December 21, 2017
7 Things Not to do in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, or the “cidade maravilhosa”, is the most touristic city in Brazil. Here are some things NOT to do there:
Do NOT be Surprised by the Lack of Clothing
Brazilians are known for their scantily clad bikinis and beachwear. Brazilian women generally wear string bikinis and men wear speedos on the beach. Even in the city itself, people dress very light and wear flip-flops all throughout the day.
Do NOT go to the Beach at Night
The beach is pretty much empty when it gets dark. Other than the promenades and sidewalks that line the shore, there aren’t many people on the sand. You should avoid the beach because you will stick out and attract unwanted attention from punks (known locally as “pivetes”). Tourists have been robbed and assaulted on the beaches at night.
Do NOT Flaunt your Bling
Like most major cities in Brazil, you must be careful in the streets. Don’t walk around showing off your expensive jewelry or clothing. Dress casual and try to blend in with the locals. Beware of pickpockets on the metro. Overall, play things cool but don’t let your guard down. If you have an expensive phone, try to use it discretely, or avoid bringing it out altogether.
Do NOT Lie Down on a Beach Towel
In Rio (and most of Brazil), it is common either to lie down on a “conga” or to rent a beach chair from one of the kiosks on the beach. Conga’s are large pieces of fabric with designs on them. They are usually sold on the beach by vendors and come in various colors and designs. One of the more popular ones are the Brazilian flag congas. They are much better than towels because beach sand cleans right off of them. Using a towel on the beach will indicate that you are a tourist, which can potentially attract thieves.
Do NOT Visit Crist the Redeemer on an Overcast Day
Rio de Janeiro is in a sub-tropical climate, meaning you will see some cloud and rain. It isn’t always clear and sunny. On an overcast day, do not visiting the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. If you can’t see the statue from the city, it means the city won’t be visible when you are on top of Corcovado mountain. Seeing the jaw-dropping 360-degree view of Rio from the top is half the fun of going up there! Unless you are short on time and you absolutely must see the statue on a cloudy day, wait until the weather clears up.
Do NOT bring a lot of Money/Valuables to the Beach
When going to the beach in Rio, people usually just bring what they need for that day. A maximum of 30-40 reais is more than enough for one person. If you are with a group, have one person stay near the belongings while the others go swimming. This is to avoid theft.
Do NOT be Scared Before you go to Rio
The media tends to hype things up. Yes, Rio de Janeiro is more dangerous than the average city. But much of the violence is in certain (sometimes segregated) neighborhoods and favelas. There is no reason for a tourist to be in those areas. If you are careful, stay with a group or a local, your time in Rio should be fine!