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Travel Advisory: Brazil - Level 2 (Exercise Increased Caution)

Western Hemisphere > Brazil

Exercise increased caution in Brazil due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Any areas within 150 km of Brazil's land borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay due to crime. (Note: This does not apply to the Foz do Iguacu National Park or Pantanal National Park.)
  • Do not use public buses in and around Recife due to crime (see additional information below).
  • Informal housing developments (commonly referred to in Brazil as favelas, vilas, communidades, and/or conglomerados), at any time of day due to crime (see additional information below).
  • Brasilia's administrative regions (commonly known as "satellite cities") of Ceilandia, Santa Maria, Sao Sebastiao, and Paranoa during non-daylight hours due tocrime (see additional information below).
  • Recife's Pina Beach from Dona Benvinda de Farias Street to the Brasilia Teimosa neighborhood after dark due to crime (see additional information below).

Violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, and carjacking, is common in urban areas, day and night. Gang activity and organized crime is widespread. Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Brazil:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling to tourist locations and in crowded public venues.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Avoid walking on beaches after dark.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Avoid using an ATM in low-light or remote locations. Never let someone "shoulder surf" or assist you. Be aware that criminals often target ATMs and businesses in the early morning hours. If you use an ATM, select those located inside of secure facilities, such as an airport, hospital, bank, or government building.
  • Use caution at, or going to, major transportation centers or on public transportation, especially at night. Crime statistics indicate that passengers face an elevated risk of robbery or assault using public, municipal bus transportation throughout Brazil. Consider avoiding the use of public, municipal buses, at any time of day, and especially at night.
  • Use increased caution when hiking in isolated areas, and in particular around the city of Rio de Janeiro's Corcovado Mountain trails. Multiple violent robberies have occurred on the hiking trails leading to and from Cristo Redentor on Corcovado Mountain, which are not regularly patrolled by Brazilian law enforcement.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Brazil.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler's Checklist.

International Borders

U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to areas within 150 km of the international land borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay without advance approval from security officials due to crime. Travel to the Foz do Iguacu National Park and Pantanal National Park is permitted.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Public Transportation

Crime statistics and trends indicate that persons face an elevated risk of robbery or assault using public bus systems throughout Brazil. Consider avoiding the use of public, municipal buses in Brazil at any time of day, and especially at night. The U.S. Government recommends against personnel using public, municipal buses in all parts of Brazil, and prohibits personnel from using public buses in and around Recife.

Informal Housing Developments (commonly known as "Favelas")

Do not travel to informal housing developments (commonly referred to in Brazil as favelas, vilas, communidades, and/or conglomerados), even on a guided tour. Neither the tour companies nor the police can guarantee your safety when entering these communities. Even in these communities that the police or local governments deem safe, the situation can change quickly and without notice. In addition, exercise caution in areas surrounding these communities, as occasionally, inter-gang fighting and confrontations with police move beyond the confines of these communities. Except under limited circumstances and with advance approval, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to enter any informal housing developments in Brazil. Read the Safety and Security Section on the country information page for further information regarding favelas.

Visit our website for Travel High-Risk Areas.

Brasilia's Administrative Regions (formerly known as "Satellite Cities")

Without advance approval from security officials, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to Brasilia's Administrative Regions of Ceilandia, Santa Maria, Sao Sebastiao, and Paranoa between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. (non-daylight hours) due to crime.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Recife's Pina Beach

U.S. government personnel are prohibited from walking after dark on Pina Beach, located in the northern part of Boa Viagem, due to crime. This restriction covers the sandy areas of Pina Beach starting at Dona Benvinda de Farias Street and ending at Brasilia Teimosa neighborhood.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with updates to information about U.S. government restrictions on personnel and Rio de Janeiro's Corcovado Mountain trails.