it! What could I say, she was right! She said there is an almost 2% chance I am negative, but we will know 100% in 2 days!

Anyway, tried to be positive the next day but it was hard – managed to do some more research and it was not all good, what with most sources citing 99% accuracy on finger prick tests.

I called the “result line” in 2 days – I did not want to wake up that morning and called more nearer afternoon! It was the same senior ***** lady who said, why did you not call us sooner, your councillor needs to speak to you. Didnt say anything else. I was sure I had it now as why would I need to speak to the councillor if I have called the result line for my results. Finally speak to the councillor who tells me that I am NEGATIVE! Oh man, what a roller coaster ride! I felt relief, but still empty. I suspect I was told positive as they could not risk me having sex with anyone whilst waiting for lab tests! Slightly harsh don't you think?

Anyway, he said he needs to still see me as he wants to make sure I am ok mentally after the experience. Well, I am ok, but it was another big eye opener in my life. That’s 3 lives used already. Went in and he said I must have a guardian angel looking after me cause the prick tests (how appropiatly named!) are very accurate. Anyway, they used 2 methods, one Elisa and another which totally proved I was negative. He said the prick result was probably due to massive blood transfusion I had 2 years ago after my car accident – even if blood given to me is negative, it can mess with the finger prick result. Hello!! I gave you this information before i had the test! Obviously now I would recommend anyone just go for the proper lab test results! I told him that people with so called faint lines should not be diagnosed as HIV+ like the ***** told me over the phone. He said they are still learning and this experience would help them and not many cases like me so this helped chill me out that I knew this experience could help others.This post as well guys, take it as you will and am not here to spoil anyones fun. I am certainly not going to stop my mongering but I will never put myself in that situation of unprotected sex again – am even going to give up BBBJ (and poss DATY - this is tough!) – covered sex from now for me unless I know girl is tested or know history. You might think this is extreme or sensible or whatever,…unless you go through 2 days thinking you have got HIV then you will never be able to feel how I feel about it. Durex Performa will be the tool of my trade from now ;)

It’s a really nasty disease and I hope the brilliant scientists and doctors find a cure for it – it’s a harsh price to pay cause even going BB, we as men and women are only doing what is human nature, but it sure is a deadly game to play so stay safe guys!

On a brighter note, I am going back to Rio for lots of PROTECTED sex in Sept :)

06-03-04, 01:11
Hey guys, I have been reading all of your exciting stories here. I am seriously thinking about going to Brazil real soon. Not only for the women, but also for the culture. Just to see something new and different. I been to the Phillippines enough. What is the usual rate for a hotel room and the best season to go. Also how would they treat black americans down there. Also, maybe if someone would like to show a new guy around when I do visit, that would be great.

Thanks in advance.

Dark Knight
06-07-04, 14:55

Thank you for your candor and honesty. Very sorry to hear about your nerve-wracking experiences.

Quite frankly, I can't understand why anyone would ever DATY with a GDP (or even a " nice girl", semi-pro) in a foreign country. Some guys also do that with escorts and street hookers. I've read the postings on here in disbelief. These girls are having sex with hundreds of guys a year.

In some instances, a girl will have a date, do a quick clean-up (or not), and go back to the bar or restaurant where she picks up her dates. I've seen this happen at Pataca and Balcony. And, obviously, it is the standard modus operandi at the termas.

Why someone would put their tongue on that coochie will forever remain a mystery to me. Even if the risk of HIV is fairly low in oral sex, the Herpes risk remains substantial.

I love to give a woman oral - but I restrict that activity to my girlfriend at home. Some pleasures are NOT worth the risk.


Rio Bob
06-09-04, 00:35
Darkseid said:

"That's the beauty of the Portugese people. Even if my Portugese is not gramatically correct, they still understand me. Thanks for the correction on my Portugese grammar Sal.


Mr. Darkseid, I think your in the wrong room this is the Brazil room not the Portugal room. Im sure it is an easy mistake as the language is the same. I will have to go and check the United States room now to see if there are any people in there mistaking it for England.


Late Night
06-09-04, 01:26

Your post makes sense. Let me ask a great question regarding bare bobos (bbbj). Is that as high risk as DATY??

A BJ with a coat is almost wothless/meaningless:(, and you mights as well just go straight for the covered fuck.


Rabo Verde
06-09-04, 01:30
Phew! Nice to hear your happy ending Rezza.
There is NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING that is worth having unprotected sex in Rio or elsewhere these days.

06-09-04, 20:33
Hey guys,

I remember a poster in another section said it best IMHO. He said, condoms take away about 25% pleasure of sex experience so he just makes sure he has at least twice as much sex to make up for it :)

06-20-04, 18:29
I´ve been here for about four days now. I was here once for a week last August.

It seems like they have more police presence on Ave. Atlantica. I´m staying a half block from Help. On Thursday and Friday I left my apartment about 10:30 AM or so. In the open area next to Meia Pataca there were about 12 police officers standing around. I noticed groups of two, three or four walking or standing as I walked the sidewalk through the days. It just feels like a higher number and presence than I remember last year. I haven´t felt unsafe at any time.

One minor thing to mention. The "sh.. on your shoe" shine guy got me yesterday - and I was wearing Tevas! I noticed this shine guy right behind me about a minute after I left the apartment. I looked back at him as he was really close - he quickly backed off. About three minutes later - "Sir... Sir..." and he´s pointing at some brown stuff that just mysteriously appeared on the strap of one of my sandals. I was immediately pissed and said "bullshit". The guy took off in a hurry - I didn´t turn out to be the dumb, dork tourist who would say "Oh yeah, wipe it off" and then have him tell me I owe him R50.

I got the crap on the shoe trick about six years ago in New Delhi, India. Some scams have an international flavor.

06-30-04, 22:05
I got the shoe scam last year as well, right on a pair of sandles! Tried to warn some new comer about it, but he waved me off and said he didn't mind.

I got chlamydia two years ago after not using a condom down there, and while it was short lived (1 week of anti-bx), it scared the pants off of me until I got a negative HIV test back. Since then, I have always used condoms in Rio (well, except for maybe two more times). You are risking STD's like herpes, which never goes away. Think about it, and make your decision.

Mata Gringos
07-06-04, 17:11
FROM UNAIDS "Aids Epidemic Update 2003" about Brazil:

"The situation appears different in some other cities , where HIV prevalence as high as 12% has been measured among female sex workers, pointing to the need to expand and sustain prevention efforts. It also underscore the need to bring more resources and effort to bear on the epidemics among sex workers..."

EDITOR'S SUGGESTION: This is interesting, but you might consider re-posting it under the Safe Sex topic in the Special Interests section of the Forum where it will benefit the Forum Members who are specifically looking for this type of information. [i]Thanks!

07-07-04, 03:53
A few thoughts on safety:

I have walked all over Rio during the middle of the night and was never robbed. But if you look like you are a US American, you can get into trouble. They expect you to be rich. A couple of my friends were beaten up during robbery attempts.

A few percautions to take:
1. Do not wear jewelery or fancy watches.
2. Do not bring credit cards - at most 1, if you really have to.
3. Almost all hotels have safes or at least safe boxes in your room. Use them!
4. Leave you passport in your hotel safe.
5. Take an old wallet and put about 20 dollars worth of money in there. When you get held up, this is what you want to surrender.
6. Take only as much cash as you think you will need for that one evening.

This leaves the question on where to hide the cash:
When I was new to Rio, I put it into my socks. Big mistake, that is where they will look first! One hooker, who was trying to chat me up and did not want to take no for an answer, guessed this location right away after I told her that I had no money for her.

I recommend a money belt. It looks like a normal belt, but has a zipper on the inside. You can hide a couple hundred bucks in there. Not completely safe either, of course, but better than nothing.

Also, do not assume that the police is above taking money from you. I have been robbed by police in Brazil twice.

Be safe,


Dollar Bill
07-07-04, 16:37

For those who are interested in Hang-Gliding while in Rio... Think Twice!!!

A fellow WSG poster, "El Austriaco," has been laying in bed in Rio for the last 1 1/2 weeks with a fractured pelvis. He is barely able to get up to use the bathroom. He is not able to enjoy the Garrotas. Also, he missed his 1-month tour of South America.

He will probably fill us in on all the info when he is able to get out and use a computer.

The week this happened to him, I heard that 4 other people were not so lucky and ended up dead from Hang-Gliding accidents.

Take care and be safe!


ps - "Austriaco" get well soon so you can get some photos of those beauties in Rio!!!

07-07-04, 20:59
Assessing danger is always difficult - especially in Rio. I´ve been here for three weeks now, and was here a week last year -haven´t been robbed.

I´ve had a lot of "aggressive" experiences here, never like in other third-world cities I´ve visited. Just this morning as I was walking down Copacabana Ave., two young boys swayed over to me, and one of them said something as he grabbed my forearm. I´ve been fighting a cold for many days and was walking casually and thought I was pretty much putting out a "don´t bother me" aura. My initial reaction was to pull my arm up and toward me. The kid acted like I had walked up to him, kicked him to the ground and spit on him. "F..k, f..k, f..k you" (actually, he said it probably a dozen times before saying "you", and then he repeated it. It was total rage. I looked back for a bit to make sure his friend and him wouldn´t do something. I was on my way to make some phone calls, and I mentioned it to an amiga in B.A. who is Brazilian. She said they were probably wanting to rob me. It didn´t really make sense to me, but her sister lives here and says it happens all the time. "It´s Brazil", she said, as if that´s enough of an explanation.

I thought about what she said as I recall the end of my first week here. I was at the gate of my apartment at about 5:30 one evening as I see these two young guys (maybe 12 or 13) hassling a guy in his car as he sat waiting for the light to change. One kid had his arm through the window aggresively like he wanted something. The guy in the car opened the door to get out and the other kid gives him a hard kick in the thigh while the other one then pushes the door shut with his body. The light changes and they take off running.

Last night I was walking on the beach side of Avenida Atlantica around 8:30. It´s full of Brazillians jogging and walking. I´m strolling along when I notice I´m getting the sway in front of me. The youngest guy (13) walks past staring at me while brushing against my arm. The other guy (17) is staring at me, too. I look back as I pass them and they´re staring over there shoulders at me. Strange.

Like I said, no robbery, but I´ve got many other incidents like this in the three weeks I´ve been here. I really don´t feel like I can go out for a 45 minute stroll without some sort of "aggression". Last week on the same stroll around 9:00, some middle-aged Brazilian guy mumbles "I hate Bush" as he passes me. It took me a moment for it to register. Yeah, that´s what the guy said.

I could write a lot more incidents, but I think you get the idea. It feels like I have to expect "something" whenever I go out walking. It feels like somethings always coming at me in Rio - and I´m not talking about all the "sellers" and such on the street.

I can´t recall anyone commenting on my type of experiences, but it would be interesting to hear from others with similar impressions or thoughts on my type of experience.

07-08-04, 00:02

Sorry to hear that your picked up bad vibes and happy to hear that nothing actually came of it.

What I think is important is experience in the Rio way of life and once you have a basic understanding then you will be just fine. Wandering around in copa for example is not something I chose to do anymore (if alone!), unless I need to drop by help or termas in a cab or car (BTW, did anyone know they have a car valet service!), the scene is not very nice at times and you will get looked at, I mean we are different people and so it catches the eye. Why go there if you know there is these type of people there (even thoguh most mean no harm and probably having a small bash at gringo) I believe if you blend in, and this comes from repeat experience then you will have no problem. Don't only stick to Copa.

If you like Rio with less hassle then stay in Ipanema or Leblon and go to the beach there, so safe, never felt any bad feeling or danger , just very pleasent people, even the beach vendors are cool and you won't feel any of the Copa vibe. I love watching the mothers and daughters walking down the street, beautiful, both of them, if its safe for them, its safe for me :)

07-08-04, 20:19

I find similar experiences in Brasil. Rastaman, Brasil is Brasil and has nothing to do with GW Bush. We need someone in the white house who is not afraid to kill terrorists, I don't know where you live, but we had our buildings knocked down because of years of ignoring terrorists by Clinton.

Anyway, Jak. I too have never been robbed, but there is always a small feeling of danger under the surface of everything in Brasil. I feel safest on Av. Atlantica. When I stroll on N.S. Copacabana, I often feel like I am being watched. It seems that you need to be fully aware at all times, and I don't know why I have never been robbed, is it my awareness or is it just luck. I have not found Brasilian men to be very welcoming to me in Copacabana, but I guess that's the way it is.
I too have seen things in Brasil that boggle the mind, and I have been told the same thing you have, "It's Brasil." This excuse seems to hold water, and I oftern use it when explaining things to newcomers. I am pleased that I have not heard horrible stories from this section of the forum, and must admit that the underlying presence of danger makes my blood just a little hotter.

Be safe, be aware, and enjoy.

07-10-04, 00:44
Guys - thanks for your thoughts.

I went for a long walk today (it was cloudy and drizzling rain today). I walked the length of the Ipanema Beach down to Posto 12 in Leblon - then I walked up one of the commercial streets back to Copacabana. It was my first time doing this and it was not the best day to get the real feel - but Rezza, I definitely understand the attraction of staying in the Leblon/Ipanema area. Since I really love the terma concept here, I don´t think I´ll be missing much not staying in Copacabana on my next trip. The daily quality of life would be more enjoyable for me, and I can walk or catch a taxi for a trip to Copacabana when I want.

Josh69, I don´t know how much "It´s Brazil" plays all over Brazil, or is it mainly a Copacabana phenomenon? When my Brazillian amiga says it, she knows something about the culture in general (even though she´s never been to Rio herself - from Florianopolis and some other cities in the South). I´ve only been to Rio so far, so I have a lot to learn.

One of the interesting things I´ve learned in the last week is how much energy the Copacabana area demands of a Gringo on his own. I mentioned a bad cold I´ve been fighting this week (the worst one I´ve ever had - I´ll spare you the details). Going out during these days to get a little excercise and do some errands felt grueling when I had to wade through the "sellers", "the paper-hander-outers" on Copacabana Ave., the restaurant come-ons - not to mention some of the "aggressive" stuff that popped in on me. I was mainly motivated to write my post two days ago because I was feeling so aggravated after five days of operating in this condition. If you really want to "feel" Copacabana - well, I don´t wish anyone to get sick.

I know Copacabana is the main hub in Brazil for tourists, but I still stand by what I said about it feeling much more aggresive than any of the other tourist hub areas I´ve been to in the world.

07-12-04, 13:50
Spent 10 days in Rio recently. Stayed at Copacabana. Not a single negative incident, but many, many positive ones. I do keep an awareness when out and about, and preferred to walk on other streets besides Atlantic. A few street kids approached me, but mostly looking for a handout, I just kept on walking with a purposeful gait. Rode taxis at night. The worst incident was that a tatoo man at the beach painted a henna tatoo on my foot without my permission. He extorted a donation, so he got 3 reales (nice tatoo actually). Also was extorted by the beach musician gang (surrounded me and played a song) and had to cough up a couple of reales. Other than that, no problems. I think the hype about the ¨dangers¨of Rio is really a right wing, religious-government conspiracy to get us to avoid going there and discovering what truly hot women are like.

07-12-04, 14:25
One thing about Rio, is that you will know you are in a bad area when you are able to smell it.

07-12-04, 20:00
I just had a few drinks with an American guy I met at the terma last night and one of his Brazillian friends that works in Ipanema and is a native of Rio - speaks good English, lived in New Mexico for awhile.

One of the subjects that came up was the old "how dangerous is Rio really". This guy had no mixed feelings about it being a dangerous place (especially Copacabana). He was a guy that seemed to be in his mid-twenties. He said he used to get robbed a lot when he was younger because he was skinny and looked vulnerable. He says he´s on guard all the time and if he suspects he´s being trailed he´ll step into a store or do some other evasive move. It´s in the back of his mind all the time. Since he now works in a gym and is bigger, along with being more aware as the years go by, he hasn´t had problems in recent years.

I´ve spoken with other natives that downplay the danger level here - they don´t sound anything like this guy. It seems like the mixed assessments are the same as "outsiders" (us guys) give the place.

I think the danger and safety issue will never find an equilibrium here. It´s kind of like the large city in the U.S. whose suburbs I live in - I have met people that are scared to go downtown for fear of the crime - or they are very cautious and will only go certain places at certain times in certain ways.

07-13-04, 01:05

Not sure what your issue is - the title of this area on the forum is "Rio de Janeiro - Crime and Safety". If it´s of no concern, or it´s not an area you are curious about, or you´re too big of a man ... - I´m not sure why you´re here.

Charm City Dave
07-13-04, 19:41
There is nothing to be gained by downplaying the real risks in Rio (unless one makes their money off the tourist trade). People come here to decide should they go. And it is up to us to provide an accurate picture. Yes the women are great. Do you want to take the risk in going. That is up to you? I cannot say it is not worth the risk for you. On the rare occasion I have to go to Sao Paulo on business, I might go to Rio to see a friend. However I will stay far from Copacabana or any other tourist place.

I used to go to Rio for fun 4 or 5 times a year. Over the last few years as the economic situation has gotten worse the crime situation in Rio FOR TOURISTs has most certainly gotten worse. Will the average guy going to Rio get through the week without injury? Of course. But it is simply a much more dangerous place then most western cities. I live in NY (for 43 years). I have never seen a gun used in a violent crime (but of course it happens). However twice in Rio I have. Once I was robbed at gunpoint. That was at 10:00PM on a well-traveled street in a good part of Copacabana (1/2 block from the Atlantico hotel). Once sitting in front of help a police car chasing a robber was throwing shots down Atlantico. I narrowly missed an armed robbery at Citibank where an American was hit in the crossfire. Then again there are the police that have themselves robbed tourists. I have never heard of that in NY.

I is laughable that poster here will compare Rio to NY (or other western cities). In NY one does not find luxury apartment buildings that have one side of the building ‘on sale’ because it faces a direction that makes it more likely to get stray gunfire. In NY gangs do not rob whole apartment buildings. In NY, gangs do not rob whole luxury hotels. Grenades are not thrown in front of shopping malls. In NY buses are not robbed. In NY police stations are not raided for arms. In NY cab drivers picking up fares at the airport do not rob and murder foreigners coming into town. And the highway from JFK to midtown has never been closed do to stray gunfire. All this happens in Rio. I’d walk down Broadway at any hour of the night, as would most New Yorkers. Walk down Copacabana or Atlantico at 2AM, and in my opinion you are crazy.

Perhaps there are a few cities in the states that have a few areas that come close to Rio for danger. Detroit comes to mind. But no one goes to those areas on vacation. And, I would never want to vacation there no matter what kinda women they had. I’m not trying to talk anyone out of going. I HAVE to go to Sao Paulo for business and may got spend two nights with a friend who has an apartment well away from the action. Be careful and most likely nothing will happen to you. But I won’t stand by while people say it is not different then most other western cities.

07-14-04, 06:58

Exactly what evidence do you have that all of the things you depict in the third paragraph of your post have occurred? These sound like urban legends to me. I simply don't believe them. You seem to believe a lot of horseshit that somebody or other is passing on to you.

I have been to Rio 9 times for stays of one to two weeks. Once I was knocked down in Copacabana in midday--punched in the back from behind--by a couple of guys (I have no doubt it was them) who then wanted to "help me up" while they went through my pockets, so I don't deny that there are risks, having been the victim of a minor crime myself. But the truth is that I brought this on myself by counting my change (folding money) in public, which of course attracted thieves. A friend of mine was knocked down on Copacabana Beach near the Meridien at 8am on a Sunday morning because he was carrying a tote bag over his shoulder and there was hardly anyone around at that hour. So yes, there are risks, and it would be foolish to deny it. But...I have never heard gunfire in Copacabana. The only time I have ever heard gunfire in Rio was when I stayed at the Sheraton, and this is because it was so close to the Rocinho favela. I went to sleep ever night (my sliding doors were left open) to the sound of the bursts of machine gun fire. But, I will hastily add, the violence was confined to the favela, to the misfortune of the poor souls who live there.

The risk of violence to tourists in Rio in recent years has gotten better, not worse. In the mid to late 90s, until around 1998, Rio really was a dangerous place. Now the tourist police are out in full force. You may scoff, but they do make a difference, and the bad guys know they're there. So exactly where is this "luxury apartment building" that has a whole side in danger of getting stray gunfire? Exactly where has a "whole apartment building" been robbed by a gang. And exactly why would one be "crazy" to walk down Av. Atlantica at 2am? I've done it many times, totally without incident, so I guess I'm one of the crazy ones.

Being safe in Rio involves using a bit of common sense. If you do just a few commonsense things, you'll gratly reduce the risk of anything happening. This has been dealt with extensively elsewhere, but just to recap: avoid small, dark, and/or poorly lit streets (just as you would in NY or LA); don't wear expensive watches or jewelry; don't go to deserted streets alone if you can avoid it; use a plastic grocery bag as a tote bag; and don't resist if anything happens. I think you are doing a disservice to users of this site by posting this unverifiable stuff, because it may scare people out of coming. After all, the more tourists who come to Rio, the safer it will be.


07-14-04, 21:37

I do not like what Moreyadas is posting and since he is no longer going to Rio for vacation, I wonder why he would continue to post here. However, I did read an article about people who robbed the whole apartment building from the now defunct site expats.com.br While crime is more rampant in Rio, shit happens to everyone, everywhere. Is it a little risky in Rio? Yeah, sure. But where the hell are you going to find these gorgeous women? I'm taking the risk, and will continue to. Good luck everyone and stay safe.

Charm City Dave
07-14-04, 22:22

Each of the items I listed where reported in reputable media. If I have some time I will look up a few of the URLs. One I could find quickly was this.


Here is a bit of it. 'This morning, Rio appeared to be under siege. A grenade and homemade bombs were thrown in Ipanema and in front of a supermarket in Tijuca, men opened fire in Praça Seca, in Jacarepaguá, and seven busses were torched in Rio and in Duque de Caxias. Stores in Tijuca, Copacabana, Catete, Laranjeiras, Santa Tereza and Săo Gonçalo had already closed their establishments. '

I can assure you not one of my stories is an urban legend or 'horse shit'. But I can understand why you don't want to beleive them. In many cases friends sent me URL with the stories in the Portugese or English press. www.expats.com.br has stories on many of these events (in English), but they seem to have gone out of business so new stories will be harder to find. As for my own reports of armed robbery, why would I lie about such a terrible event? But if anyone is dubious, ask them to go into the Atlantico Hotel and ask the evening desk man Silvestre about it (tell him it was Senior Dave). I am sure he will remember.

Look how many other cities require a 'Crime and Safety' section. You compare (foolishly in my opinion) Rio to NY or LA. This is what concerns me. I would not want guys going to Rio thinking they are going to NY or LA (even the worser sections). NY and LA do not have Crime and Safety sections. They do not need one.

That in 9 visits to Rio you where not the victim of a worse crime (though you where a victim), is not extraordinary. But a lot of guys would not want to go to a place where they would be punched in the back, knocked down and robbed. Last year a German tourist was shot for his Video camera. If you insist I can get you the URL for that. I hope I am wrong but I think it is only a matter of time before a hobbiest is killed.

Look if you know all this and want to go to Rio, you will get no arguments from me. I'm know people do riskier thing in search of fun. In my life I have as well. We all have to decide what risks we want to take in life to get the things we want. I only think that people should be able to make an informed decision.

Rabo Verde
07-14-04, 22:57
I find Rio much safer now than in the 80's and 90's.
I have walked down N.S. de Copacabana and Avenida Atlanitcia many times at 2 A.M. without any problem. Just lucky I guess!
I highly recommend that tourists stay in Ipanema or Leblon, and commute to Copacabana (LESS THAN 10 MINUTES AND $5 BY CAB). Much safer and cleaner.

Lover Boy #2
07-14-04, 23:26

I have been to Rio quite a few times. Only one time was I chosen as a "victim" and to the robbers dismay, he made a bad choice. Too bad for the next guy, but maybe the next guy doesn't devote his life to martial arts.

That said, don't be so fast to discount Moreyada. An entire apartment complex was burglarized and persons robbed in April and a hotel invasion with mass burglary and robbery did take place shortly before April. Both were major news items, not "urban legend".

Please read the news before going on the attack.

07-15-04, 02:31

A couple of years ago I sat on a bench in front of the Copacabana Palace at about 10 pm. While I waited there, I saw a car being broken into, not more than 10 yards away from me. The whole thing took less than a minute, and then the car radio and whatever was lef tin the car was gone.

Four friends of mine were walking on the beach at 9 pm, and they got robbed by a bunch of punks. First, they refused to give up the cash, but a few fist blows and a pulle dknife convinced them otherwise.

One business partner of mine went on a walk in broad daylight and was robbed twice in a row. The first time he gave up his watch and wallet. No bodily harm. The second robber did not believe that he had been robbed previously and beat up the poor guy.

I have been robbed by the police, twice!

A friend of mine gor car-jacked at gunpoint. Another car jacking that he reported on involved two punks who drove up next to a car on a motor bike and threw a life viper in through the open window. When the guy ran from the car, one of them got off the bike and drove away with the car.

I have been in taxis at night, where the driver did not stop at red traffic lights in certain areas of town, for fear of getting held up.

So Rio has to be teated with care. Let's not minimize the risks.

However, I do not want to support the notion that Rio is much safer than LA or NY. In East LA, if you are white, there are some streets where it is suicide to wander in. And even in Manhattan, if you get North of Columbia University, it starts to get dicey.

It's just that one of Rios most dangerous areas, the Copacabana, is also were the gorgeous babes are. That's where the main problem lies!

But chasing sex is never completely safe. We all take risks

Charm City Dave
07-15-04, 02:59

Thank you for the honesty!! As for why I am posting here (or why I am here at all). Once my life focused around going on trips to Rio. After a while for me it started to get old (same Therma's same routine in HELP etc). Then I had several problems on my last few trips and decided (for me) it isn't worth it. I come here on occasion because;

1) I still have an interest in the place. If they ever get the crime situation under control I will add it back to my travel rotation. The women are great (but great women can be found in many many countries).

2) On occasion I have to go to Sao Paulo on business. I just found out last week I have to go in about 6 weeks. My boss has also told me he wants me to stay over until Sunday to get the Saturday night stay fare. The price difference is $2K. Sao Paulo is dangerous as well and not near as much fun as Rio (IMHOP), plus I have a few friends I would not mind seeing in Rio. So I have to decide if I will spend Thursday night though Sunday morning there.

I have no axe to grind. Hey if you want to go to Rio, go and have a blast. I do understand the attraction. Of course be careful as you can! But I'd hate for some Newbie to go thinking they where on their way to Orlando where instead of Space Mountain you get to ride Staci Mountina. Some guys have responsibilities (kids) or even wives and they need to know that they are taking a risk.

How much of a risk? Well that is something we can talk about and I am sure disagree. But to say it isn't much higher risk then most other cities one would travel to for fun is crazy. As I stared down the barrel of a gun, all I could think was that I was leaving my son fatherless just so I could get laid.

So why did I post. It was only in response to someone saying Rio is not riskier then any place else. That is nonsense and irresponsible. Many of the Rio tour agencies post and troll here for business. They use mutliple handles and do not alway represent themselves as people with a commercial interest in the Rio tourist trade. They certainly have an agenda. I don't.

Chuponalgas, are you a Carioca? I think for a native it is much safer then a tourist, especially a Gringo. Read down to Jak's post. His instinctswhere right. Many many guys where sizing him up to see it was good time/place to rob him. And he felt that every time he went out!

Lover Boy #2, thank you for your honesty as well. I was a Dvision 1 varsity wrestler in college. Believe me I can take care of myself. When I was asked for my money I acted on instinct and said no. I figured just two guys no problem. However after he pointed a gun at me, my perspective changed. I'm just glad he gave me a moment to reconsider my position and didn't just shoot. I don't care what you know, arguing with a gun is insane. And in Rio, you will never know who has one. He even if they don't have a gun and you beat them off, they all know where to get a gun and there is alway tomorrow.

Yada Yada Yada

07-15-04, 07:48
Moreyada, Lover Boy #2, JoshJosh69, and others interested in this subject:

I don't wish to get into a running debate on this subject, which is very easy to do on this website and thus lose sight of its main function, which is posting information related to finding (hopefully fresher and fresher) pussy. Needless to say, getting killed or maimed might be a slight impediment to such a goal; hence the value of this section. But since I don't want to engage in a protracted debate, this will be my last post on this issue. So just let me make the following points:

1) Because something appeared on www.expats.com.br doesn't mean it's any the less an urban legend. This is not what I consider a reliable source. If it appears in "O Globo" or "Jornal Do Brasil," both excellent newspapers, then I'll believe it. (Forget "O Dia," that's a tabloid leaning toward the sensational.) I read both of these daily online, and in print when I'm in Rio, and I don't recall any items like those described. Who knows, maybe I skipped reading them those days.

2) I think my comparisons to NY and LA are quite valid; I am an Angeleno, so I know what I'm talking about. I don't have statistics at hand, but I would wager money that the murder rate in Rio or Sao Paolo is, per capita, no higher than either of the two largest American cities, and it may be less. Because the truth is that, in all of these cities, most violence of a life-threatening nature is confined to certain "bad" areas. In my city it's South Central, East LA, and a few other areas. Nearly every day, the "LA Times" has an article about an innocent person being killed in a drive by shooting, many of them small children. Does this affect white middle class Angelenos? No. Does it affect tourists? No. But it's there. These areas are comparable to the favelas of Rio, which is where most of the crime occurs.

Does the crime in LA sometimes creep out of the ghettos and affect other people, including tourists? Yes. A few years ago, a German tourist couple walking down the street in Santa Monica was held up at gunpoint and the man was shot to death. Pickpocketing is common on Hollywood Boulevard and in some of the more popular tourists attractions, like Universal City and even Disneyland, although Disneyland does its best to keep disreputable characters out. A few years ago there was a brazen bank holdup in North Hollywood by a carload of men carrying automatic weapons and street sweepers. It led to a gun battle that made it to national television news; even the police were outgunned for a while, and several blocks in the surrounding area had to be closed. Carjackings are quite frequent in LA as well. Nothing like this has ever happened to me, but it could. But in spite of all this, I love my city and wouldn't dream of living anywhere else (except Rio, when I retire). And I'm sure a New Yorker could come up with similar stories and would say the same thing about his city. As a matter of fact, I remember that many years ago the Pierre Hotel, one of NY's finest hotels, was invaded by armed robbers who cleaned out everything in the hotel safe, including a lot of jewelry left there by the hotel's wealthy guests. So you see, Rio is not that unique and really is not all that different from our cities. The USA is the murder center of the developed world. Comparing our murder rate to just the English-speaking countries of the world, in all of these countries the annual murder rate numbers in the hundreds; in the USA, it averages about 11,000. So for Americans to talk about danger in cities in other parts of the world (except war zones and centers of terrorism) is just plain silly.

3) As Moreyada said in his response to my post, we all weigh the risks and decide for ourselves what chances to take. But I think the pleasures of Rio far outweigh the risks. Others are free to take a different view, and may you spread your seed in abundance (just being figurative here, guys) wherever you go. As for me, I'll make my deposits in the Brazilian receptacles because they're the most delightful in the world.


07-16-04, 15:05
I guess this same discussion has to heat up every couple of months or so. One reason I got robbed (search this forum for earlier post) is precisely because even though I should have known better, I got lax, in part because certain folks who shall remain unnamed assured me that Rio was no more dangerous than any other large city. (After my experience I complained to an expat living in Rio who I felt had misled me. He admitted to having been robbed twice himself. Actually, if you talk to the locals, most will tell you they have been robbed multiple times).

This comparsion is blatently misleading, and I don't care if you live in LA or NY and you've been to Brazil more times than I have (4), you are off your rocker to make such a statement.

Nothing personal, but I think it's wrong to mislead people. Everyone needs to understand fully the real situation in Rio. I'm not saying don't go, I'm saying, you need to know the truth. A trip to Rio is not a trip to LA, NY, or London.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Rabo Verde
07-16-04, 21:55
I guess I have been very lucky. I am an obvious Gringo, but when I walk around Rio I am dressed like a total slob, look like I don't have to Reais to rub together. Maybe that helps.

Bango Cheito
07-17-04, 06:10
Neither NY or LA are the cities in the USA that have the highest crime rate either. Go to crime.com and take a look at the REAL facts.
I've lived almost 7 years in NY now, in upper Manhattan and now in the Bronx. However bad it may have been decades ago, it's very safe now. I can only think of one neighborhood in nothern Manhattan where it's not completely cleaned up, and even there I've walked and taken my bicycle at all hours with never more than a dirty look from the locals.

Part of the problem of some areas is when you get jacked it goes unreported so nobody knows how bad an area is. This is true of a LOT of smaller towns people consider 'safe' all over the USA and Canada and I'm sure it's true in Brazil too.

It's especially true when it's the police doing the jacking.

07-17-04, 14:25
Just watched City of God, as an American I can't, won't, and will never have the oppertunity to enter the Flavella, so this movie was interesting. I mean in my friends apt I can hear the gun shots and see them light fire works when the new round of drugs come in, so check this move out and get a feel for what is happening behind the scene's. On crime I think alot of people make them selves easy targets. Toning it down for you is still dressing nicer than most over there. Try to walk in a group, and if you are shopping or carrying large amounts of cash do it during the day. Remember everyone knows an Amercian standing outside of help probally has a minimum of 150R, almost a months salary for some. I wish there was a better way for Mongers in Rio to communicate so everyone can kind of gang up together, the more of you together makes it harder to rob. My friend has told me where he has ridden the bus in the evening and been hit witht he butt of a gun for having no money, they took his watch, so he buys a cheap shitty watch everytime he rides the bus so he has something to give them.

Lover Boy #2
07-18-04, 02:19
Love your style Lorenzo, and as this is your last post, I won't take the time to post where the info came from. No, it didn't come from a website.

But I'll post another non urban legend. A gentleman of 67 years was driving his small unassuming car in Rio in a not so bad area, but close to a not so good area. Suddenly, a guy in another car pulls up to his window brandishing an automatic hand gun and tells him to pull over. The Brazilian gentleman of 67 looks for an escape route, but suddenly sees two other guys, both with automatic weapons (one in fron of the hood of the car and the other near the sidewalk). The guy on the sidewalk lets a few bursts go at the door of the car. The owner, opens the door, sees blood on his leg and runs down the street, having lost the car. Then there is a hospital visit. When he finally reported it to the police, the young officer (after taking the report), then asked for money. This one doesn't come from a website either. It comes from my heart to yours. This same crime can surely occur in Los Angeles. However, it does not happen every day and in Rio things like this do happen all the time. In the U.S. it would be reported, investigated, maybe an arrest would be made, it would eventually become part of statistics. In Rio there are no reliable statistics as the police are corrupt thieves themselves, incapable of keeping statistics of reported crime, but capable of asking a crime victim for money.

Lover Boy #2
07-18-04, 04:05
Brazil: Rio, Stop the Civil War!

According to United Nations' numbers, Brazil has 2.8 percent of the world's population and 11 percent of the planet's homicides.

Brazil has the distinction of having 40,000 murders a year, a number much higher than the deaths in the Iraq war and in the whole Middle East.

Quoted from Brazzil.com

Don't underplay it. Understand it and take proper precautions, so your f-ck holiday doesn't become a f-cked up holiday.

Charm City Dave
07-18-04, 14:30
There has been some good discussion on this topic and I think a person can make in informed discussion. So I will stop for now. One last comment to Vitor97. The point of Rio is that you don't need to go into the Favella. In Rio the Favella can come to you. Walk down Atlantico or Copacabana and see all the teenagers walking around without shoes. See the look in their eyes as they size you up. Or read the story just posted by Lover Boy #2, again in Rio the Favella comes to you. The best areas in Rio are funding their own security forces to try to combat it, because the police are worthless.

Perhaps in a few months if there is a long stream of the Rio is no more dangerous then anyplace else line, I'll come back. But for now I would encourage any one thinking of a first time visit to Rio to read about the last dozen posts so that you can make an informed decision.

Yada Yada Yada

Lover Boy #2
07-19-04, 00:07
I just wanted to make it clear why I was posting in this section. I don't want a fellow practioner to get lulled into believing that everything is O.K. and that Brazil crime issues are similar to what they might encounter at home. I have been in this game a long time. I have seen guys believe the "don't worry" rhetoric and as a result, lose an eye, have a 5 inch scar on their face and in one case suffer for a lifetime as a result of a bullet wound. I have seen guys with smiling faces on arrival, sampling great pussy, then leaving a country in a terrible physical condition, scared for life. None of these incidents even occurred in Brasil, but you have to be very careful no matter where you monger. A foreign guy looking for pussy is a target in many places. I would rather be an NCO telling everyone to be careful, than a 2nd LT telling everyone that everything is just fine. When it is certainly not.

07-19-04, 00:19
i took the tour into favela roshina about three weeks ago on a saturday. it's not offered on a lot of the day tour packages, but i found this one on a brochure in the internet place on miguel remos (the brochures can be found in other businesses around there and the guys name is antonio that runs the agency). i believe the guy that took me and four other people into the favella was named george - he speaks good english and has been taking people there on tours for years - and now he lives there. he took us to the top of the hill and we walked for about two hours down the hill to the bottom. he said walking was the best way to get the feel of the place.

i never felt uncomfortable at any time. he knew a lot of the people since he lives there and has been coming through with tourists for many years. we walked through narrow alleys and on the main road going into the place, and he explained that this was where the "war" broke out in may when about 35 guys were killed over a four day period. it was rival drug - gang stuff and the police, and he said that the favella is really free of street crime. he said i could walk through here on my own any day and not have a problem. he explained the understanding in the favella is that nobody commits crime there - they go outside to commit their robberies. if somebody [CodeWord124] (http://isgprohibitedwords.info?CodeWord=CodeWord124) a woman, they get their throat cut. if someone steals, they get there hand cut off or worse. this was news to me. i asked many natives over the next few weeks if this was true, and many of them confirmed it. my amiga in b.a. who is brazillian (but not from rio) thought he was being optimistic. but many guys (including the 25 year old native guy that said copacabana was very dangerous) admitted that the favellas themselves are safe. i got the impression that the favellas are probably the safest place to be in rio during the day.

the nightime is very dangerous in the favellas, because that is the time that the gangs are shooting it out. george said there are police snipers on the roofs. he said he'll go out at night when he needs to, but it's because he knows where it is safe to go.

i spoke with antonio about a week after my trip into the favella, and he confirmed what george had to say about the safety. then he added that the trips were not going on now or for the next five days because the drug fights were happening in the day during that time. he said that since george lives there and knows what is going on, he just goes with the latest from george. so, it's safe during the day, as long as you know what`s going on. it's a good reason for not venturing in on your own - you might pick one of the wrong days and get hit by crossfire.

well, i thought this was interesting information. i tried my best to ask a lot of people for confirmation on this information - generally, i think it was confirmed. anybody else have some information, thoughts or experiences on this favella visit stuff?

07-19-04, 05:57
Re: Favela tours

A Brazilian named Marcelo Armstrong takes groups of tourists to visit the Rocinha favela. I found out about him from the Lonely Planet guide. He has two numbers at which he can be reached, 33222727, and 99890074. I think the second one is a cell phone. Marcelo answers the phone himself. He will pick you up at your hotel or apartment in a van, take you on the favela tour, which is a combination of walking and riding, then return you to where he picked you up. I went on the tour in August of 2000, starting about 10 on a Sunday morning. The cost was $28. The tour is conducted in English, although there were people of many nationalities on the tour, a total of about 10 at the most. The particular tour I took was conducted by Marcelo's associate, Gunther, who is a German expat living in Rio and who is fluent in English. I found the favela tour to be one of the most fascinating aspects of that visit to Rio. I have no doubt that they are still being conducted today, because the business seemed quite profitable.

Gunther made no secret of the fact that Marcelo had to pay off the leaders of the drug gangs in order to be allowed to conduct the tour. In return, his tours are allowed safe passage and the tourists aren't bothered. Gunther tried to portray the drug lords as modern day Robin Hoods, saying that they took the protection money Marcelo paid and used it to fund community social service projects, such as schools, medical clinics, etc., that the government can't or won't provide. As if to prove his point, he took the tour to both a school and a clinic which he said were funded by drug money. While there was undoubtedly some truth to what he said, there was also no doubt that he was whitewashing the gangsters quite a bit.

The most interesting thing about the Rocinha tour was the discovery that this was a self-contained community, most of whose inhabitants are working people. These are the people who make the beds, mop the floors, bus the tables, etc., of the places that we frequent, then come back to the favela at night. I recall going by a medical clinic, apparently not one of those run by the gangsters, and seeing stickers of various medical plans on the door. Now in order to have these insurance plans, people would have to be working, right? This was a revelation. There is also a public bus route that travels up the main road through the favela, all the way to the top. Somehow I wasn't expecting this; I just figured the favela would be too dangerous a place to allow a bus to come. So I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see another side of Rio that tourists don't usually see.

I am also well aware that I was there fairly early in the day; the tour was over by early afternoon. I would imagine the whole character of the place changes after dark, at which time no amount of money would persuade me to enter.


07-20-04, 04:56
Anyone from a Western country shouldn't drive a car here, Road Rage is common in Rio. I actually got a photo of a little melee I saw on Ave Atlantica. Two of the goons turned out to be Rio police.

Bubba Boy
07-20-04, 14:48
Marcello is definitely still doing the favella tours, he has been doing them since 1999 I think. I went on a tour early on the year to Rocinha (Ro-seen-yah) and went to go on another one in May04 only to be told that the tour had been suspended because the favella was at war. Apparently another drug dealer was trying to invade the joint and there were some big numbers in regards to murders and hence safety could not be guaranteed. Rocinha turns over about $5m per week in drugs, all controlled by the one drug dealer who controls the joint, hence power struggles are frequent. It is all back to normal now and would be safe. He also tours a much smaller favella, with a population of about 2000 compared to 100,000 at rocinha.

Favella's are just mind blowing. The police do not really go there regularly, they will only go in on planned excursions, they even have helicopters specially decked out to handle marksmen to take out targets. Scary shit.

I would rate a favella tour #3 on the must do non sex activties in RIo. #1 being Corcavado, #2 Maracana.

07-20-04, 17:04
Regarding the "favela tours",

Any Brazilian will tell you that Rocinha is hardly considered a favela these days (by Brazilians). Basically Rocinha is considered an old favela that these days is quasi middle class. Don't think for one minute that you are being taken to a "true" favela. Your guide couldn't guarantee your safety in any of those places regardless of what he charged you.

During that time in May 04 you would have to have been crazy to leave any of the traditional tourist areas. When the gangs and cops go at it even the quasi middle class zones like Rocinha are at play.

So net is a favela tour gives you a nice safe look at what we all think a real favela is like. But in reality, the real favela is a couple of hills over and lacks the municipal services that Rocinha has these days. Easier just to watch "city of gods" (btw, the same director also had a short series starring a couple of black kids on Globo last year) for a true authentic perspective. Actually, the movie the author of the book says downplays the day to day violence.

Just my two cents.


07-20-04, 17:28

Iive been to Rio and many other cities in Brasil. Always, I stress always, sit behind the cab driver, that way they know you are in control of them.

I've never been screwed up or felt worried about taking a cab, especially in the early hours of the morning.

EDITOR's NOTE: Posting of this report was delayed pending revisions to add standard capitalization throughout the text. To avoid delays in future reports, please refrain from using the "chat room" style of writing with no capital lettering. Thanks!

Bubba Boy
07-21-04, 01:49
I agree with your comments photo55, Rocinha is a sanitised view of life in a favela, from a tourist point of view though, it is probably as close to the action as you want to get.

This online paper has some good articles on Rio, best way to find the articles is to use their search box in the top right hand corner.
"rocinha" or "favela" produces as few good articles.


Rio Fan
08-05-04, 02:29
I rented the movie 'City of God'. It was a great movie and did give me some insight as to the psychology of the poverty/favela/drug situation over there. More interesting though was something that was also on the DVD besides the movie; a documentary about favelas, crime, drugs, criminals, police, favela residents, etc was also included under the 'special features' section. Very informative. Rio really is more dangerous than I'd realized.

The video is available for rental through Blockbuster.


Bango Cheito
08-06-04, 20:11
Just to point something out to potential tourists. My friends and I are down from NYC this week and my friend nearly died at the beach because of the vicious undertow. So while taking other precautions, please don't forget that the currents here can be very strong and dangerous. He's fine now, just a little sick from inhaling lots of salt water.

Young & Restless
08-08-04, 15:49
Rio Fan,

I have seen City of God too. I am glad to say that out of 3 trips to Rio, I have never seen any of the places in this movie except the part while they are all on the beach. IMHO, I think the favales should be avoided. I have been driven through some of the favales on the way up to Corcavado and did not feel comfortable, especially when the taxi driver locked all of the doors.

I have read some post here about people going to favales just to see them and other post about people going there to find a cheap piece of ass. The way I see it, if you can afford to go to Rio, you can afford to go to the safer places when you are looking for some action (termas, Help, etc.). To me, just the act of going to Brazil is kind of going out on a limb and there's no reason to push the safety issue while you're there. Even the most expensive places in Rio are cheaper than most of the lower class titty bars here in the US.

I have seen so many arguments posted here about the safety of Rio compared to some of the major cities in the US. I've been to several major cities here in the US (New York, Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, etc.) and generally have felt more comfortable while there than I did while I was in Rio, but I wouldn’t say that they are substantially safer than Rio (bullets and knives work everywhere).

There are several places even in the small town that I live in that I would feel way more threatened than I would feel walking down Av. Atlantica around midnight. IMO, I think common sense is your best ally while you are in Rio (if it feels wrong, don’t do it).

Y & R

Brazil Specialist
08-08-04, 20:44
Very interesting to read.

I have been around on other boards, posted an article on "Rio security for the paranoid". If I wanted to post it here, I guess the right place would be here? Is there another way to post long long reports?

Actually, I am not even sure if I posted it already here. I cannot find a search function here, to search for either keywords or my own reports!>

I thought I was paranoid and too careful. But after reading all this first hand experience of muggings, druggings, damn, things are tough out here.

08-09-04, 09:55
I have read your report on at least 2 other boards and you offer nothing new in the way of information..
All you needed to say is be careful out there, you're not in Kansas anymore...

Bango Cheito
08-10-04, 05:34
So far we've made it a whole week in Rio not seeing any BS of any kind. The worst thing we've had happen to us besides my friend's little mishap in the water has been a hustler trying to sell us shit and we had to tell him to go away twice instead of once.

We've been up and down all sides of Atlantic Av as late as 4am and nobody has even been less than respectful to us.

However, just to qualify the above statement, there are three of us and none of us look like easy marks and none of us have been drunk or high at any time the whole trip. We've also only been to the termas for action

The Rio Kid
08-24-04, 06:03
Different sort of crime happened to me.

I'd begun using my credit cards and atm at the termas, and I think the seemingly friendly, but dishonest host at Solarium fucked me really good for about $700. So next time I go to Rio, I'm gonna use my atm at Citibank or HSBC, and pay for everything in cash, and use my backup credit cards for emergencies only. I think you guys should do the same. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.

As far as the other crimes go, Being black, 200 pounds, muscular, and a fuck with me at your own risk vibe going on, I feel I can walk practically anywhere anytime. One of the few times my color has seemingly worked to my advantage.

08-31-04, 16:34
Rio Kid,

Ripped off for $700 at Solarium That's news! Was if dollars or Reals? How can we avoid the same fate?

Lover Boy #2
09-01-04, 04:54
Rio Kid,

As a lot of us know this "seemingly" friendly and possibly dishonest host at the Solarium. Would you please elaborate on the details of your experience and how this can happen in the first place? What was the amount on the slip when you signed it? How did this happen? You might have a lot of rights as far as dispute with the credit card company goes.

The Rio Kid
09-01-04, 14:13
Well, for one thing, if you're a newbie like I was, along with a friend, she'll definately pad the bill (Others have reported this as well). I guess her reasoning is, we had such a great time, who cares about an extra fifty bucks. But about the third time we went there, we said "wait a second! Now what are we paying for?" When we did this, the bill came down considerably.

As far as my atm card goes, I can't 100% say it was Solarium, but the termas were the only place I used my card, and I've already ruled out Luoma; so, I'm pretty sure it was Solarium. If they can be dishonest in padding the bill, it's easy to assume they'll copy your credit card number, and use it to draw funds from your acount.

And I'm very pleased to say that the folks at Wells Fargo, without much trouble at all, gave me all my money back. Boy am I happy to give them a plug.

09-02-04, 05:15
Yes, the credit card companies will usually cover any loss over $50. But the problem is that you have to file a detailed claim. For some of us this could turn out to be much more costly than the $700 that was involved in this ripp-off. If you file a claim, you admit to having been there. And if this information gets into the press or even only into the hands of a divorce lawyer, then watch out.

Lover Boy #2
09-02-04, 06:00
In most cases on U.S. issued cards they will waive the $50 on a "lost" card. If the company (Solarium) does not have a properly signed slip, they will get a chargeback for the total amount and the $50 isn't a factor in that case. The "detailed" claim is not all that detailed, believe me. If the card number was used fraudulently, they will refund the money. I don't understand what happened here, so until the Rio Kid answers, it is difficult to comment on a course of action. Euro, you must be very famous to be worried about the press getting information on a mundane charge card chargeback to Solarium. If they get a few chargebacks in a quarter, Visa and Mastercard will consider taking away their charge card ability, usually death to a business. I don't know exactly what happened, but if someone stole hundreds of dollars from me they would see the German version of the "fuck with me at your own risk vibe", FOR SURE! But again, we don't know how he lost the money, so possibly all these comments are premature.

09-02-04, 14:11
Can anyone tell me if Lumuo's staff are money hungry like Solariums?

EDITOR's NOTE: Posting of this report was delayed pending revisions to add standard capitalization throughout the text. To avoid delays in future reports, please refrain from using the "chat room" style of writing with no capital lettering. Thanks!

Bubba Boy
09-03-04, 14:23
Last night I awoke in my room at the Princess Copacabana to some serious gun fire. Appeared to be coming from the Favella about 400m away. The gunfire seemed to be single shots at first then machine gun. Over the next 2 hours I must have heard about 300 shots. Helicopters were heard over head at about 6.30 am and they were doing some serious bombarding of the Favella. After this all went quiet. Apparently the Policia have Helicopters specially decked out for this purpose. Lucky my room was not facing the Favella. This kind of thing is so common no one really makes abig deal of it.

Credit Cards. I never ever use a credit card for anything else than the hotel bill in Brazil. I draw cash out during the day and put in safe. When out at night I take just enough cash as needed and leave cc in safe. I usually only take a photocopy of passport, cash and keys out at night.

Lover Boy #2
09-07-04, 06:03
I always thought they were very honest at Luomo. I have never had a problem there and the bill at the end alwys matches my activities and drinking perfectly.

09-07-04, 06:57

Always check your bill especially if you pay the girls cash separately and credit card for the house bill. You can pay the girl's fee with credit card but they charge you 20% extra.

When I was there last, the girl made a mistake on the bill. I only noticed it after I left the place and made it down to the street. But when I went back and show her the mistake, she was apologetic and fixed the bill.

Always double check your bill every time, anywhere!


The Rio Kid
09-13-04, 06:28
Just to add something to the credit card issue-

For $5.95 per month, you can buy yourself $15,000 dollars worth of fraud protection for all your cards with an American Express gold card. And actually, you gain points everytime you use the card, and there's no interest, or finance charges. There's just one catch, you have to pay all the cash back within one month; which, is no problem for me. So, I've changed my stance. I'm gonna use my AE card at practically every opportunity, but I'm gonna make sure I check my statement every day for extra charges.; thus, maybe I can identify the culprit.

The Rio Kid

Exec Talent
09-14-04, 14:11
Rio seems a little safer this visit than it has in the past. I have noticed a greater police presence at key locations during the morning hours and few of the young thugs (everyone should know by now I am not a fan of young thugs). When I have seen them, one thing that seems to act as a deterent is a full water bottle held unside down like a club. I had a couple of them look my way, look down at my hand then move on to what they perceive would be easier prey.

Also, I have noticed a lot of guys with jewelry. It might not be expensive but if it looks it you are drawing attention to yourself. As for you wannabee rappers, please keep wearing those long gold chains, they look good on you.

09-14-04, 23:30
I bought a fake gold chain on a cruise a couple of years ago that I wore instead of my real stuff on my last trip to Rio in June. Leaving the hippie fair in ipanema I was jumped by 4 guys who yanked it off of me and ran away. Luckily they didn't grab my $1,500 watch or the $300 worth of stuff I bought at the fair. Best part was one of the guys was hit by a taxi on his get away and limped away. All for a $20 fake chain.

Next time I'm going without jewelry at all and a cheap watch.

BTW, fake gold is a lot harder than the real thing and it took 3-4 good yanks for him to break the chain. Left a nasty mark on my neck.

Track Star
09-28-04, 15:40
During my recent visit to Rio I did get robbed by three black guys. It was evening between 9-10pm. Me and Meia Petaca/Help girl Zuleika from Manaus was walking hand in hand over by Rua Bolivar when suddenly a black guy popped up from nowhere holding a huge ugly knife to my stomach. I mean a big ugly, motherfucking sob of a knife!!. I let my hands out offering no resistance. Two ohter guys came up from behind and one ripped my watch off and the other grabbed down in my pockets..took the money and they ran off in a hurry. Nobody was hurt. It happened so fast that I did not really have the time to get really scared. Zuleika, the girl I was with got a lot more scared than I and she got a headache afterwards. The robbers got my $50 times sportswatch and about 25-50 Reais. I had a secret pocket in my pants with another 50 reais which they did not get. All in all a small value not worth dying for. I recommend when walking around in Copa always have some change in your pocket so a would be robber gets something if they try to rob you. If they get nothing they may get pissed and stab/shoot you. Don't take my word for it but definitely my cents worth of input. I dont recommend trying to be a hero and fight. Your life is more worth than a few bucks.

Rio Bob
09-29-04, 02:55
Track Star - WOW close call and at 9 - 10 PM which is relatively early. I just bought a new $25 Timex for my upcoming trip and I exchange all my gold jewelry before I go for my Rio jewelry that I bought on the beach in Rio, that they know is junk. I had a close call once myself but I was lucky to get out of it without loosing anything. Thanks for the report.

09-29-04, 12:33
Wearing even the fake stuff is not a good idea.........

The girls do not care one way or another. They only care about your money.

July Gan
09-29-04, 15:46
I was just watching the news at lunch time when they run a piece on juvenile deliquency in Brazil.

What shocked me as a regular visitor to Rio and a very cautious "user" of Ipanema and Leblon beach were the scenes of gangs of 10-15 street boys of no more than 10 years of age attacking couples at Leblon beach, at daytime and in full view of dozens of people, beating various couples with sticks, robbing them and even trying to drown a middle aged tourist who resisted.

The report showed various of this attacks taking place. When the military police vehicle arrived, they dispersed amongst the crowd.

I guess its better to sun bathe near the barracas or better the MP posts

09-29-04, 22:06
Does anyone know where on the beach these attacks took place? I saw them on the Spanish news channel, all these little black kids attacking tourists.

Lover Boy #2
09-30-04, 06:39
The ability of the Carioca to sit by and watch this stuff happening without standing up to help amazes me. I think this ability is a part of their culture. I have seen a few things happen in Rio and no one on the block even tried to help the guy and his girl who were being attacked by 7-9 young hoods. You can say a lot of anti political things about the US, where I currently reside, but the American people do not stand for this stuff (even though there is a crime situation that is not good here too). I saw something bad happen on the street in Boston recently and everyone on the street went to the aid of the guy being mugged and the crowd was not divided racially. The robbers were black, but the guys chasing them (and even catching one of the bad guys) were black, white and other. It was a beautiful thing. I like the American style better. Of course, if we get back to women, I like Brasil a lot better!

Rabo Verde
09-30-04, 08:38
Recently a gringo friend was robbed right in front of Help!
He arrived and was paying tha cabby when a big black guy came up and grabbed him and the money in his hand. They tusseled and the guy ran off. Right in front of the 11:30 crowd waiting to get in to Help, and noone lifted a finger. Myself I have been VERY lucky, never lost a penny or had any problems, but I am beginning tor ealize it is just the luck of the draw.

Java Man
09-30-04, 18:37
Video of the Leblon beach attack can be viewed at:


i'n not sure how long it will be on the site.

Oglobo Online had a report on the attacks:
The filming of the attacks caused a bit of a verbal spate between the Military Police Commander and the Head of Public safety for the city of Rio. Each claiming that the it's the responsibility of the other to control the street youths. The Military Police claim it's the responsibly of the Municipal Guards (the unarmed guys that walk around) and the City claims it's the responsibility of the MPs and other state agencies.

Both claim that street assaults in Rio are quite rare The city official , Head of Public Safety, suggests the tape is fake and questions it's timing (so close to the elections). Typical politician.


09-30-04, 18:52
It seems that the entries on crime and saftey here are making a little bit of a comeback. This section of the forum was quiet for a little while, but recently, there have been reports of muggings of us guys. Hopefully this is just a temporary spike, as out of 14 times in 4 years I too have been lucky I guess and never had a problem. I assume it's luck, as these muggers don't seem to discriminate at all on their targets. I also guess that you have no idea what you will do until you're in the situation. I mean after seeing that video of the children, of course in my head I played out kicking ans slamming them to the ground, but who the heck knows what you'll do until it happens. Hopefully those of us who have been lucky will continue to. After all, they're going to have to kill me to keep me away from those girls

Bubba Boy
09-30-04, 18:58
I just got back from Rio. Almost got mugged as I was leaving Help.

The hotel I stayed at initially ( I got an apartment later ) was maybe 4 blocks from Help and I decided to walk despite knowing better from 4 trips to Rio. I am young, 6'3, 200lbs, done alot of travelling and martial arts over the years, hence I am very aware of my surroundings.

Anyway, I left Help and took the first left going towards Av nossa s copocabana. I noticed about 10 street kids on the corner of av atlantico. As I turned into the street 3 of them got up and followed me, I crossed the street and the three of them did as well. As soon as I saw this I turned around and headed straight back towards Help at pace. Luckily they were young and alot smaller than me, also inexperienced as they were not walking close together. I walked directly into the path of one of them and he held out his hand to grab my shoulder which I knocked away and I was back at Help in a few more steps. They dispersed into the crowd. I really don't think those three kids had the brains or experience to successfully rob me but none the less it was a situation that I did not need.

On subsequent nights I walked home with an american friend who was black and we left Help and turned right and right again towards av nossa s copacabana. There a few bars/rest open all night there so it is safer route. Also being with a black guy is a mucher safer option as I found out on our many nights out together.

Turf Builder
09-30-04, 20:15
About the gang of 10 year olds. It's scary to think what some of these guys might be like in 8 or 10 years.

I was at Leblon beach everyday for a week last month. It's a drag to think that such a quiet (in August) and idyllic place could in moments turn into a nightmare for someone.

Am I over sensitive or are such reports increasing? Is the plight of the favelas worsening? What's the deal?

10-01-04, 16:19
I'm heading out to Rio for my first time in about a week. I got a apartment "around the corner" from help. Reading the posts on this thread, I take it that this is not a good neighborhood. Is that right?

10-01-04, 16:44

I have never personally stayed at these apartments “around the corner” from Help. But I have visited one when a friend stayed there.

These apartments are well known by Rio girls. I heard that there are even girls shared rooms in the building.

When I was there, girls were in an out this building constantly. There were girls hanging around entrance of the building. When I left the building, there were 4 young (very, very young) girls following me 2 blocks. I had to do an old spy trick by walking back to them to stop them to follow me. I guessed that they tried to find out where I stayed.

The area is very monger oriented. You will be constantly approached by street vendors or girls (may not be a bad thing if it is your thing). It is a very convenient location. Personally, these girls are not in my taste. The whole atmosphere of this area is annoying to me. The only time I come to this area is for Help. In and out very quickly.

I have been Rio 4 times in 2 years. I have never been robbed. I take buses and Metro most of time.

10-01-04, 18:37

I have stayed in this area on all 5 of my Rio trips and never had a problem. This area is well lit with many people around. I think this is the best place to be in (especially for a first timer). You will have a great time, don't let some of the posts freak you out---but of course use some caution just like you would in any 3rd world country. Rio is the best!


Bubba Boy
10-01-04, 19:01
I tend to find the area itself is not to bad and as CNemo said it is very convenient, it is just the block around Help particularly and Avinida Atlantico late at night that is the concern. I find once I get away from Avinida Atlantico the trouble stops and it is just like the rest of Copacabana which is better than 80% of Rio in terms of safety although you definitely have to watch your back.

I have visited the apartments that the girls stay in, most mongers will not be renting those and will be a few blocks further away from them.

I too catch the metro down to centro and the buses around Zona Sul all the time with no hassle. Once you get away from Avinida Atlantico it is just a normal Rio suburb. I would not want to travel this way further than centro though and into Zona Norte.

10-02-04, 00:04
How long does it take on the metro to get to Centro from the Siquero Campos station?

Bubba Boy
10-02-04, 02:50
Metro takes 14min from S Campos to Urugaiana (4x4)

10-02-04, 03:41
My ride in Rio is BMW (Bus, Metro, Walking).

By Metro, it takes about 15-20 minutes from Siqueira Campos to Uruguaiana (near 4X4). It costs $R2. Metro is very safe. I have taken Metro as late as 9PM by myself. It’s about 2-3 blocks from 4X4 to Metro station. I am very comfortable to walk these blocks in day or night.

I have also taken bus to Centra to get a taste of real Rio life. I did not feel any danger.

So far, I am very lucky. Never been robbed. Every Brazilian colleague in my company’s Rio office I talked to (about 6 of them) has been robbed at least once. I don’t know this even happened in any of other countries. Rio is very dangerous. My colleagues can not believe some of things I have done. I think that my luck is going to run out one day.

10-03-04, 00:21
I used to walk the round - trip between Copacabana and Luomos (near Siquero Campos Metro). On my last trip, I was talking to an American guy that had been going there every night for over a week. He said that three local guys he had talked with on separate occasions there told him he shouldn't walk to Avenida Atlantica after 10PM (after a lot of the shops close). I always walked it and felt comfortable, since there were always people walking around. None of these locals thought it was a good idea (they wouldn't do it) - especially for a Gringo. Just some information to consider.

10-03-04, 02:13
I've always taken the bus to Centro from Copacabana without any problems (just grab one on Av. Copacabana that says Centro and get off at the stop after the big town hall/ museum looking building on the right) and just wanted to try the Metro this time. Plus when traffic is a mess it's probably the fastest way.

Are there many stops between Siquero Campos station and Centro station Urugaiana? Does the Metro run only one line (E-W or N-S) or multiple lines in many directions? My Portuguese isn't the best and would hate to end up in Barra or something.

Bubba Boy
10-03-04, 02:29
The Metro is great and very easy to use. It only has one line that runs north to south. No sprawling webb like NY or London. You get on at S Campos and head toward Zona Norte (Zone North). On the way home you will of course follow the signs heading towards Zona Sul (Zone South). There are about 10 stops to get to central (7 to Urugaiana 4x4).

Buying a ticket is easy as well. A unitario costs R$2 and allows you to go anywhere on the system for one ride. A Duplo costs R$4 and will get you 2 rides anywhere on the system. If you don't speak Portuguese no problem, just have your R$2 or R$4 ready at the ticket office (look for the Billettes sign) and say unitario or duplo in English as you plunk the cash down and I am sure you will have no problems. You enter the ticket into the turnstile before you get on the train, if it is a unitario you won't see it again, a Duplo pops out again ready for 1 more ride.

Once you have used the metro you will never catch a bus to Central again, its new, clean and aircon'd.

Lover Boy #2
10-03-04, 05:48
Turf Builder,

Don't worry about these guys 8-10 years from now. They will no longer be around. There will be new 10-14 year olds to rob you though. And then in 8-10 years, they will be gone too. It's a dog's life.

10-03-04, 06:32
I'm a big walker. I just like to do it. So if Av. Atlantica is shady after dark. Is it safe to walk on Av. Copa. instead? Am I being foolhearted to walk from Help to Luomo and Centarus?

10-03-04, 08:17

Just use common sense and be aware of your surroundings. I do think Ave Copa. is a bit more safe. More people, policia, better lighting. I walked from Xavier de Silvereria and Ave Copa down to MC with no problems.

10-04-04, 01:58

Metro is much safer than bus. Rio metro has only one line. Siqueira Campos is the starting point on Zone Sul. Uruguaiana is the 9th stop. When you go to Centra, take the North side. When you come back to Copa, take the South side. You will not get lost.

For the 1st timer in the Centra, the difficult thing is to figure out where is 4X4 when you get out Metro station. I used a map to figure out which direction to go.

10-04-04, 19:15
Just for the record, a friend of mine recently bought some pot from a girl he knows right outside of MP. He was walking back to his apartment with his girlfriend and the cops stopped him. They mad him empty his pockets and found the 5 small bags of weed. They put him in the car and told him that he faced a 15,000 real fine and deportation. He asked if there was anything he could do. They took him to an ATM where he withdrew 1000 reals and handed it over to them. They drove him back to his apartment gave him back the 5 small bags of pot and told him not to buy from the street as they have cameras in front of MP and of HELP. I thought this was a little interesting.

Jonny Hit Run
10-06-04, 04:55
Funny, I heard the same story here in California this week about a friend who is a part time Rio resident who got pinched by the cops for buying weed in Copa from a Help girl as well. Supposedly the garota who arranged the purchase also translated his release with the cops. No coincidence.

The only reason I bring this up is last month while leaving Help with a girl on the way back to my hotel, a cabby solicited me to buy narcotics. My girl mentioned to me that many GP's work the deal with the cops and the cabbies for a John to purchase dope and then they bust him.

The guy I now who got pinched this week has gotten very comfortable in Rio. I have no idea whether or not there are cameras in front of Help or MP, but from what I can tell the weed in Brazil sucks anyway. How smart to you have to be to entrust your freedom to a hooker? He should have known better.

10-06-04, 17:45
The weed in Brasil does suck, and it just doesn't seem worth it.

Bango Cheito
10-09-04, 04:29
I didn't try the weed in Rio but from what I smelled, it didn't seem all that bad. It smelled like the good shit you can get that comes down here from Montreal.

Bango Cheito
10-09-04, 04:38
The Metro has 2 lines actually, line 1 and line 2. line 2 connects to line 1 downtown and goes all through the North Side of the city. Not much reason to go there unless you're going to a samba school or something like that. Line 1 goes from downtown to Copacabana and soon to Ipanema.

10-11-04, 16:02
I need some advice. Last night as I was heading out to Help, it's a two block walk, I heard 5 gunshots really close to the apt. I called it a night. Should I have done that or buckle up and accept it as reality in Rio and soldier on? How long should one wait after gunfire before heading out? There wasn't any police response so I assume it's a common occurance.

10-11-04, 21:18
Gunfire is extremely common in Copacabana, although it comes from the favellas further back. Don't worry about it, the bullets probably won't rerach to where you are.

Bubba Boy
10-12-04, 01:56
I know exactly where the gunshots came from. There is a favela behind NS Copacabana (less than 100m at some points) that runs along the mountain and into Ipanema. You will hear gunshots all the time in there. You can see the favella most prominantly above the tunnels that lead into Ipanema. Generally speaking it will always be contained within the favela and you will get used to it, if it gets out of hand the Policia will eventually bomb the shit out of it via a helicopter. It is an everyday occurence and most people will not even turn around when they hear the shots.

Believe it or not, apartments that face the favella on NS Copa go for a hefty discount for risk of a stray bullet hitting you while watching Tv at night.

Rio Bob
10-12-04, 04:27
JustGotBack, I dont blame you for not stepping out of your apartment right away when hearing gunshots. I would have done the same thing maybe went back into the apartment had a drink and called up an escort or waited an hour for the coast to be clear then jogged to Help.

I once heard machine gun fire a block away , thought it was fireworks at first but generally when someone shoots a gun he doesn't stick around too long, they are probably gone in a few minutes but for you to wait an hour is prudent unless the next gunslinger comes along.

Another time I was on the beach in Ipanema and a guy was shooting a gun off, the whole beach got up off their towels and ran for their lives, me too, I ran with one sneaker on and one off all the way to Copacabana. When I arrived at my hotel my friend looks at me and says your bleeding, there was blood on my arm but it wasn't mine. Thats how close I must have been.

Another time, me and 2 buddies left the Lido praira motel at 2 in the morning, hopped into a cab and 2 blocka later the cops pull us ove, surround the taxi, 5 of them with machine guns pointing at us. I told my friends make sure they can see your hands, they let us go, they thought all 3 of us were banditos but the taxi driver told them we were gringos. It took me a while to recover from that.

Iron Mike
10-12-04, 14:43
Sorry to say this but most of you would not know the difference between gun shots and fireworks. In Rio fireworks are VERY common. They use them for many reasons. Celebration, a warning signal that the police are coming and just because they happen to have them.
It's very possible that what you heard was indeed gun fire but it is also possible that it could have been just fireworks.

10-12-04, 19:05
First let me say, that I appreciate everyone's reports of the dangers of Rio. But I'd just like to post a report to offset it a bit. I know there a some first timers out there that are a little offput by the possible dangers. I've been walking around for the last couple of days and nights without even a hint of trouble. Only a couple of kids have tried to sell me stuff and with one no, they were gone. Not very persistant are they. Last night I wondered around Help with my Bob's milkshake in full tourst regala. No problems at all. This was at about 1 in the morning. I was bored, didn't want to go into help so I just cruised. After circling the block about 3 times, there were these 3 unsavory guys hanging out on the corner drinking beer. They just stared at me all the way down the street. I went up to them and said hi, how are you doing? They just said hi back said stuff I didn't understand and offered me a little glass of beer. I declined but just had a smoke with them. They were just guys hanging. No harm at all.

So be aware and careful, but Rio is no big deal compared to a lot of places I've been. I've stepped down from Washington, DC alert to just LA alert. Enjoy.

Bubba Boy
10-13-04, 08:37

You may have had no problems last night walking around Help but it is probably not a good idea. Around that area and Avinida Atlantico is the only area in Zona Sul that consistently sees tourists get beaten and robbed. Its the only area that I do not feel safe in Copacabana, the rest of the area is OK if you keep your wits about you.

Rabo Verde
10-13-04, 18:35
I want to agree, for newbies thinking of going to Rio. We like to talk about the crime and problems here, but OVERALL, you are probably safer than in a bad area in L.A., NY, DC or Baltimore. At least nobody in Rio is gonna kill you just to impress his gang, or because they don't like the color of your shoes!!! At most they will take your money and scram.

10-15-04, 15:12
Definitely try to blend in. I've done it pretty well this week, but my laundry needs to get done and I've run low on my clothing options. Last night for some reason, I stood out like a sore thumb. People walking down the street, street vendors and street kids were are staring at me as I passed. It was kind of uncomfortable.

The only "crime" I've witnessed is the old crap on the shoe scam once on a tourist in front of me. There are a lot of police around. My apartment overlooks Help and I regularly see cops stopping people walking down the street and giving them a pat down.