STW Travel Aficionados Assemble: Rio de Janeiro
Mrs Merman is desperate for foreign climes and has settled on a week in Rio next year for us.
(Not my first choice of destination, but whatsaguytodo, ugh?)
Can I ask for your first-hand experiences, please. Where to go, what to do, what to avoid… good stories and bad, please.
(Yes, I know there’s a global pandemic on and Brazil is/was one of the worst countries affected. And yes I know their leader is worser than Trump on a bad day).Posted 10 months ago
I worked in Rio for two years (over the bridge in Niteroi) about 8 years ago now and it was not somewhere I would have taken scotswoman.Posted 10 months ago
Copacabana was a cesspit of hookers, drug dealers, drug dealing hookers! and tat sellers all the time although much worse at night. However I have been told it has been cleaned up a bit.
Two streets back from the beach you are in some of the favelas.
When we went out at the weekend we would go to the nice residential areas of Ipanema and Leblon Rio side and Sao Francisco on the Niteroi side where there was a good selection of bars and restaurants, excellent Churrascarias everywhere.
Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf and other sites nice to see but only because my company was funding it.
Going to the Maracanã to watch Fluminense or Flamengo was always an event as their fans are nut jobs! And we got a few Brazil games, Brazil vs Argentina and Brazil vs Colombia were particularly intense evenings!
I’ve been to Rio a couple of times (for work). Firstly, it’s a very long way to go for just a week. Secondly, although there’s a fair amount to see (Christ the Redeemer, beaches, though it’s expensive), there are plenty of cities in Europe with just as much (and that share a language if you go to Portugal). Thirdly, it’s not exactly a relaxing destination to just wander about neighbourhoods though I survived OK. In short, it’s a bit of an unusual choice unless you’re really into barbecues, hookers and beaches.Posted 10 months ago
Brothers wife is from Niterou, quite nice around there but we we chaperoned about by her family so we didn’t get mugged etc. Nice beach there iirc.Posted 10 months ago
We had a great weekend up at a pousada in Petropolis, which is a bit north of Rio
Pretty much as I thought, then. Doesn’t sound like my/our bag at all.
At the weekend my cousin regaled me with horror stories of his visit there 20 years ago.Posted 9 months ago
I know of the families that left Rio/Sao Paulo/Brazil out of fear.
One had their dogs murdered/poisoned before being held hostage the next day.
One has a gun shot wound on his shoulder after waking into the wrong neighbourhood.
Rather you than me.Posted 9 months ago
BBC News – Brazil bank robbers tie hostages to getaway cars in Araçatuba
Brother was facing relocation with work to Rio before COVID…he was up for it – he’s lived in some proper crap holes so Rio didn’t phase him, but its not for the feint hearted. He would have been living within a 24/7 armed guarded compound, his kid would have been escorted to and from school daily…he was not allowed to own a car or have a personal form of transportation and would have been assigned a full time driver/chauffeur as traveling around alone was not safe. OK the company he is working for is probably going over board as they have a duty of care, but still didn’t sound like it was a particularly friendly or safe place to go to.
I’d love to visit, but probably in a ‘passing through’ way, rather than as a destination and spending time there. I’d bet the holiday companies will offer formal guided tours as part of their holiday packages but you got to ask yourself would it feel like a proper holiday if you can only do things as part of a formal arranged guided tour and effectively being confined to your hotel most of the time.Posted 9 months ago
I spent 2 months travelling around Brazil in 2006 and it wasn’t anywhere near as scary as I’d anticipated. But we did hear some bad stories. I don’t know if it’s more or less safe now. If you’re in Rio for a week and stick to the safer more touristy areas, and stay alert and sensible, you should be fine. My main concern would be going so far for only a week. You’ll be jet lagged so the first day or two won’t be ideal.Posted 9 months ago
Not been but Barbados looks nice for some sun/sea/sand/tropical vibes 🙂
I used to date a Bajan lady and it sounds cool and not too crimey!Posted 9 months ago
Scare stories aside, I did have a couple of the most epic nights out of my life in Rio. Plus the plastic surgery is world-class. The beach is basically a very well-oiled showroom of the most amazing bodies, male or female.
If you’re set on Brazil, Salvador de Bahia gets good feedback, though I’ve not been: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/brazil/the-northeast/salvadorPosted 9 months ago
Quite a few people I know have ex-patted there and enjoyed it. Yes, bad for crime in some areas, but far worse around.
Baja in Mexico as an example!Posted 9 months ago
I do know a single (young, good-looking) female who went over to Rio for a while and is now living in Mexico – she’s enjoyed it and no reports of any trouble. Think she joined lots of classes/groups etc to do stuff out and about.Posted 9 months ago
If you want a life enhancing experience have a week in Port of Spain end of feb , when the carnival is on , the rio one is a plastic one compared to the trinidadian one , absolute blissPosted 9 months ago
Again, I was in Rio around 2007. Copacabana in the afternoon, outside of tourist season, is by far the sketchiest place I’ve been, day or night. Santos was far nicer but not much more than a cruise ship stop, nice place though and genuinely friendly locals.
If you’re going to South America I’d be heading to Santiago or Buenos Aires and branch out from there. Both great places, BA is run down in a Bratislava kind of way but nobody gives you hassle. Had a few good nights there.Posted 9 months ago
Had a trip to Brazil in 2019 and absolutely loved it, everyone was so lovely, so friendly.Posted 9 months ago
My mental image of Brazil was either rainforest or favellas and drugs gangs hut it was neither of those things, more like outback Australia but with a language barrier. Really want to go back one day.
Note however, that I was not in a big city, other than changing flights in Sau Paulo, and a very brief forray into Campo Grande. I was in small town in the middle of nowhere, well Mato Grosso du Sol, and was at a bike race so may have been somewhat cosseted.
I went 20 years ago, walked a lot of the city including the common sites – carefully. Looked like student not a businessman. Went swimming at the beach. Caught salmonellosis from one of the famous BBQs and thought I was going to die in the hotel room for 26hrs.
If you fancy something different, Argentina and book some dance classes while you are there.Posted 9 months ago
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