Rio de Janeiro Warnings Or Dangers Tips by b1bob
Rio de Janeiro Warnings and Dangers: 213 reviews and 107 photos
Mind the traffic
Mind the traffic. They think they're Richard Petty at the Daytona 500 and they think they own the road too in both Rio de Janeiro and in Petrópolis. For example, they whiz around corners at high speeds. The crosswalks are located some considerable distance from corners for a good reason. For your safety, cross at the crosswalks, not closer to the corner, minding the cars regardless of traffic lights.
Rio de Janeiro, and the rest of Brazil- from what I've been told- are not partitioned and zoned as neatly as in the U.S. and many parts of Europe. Favelas (poor neighbourhoods that are often held hostage by drug lords) can be in close proximity to upmarket shopping districts and tourist areas. There are some travel agencies who take people on tours there. If you want to go, pay one of those agencies. Don't go to a favela by yourself, or with a unknown guide. The tour operators have special arrangements with the local drug dealers. One wrong turn could land you in big trouble, so know the area before you venture out.
My tourist visa
I don't know why Americans need tourist visas to go into Brazil. I'm guessing that at some big diplomatic to-do somebody put the salad fork in the wrong spot, somebody on one side or the other got angry, imposed the visa restrictions, and the other side reciprocated in kind. It's strange how the politicians in whatever country take their pique out, not on each other, but on us tourists.
When I went in December, 2001, the rule was that you must get your visa no more than 90 days before your return from Brazil. It cost $45 (check the web site to see if it has gone up since then), you fill out a form that can be downloaded from the Brazilian embassy web site, mail it in or hand it in to your nearest consulate in person. It is good for up to 5 years.
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