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  Safety  
     
  Brazil has a reputation for being a violent country. To a certain extent this is true, but this situation is due to the massive social divisions and is only in the big cities (São Paulo, Rio and perhaps Salvador). Below a few hints of things you can do to reduce the risks:  
     
  Before you leave  
 
 
 
  • Take out a good insurance
  • Only pack the minimum and only those items that you are prepared to lose or replace- no jewelry, chains or expensive watches
  • Make copies of all important documents
  • Check numbers to call if you lose your credit card, travellers checks etc
  • Make sure you have a safe and subtle money belt for keeping your money. These must be the type that you wear under your clothing as the pushes worn outside are a telling sign that you are a foreigner probably carrying dollars. An even better suggestion is to sew a cloth pouch into your trousers as thieves today are often wise to conventional money belt

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  While in Brazil  
 
 
 
  • Try to blend in with the locals as much as possible. Wear casual clothes that don't attract attention. Avoid wearing socks with sandals - this is a strong indicator of a tourist!
  • Don't wander around with a camera dangling around your neck or with a camera in a flash camera bag. Small discreet cameras or disposable ones are best. If you really want to take your SLR disguise it in a plastic bag.
  • Keep small change in a shirt pocket so you don't have to delve into bag all the time to pull out your wallet. This only attracts attention.
  • Don't put your wallet in your back pocket.
  • Always give the impression that you know where you're going. Be observant and walk purposefully.
  • Take the minimum with you when you go to the beach - wear your swimsuit and take a towel or sarong to sit on. Have just enough money for food and drinks

    Groups of tourists on tours etc. are unlikely to victimised, the old saying of "safety in numbers" is true here. When travelling or even just wandering around alone, it is not recommended to stand out from the crowds and be sensible about where you go. Use taxis which are plentiful and cheap. Avoid buses unless you are certain you know where you are going. An additional warning: the most common insurance claim handled in Brazil is from people who have been robbed by visitors they take up to their room. Make sure that if you wish to entertain in your hotel room, your valuables and documents are locked away. Do not open door to anyone you do not know - even if they claim they are police. Some women may find that Brazilian men are very unsubtle in the street. Getting offended solves nothing. Just remember that it is usually harmless and best ignored. The most important thing to remember is that if you take care, there is no reason to be afraid of visiting Brazil. Be sensible, not paranoid.

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