Brazil is one of the safest and most breathtaking countries in South America.
The country consists of 26 individual states and a growing population – over 215 million people.
Brazil is an unforgettable destination known for its iconic beaches and tropical culture.
Unfortunately, no country is perfect.
Luckily, the Brazilian government has implemented policies to make the country safer.
Overall, Brazil’s crime rate is relatively high – 40% higher than the United States.
However, as with all nations, some cities are safer than others.
Ultimately, knowing the potential dangers of one’s surroundings is the first step to safe travel, no matter the destination.
- 1 | Palmas
- 2 | Florianopolis
- 3 | Belo Horizonte
- 4 | Brasilia
- 5 | Sao Paulo
- 6 | Salvador
- 7 | Rio de Janeiro
- 8 | Natal
- 9 | Recife
- 10 | Campo Grande
- Brazil Safety Overview
- 5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Brazil
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How does Brazil rank globally on crime?
- What are Brazilian Favelas?
- Is Brazil safe for women?
1 | Palmas
Palmas is one of the fastest-growing cities in Brazil.
It is the capital city of the rainforest state of Tocantins and sits on the banks of the Tocantins River.
While Palmas is known for beautiful rivers and diverse wildlife, this small central Brazilian state is rapidly expanding.
And currently, Palamas has a population of well over 306000.
Palmas has been one of the safest cities in Brazil for the last ten years.
Despite continued crime rates declining, causing many links the lower crime rate to the reduced organized gang and criminal activity.
Getting around Palamas is easy, with accessible transportation, including buses, trains, and ferries.
2 | Florianopolis
The capital of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, is an island city in Southern Brazil.
Divided by a mountain range, most of the city’s 1.28 million residents live on the central island.
A robust and intimate community, Florianopolis is one of the safest cities to live in South America.
The decade-long decrease in reported crimes supports the city’s reputation as a safe destination.
The lush environment of beaches and nature reserves is a popular destination for adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Lagoa da Conceição, a saltwater lagoon, accommodates both windsurfing and boating.
And the Pedro Ivo Campos Bridge connects the island to the mainland.
3 | Belo Horizonte
Located in Southeastern Brazil, Belo Horizonte is the capital city of Minas Gerais and nestles between two mountain ranges – Serra do Curral and Serra da Moeda.
Belo Horizonte is a moderate-sized city with 2.7 million people, which is reputed as one of the safest places in Brazil.
The city also ranks as a top beautiful city in Brazil, known for its breathtaking vistas and modern architecture.
But, whether you are marveling at the Niemeyer-designed Church of St Assassi or wandering the exhibits at the Brazilian Football Museum, violence can happen.
The most recent reported statistic boasts Belo Horizonte’s low homicide rate and a declining crime rate, but petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, theft of opportunity, and tourist scams, occur daily.
4 | Brasilia
Brazil’s capital city, Brasilia, is home to almost 5 million people.
It is located in the central-west Brazilian highlands and is considered an extraordinary example of 20th-century modernist urbanism.
The World Heritage Organization declared the city a UNESCO site in 1987.
Brazilia’s overall reported crime rates are low compared to other major cities in Brazil.
And the capital city remains safe.
Brasilia has a highly educated population that complements less unemployment.
Developing a highly-skilled, educated, and working people is considered a primary factor in the consistently declining crime rates.
Unfortunately, street crime, including theft and robbery, is still highly prevalent.
While relatively safe, visitors should watch their surroundings to prevent being targets and minimize crimes of opportunity.
5 | Sao Paulo
São Paulo is an international city.
The area boasts a population of over 20 million and is considered the industrial and economic hub of South America.
Sampa, as the city is known, has something for everyone.
The megacity offers dozens of museums, neo-Gothic architecture, a thriving shopping district, and restaurants to suit every craving and budget.
There is also a 24/7 bar and club scene.
While you are out on the town, it is easy to notice a strong police presence to protect visitors and Paulistanos.
Fortunately, the crime rate in Sao Paulo is lower than in Rio de Janeiro or other cities in Brazil.
As with many cities, Sao Paulo has some favelas.
But overall, violent crime is declining, but petty theft, including pickpocketing, is common.
6 | Salvador
Salvador is Brazil’s third-largest city, with three million people.
Salvador is located directly on the Bay of All Saints and is famed for its many Baroque colonial churches.
The capital of Bahia, this moderate-sized northern town, is a beach lover’s paradise.
The historic Afro-Brazilian city is a popular international destination.
But, visitors should take reasonable precautions – securing valuables and remaining in groups.
Poverty and unemployment rates are high, and so are gangs and syndicate-related crimes.
However, recently the city has begun efforts to reduce criminal activity – additional police, city cameras, and even social media.
As a result, crime rates are decreasing.
7 | Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s largest and one of the most beautiful cities globally.
Just the abbreviated name evokes visions of warm tropical winds, sun-bleached beaches, and non-stop festivals.
Rio de Janeiro is a cultural mecca, home to museums and beautiful architecture.
It is also home to the iconic 38-meter Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado.
Overall, the city is a safe place to visit and live.
However, Rio de Janeiro is also famous for its sprawling favelas.
These are shanty towns where high crime rates persist – mainly theft.
And visitors should take precautions to protect one’s safety and valuables.
To combat crime, Rio de Janeiro has developed one of the highest rates of police presence per capita worldwide.
This has resulted in a noticeable decline in its murder rates.
8 | Natal
Natal is Rio Grande do Norte’s capital city.
This small nation-state sits on Brazil’s upper northeastern tip.
Founded as a 16th-century Portuguese fortress, Natal is known for its pristine beaches and slow pace and is one of the top tourist destinations in Brazil.
The population of Natal is just under 900900 people, and its economy relies heavily on tourism.
This self-sufficient beach community is the second safest capital in Brazil, with fewer murders and robberies reported than other Brazilian cities.
The city’s overall crime rate has declined steadily over the past few years, dropping over 5% in the past year alone.
Natal is the perfect place for South American travelers to relax in the sun safely.
9 | Recife
Recife is the fourth-largest city in Brazil and the capital city of the northeastern state of Pernambuco.
Located on the upper northeastern coast, Portuguese colonists founded Recife in the 16th century.
Currently, with a population of 4 million, this gritty city offers visitors a vibrant historical and cultural scene.
And trendy restaurants complement smaller food bars.
Think NYC with a tropical flair.
Once known as Brazil’s Wild West, organized criminal activity declined – reducing violent crimes reported.
To encourage a growing tourism economy, Recife most recently adopted a “zero-tolerance” policy for crime.
This hard-line resulted in a decline in common robberies and theft – providing a safe and serene city.
10 | Campo Grande
As Mato Grosso do Sul Estado’s capital city, Campo Grande sits on the border of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay.
And it lies near the headwaters of the Anhanduí River.
Despite a population of 90000 residents, the property and violent crime rates in Campo Grande are low, which creates a safe environment, even at night.
Additionally, the reported crimes have declined over the past decade due to the city-wide implementation of “Safe City.”
This unique approach to law enforcement deters crime by placing cameras throughout the city, creating proactive surveillance to keep the city safe.
Brazil Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Brazil Safety Review
- OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
- PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
- MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
- TERRORISM RISK : LOW
- SCAMS RISK : HIGH
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Brazil
- Share your travel plans.Let the people you trust know the details of your travel plans. Text or email pictures of people, places, and even IDs for safety.
- Avoid posting on the internet.Keep things general when posting updates to social media accounts.
- Do not accept rides from anyone who approaches you.Instead, use radio taxis from reputable companies. When possible, book directly from the hotel or a restaurant. Don’t hail taxis on the street
- Back up critical data.Make a physical copy of credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport, and birth certificate. Also, make a physical copy of credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport, and birth certificate.
- Separate your valuables.Cities are known for pickpockets. Keep cash and passports in a separate pocket.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Brazil rank globally on crime?
Brazil has the seventh-highest crime rate globally,with exceptionally high rates of violent crime. But crime statistics also show that Brazil’s most massive problem is organized crime – drug trafficking and corruption are also issues in Brazil.
Brazil has the seventh-highest crime rate globally,with exceptionally high rates of violent crime.
But crime statistics also show that Brazil’s most massive problem is organized crime – drug trafficking and corruption are also issues in Brazil.
What are Brazilian Favelas?
Like most cities, even the safest Brazilian cities have more dangerous sections. These slum areas are known as Favelas in Brazil and can be dangerous to solo travelers. The best defense is to understand which neighborhoods to avoid and stay aware of your surroundings.
Like most cities, even the safest Brazilian cities have more dangerous sections.
These slum areas are known as Favelas in Brazil and can be dangerous to solo travelers.
The best defense is to understand which neighborhoods to avoid and stay aware of your surroundings.
Is Brazil safe for women?
With caution, Brazil is generally safe for women to travel in groups or solo. Unfortunately, there is a high risk of gender-based harassment due to culture and crime rates.
With caution, Brazil is generally safe for women to travel in groups or solo.
Unfortunately, there is a high risk of gender-based harassment due to culture and crime rates.
Catcalling is common and best ignored.
The best way to ensure safety is to understand the culture, and the risk may help keep you safe.
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Is Brazil safe for tourists 2022? ›
In general, Brazil is relatively safe for visitors and tourists. The scenarios that involve tourists usually involve non-violent pick-pocketing or muggings, but in most cases, tourists usually do not encounter these issues.What is the safest place to live in 2022? ›
- Wenatchee, Washington. ...
- Appleton, Wisconsin. ...
- Dubuque, Iowa. ...
- Portland, Maine. ...
- Worcester, Massachusetts. ...
- Rochester, Minnesota. ...
- Methodology For The Safest Cities In The US. ...
- The Bottom Line. Safety is a complex equation, so keep in mind that many safe places to live aren't on this list.
Cities in Southern Brazil are among the safest in the country. Santa Catarina's fishing villages, such as Sao Francisco do Sul, Porto Belo, Bombinhas and Garopaba are safe destinations. Indeed, Florianópolis and other big cities, like Blumenau, Joinville or Curitiba are also safe places.Which is the best city to live in Brazil? ›
- São Paulo.
- Rio de Janeiro.
- Porto Alegre.
According to Atlas da Violencia 2019, Sao Paulo has a homicide rate of 13.2/100 000 inhabitants. This is nearly one-third of the homicide rate from Rio de Janeiro (35.6/100 000). Other violence indicators like robbery, assaults, or kidnappings also show that Sao Paulo is safer than Rio.What is the cheapest safest country to live in? ›
- Costa Rica.
With just over 200,000 residents, Frisco is the safest city in America according to our metrics. Located approximately 30 miles north of Dallas, Frisco has the fifth-lowest violent crime rate across our study, with 86 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents.
The safest country in Africa, Mauritius also ranked as the 28th-safest country in the world in 2022. Mauritius is a multicultural island nation that is family-friendly and secure.Which city in Brazil has the most crime? ›
1. Feira de Santana. Feira de Santana is the second largest city in the state of Bahia and is arguably the most dangerous city in the whole of Brazil.Where do rich people live in Brazil? ›
According to estimates from FGV Social based on declared earnings in Income Tax registries over total population projections in each locality, the Brazilian State's Capital with the highest income per inhabitant is Florianópolis (R$ 3,998/month), followed by Porto Alegre and Vitória.
Is any part of Brazil safe? ›
Most of Brazil is safe for a woman traveling by herself – especially if you stick to the well-trodden routes. But just like anywhere else in the world, there will be extra safety precautions you should take as a solo female traveler. So here are some tips to help keep you secure.Where in Brazil should I move to? ›
São Paulo – São Paulo is undoubtedly the number one spot for expats who are first moving to Brazil. It's South America's largest city with a population over 12 million. São Paulo is a culturally mixed bag, and expats can easily get around with little to no knowledge of the Portuguese language.Where is the richest city in Brazil? ›
The Brazilian market is still under-explored as 67% of its luxury market is concentrated in the city of São Paulo, which is the richest city in South America and worth comparing with New York and London, the main global centres of luxury.Where is the best place to retire Brazil? ›
The most popular destination for retirees in Brazil is Rio de Janeiro. If you were to rent a one-bedroom apartment in central Rio de Janeiro, you could expect to pay about $325 per month.Which state is the safest in Brazil? ›
The crime rates also differ from region to region, where the north and northeast are the most violent regions in Brazil. The homicide rate in the northeast is the highest in Brazil with 49.8 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The country's lowest rate is in the south at 23.9. São Paulo is the safest state at 14.3.How safe is Brazil living? ›
Living in Brazil is safe if you live in a secure area or city. However, the longer you spend time in Brazil, the higher your chances of being a crime victim. As a tourist staying for a short time, you are less likely to be a crime victim.Is Mexico safer than Brazil? ›
In terms of absolute number of murders in a year, Brazil has the most murders of any country by total number (62,318) followed by India (29,000), the USA (25,000) and Mexico (24,576).Is it safe to walk in São Paulo? ›
The touristy areas and more residential parts of São Paulo are perfectly safe as long as you are aware. It is safe for you to walk around by yourself or with friends during the day.Is Manaus safe for tourists? ›
Manaus is a relatively safe city for travelers to explore during the day and night without a tour guide. But even the most experienced travelers can fall foul to local criminals looking to make a quick dollar or cause harm.What is the easiest country to move to? ›
- South Korea.
What country is best to move to? ›
- Canada. #1 in Quality of Life. #1 in Best Countries Overall. ...
- Denmark. #2 in Quality of Life. #12 in Best Countries Overall. ...
- Sweden. #3 in Quality of Life. ...
- Norway. #4 in Quality of Life. ...
- Switzerland. #5 in Quality of Life. ...
- Australia. #6 in Quality of Life. ...
- Netherlands. #7 in Quality of Life. ...
- Finland. #8 in Quality of Life.
It's one of the best countries in the world to live in for expats.
Most Violent Cities in America 2022.
|Violent Crime Rate||2,082|
- Vermont - 69.49.
- Maine - 66.24.
- New Hampshire - 65.35.
- Minnesota - 64.02.
- Utah - 62.54.
- Connecticut - 62.12.
- Massachusetts - 61.83.
- Rhode Island - 60.19.
First up on our list of Safest Cities in the US is Frisco Texas. We begin our list by looking at Frisco, Texas. This city is just north of Dallas and is home to over 200,000 people. This city appears on this list due to the meager rates of violent crimes.
Uruguay. Sitting at the top of the pile of safest South American countries is Uruguay. According to the 2021 Global Peace Index, Uruguay ranks 47th out of the world's 163 nations.Which is the happiest country in Africa? ›
Unfortunately, it is true that – statistically, at least – the USA is far from the safest country in the world. If we take a look at the Global Peace Index of 2019, which measures the peacefulness and general safety of 163 nations across the globe, the United States ranks 128th.Where are the most murders in Brazil? ›
Brazil: homicide rate 2021, by city
Feira de Santana led the ranking of the most violent city in Brazil, with a murder rate of 61.21 per 100,000 inhabitants. It was followed followed by Mossoró, with a homicide rate of more than 54 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Amapá, Acre and Roraima are the poorest states in the country with 0.59% of the national GDP.
What is the safest area to stay in Rio de Janeiro? ›
Copacabana is one of the best neighborhoods, both in terms of safety and convenience, it is a neighborhood for those who love the beach, with good access to public transportation, good restaurants and bars, and lively nightlife as well.What is a wealthy salary in Brazil? ›
A person that makes more than 1935 USD per month can be considered rich in Brazil, as 95% of the population lives with an income equal to or less 1255 USD. Anyone that makes more than 2511 USD is at the 1% elite. The “A” class, the superrich, is formed by the ones making more than 3870 USD monthly.Which part of Brazil is the most developed? ›
Economy of Brazil.
|Exports||$280.4 billion (2021)|
In terms of security, violence in Brazil has dropped dramatically over the last three years. Cities like São Paulo, for example, had their homicide rates dropped by almost 80%! But, in general, many large cities in Brazil are still far more violent than anywhere in Argentina.Is Rio 2022 Safe? ›
While Rio does have a certain security risk involved, visitors can greatly minimize their risk by following a few commonsense rules. Try to travel in a group preferably with local friends. At night, avoid walking on the streets alone. Be careful about public transportation at night.Is Rio a safe city? ›
Rio is a safe destination for solo female travelers
Solo travelers love Rio. As long as you take a few safety precautions, you'll find it's an incredibly exciting city to explore.
Brazil vs United States - Cost of Living Comparison.
It brings up the question: how much money do you need to live comfortably in Brazil? As a general rule, to live comfortably in Brazil a couple will need a monthly income of about 1221 USD. For a family of four, the necessary salary per month to live a comfortable life in Brazil is around 1741 USD.How long can a US citizen live in Brazil? ›
In Brazil, a tourist/business visitor may generally stay up to 90 days, extension or renewal possible for at most 90 days, totaling 180 days (After that time the foreigner must leave the country). WHAT IF I WANT TO STAY LONGER THAN 90 DAYS?
What are the poor parts of Brazil? ›
- Piaui. Located in the northeast region of Brazil, Piaui is the poorest state with a GDP per capita income of R$8,137. ...
- Maranhao. Maranhao has a GDP per capita income of R$8,760, making the state the second-poorest in Brazil, contributing less than 1% to the national economy. ...
- Clemont Ferrant, Vila Nova Conceição: 21 million reals (about $8 million) ...
- Chateau Margoux, Vila Nova Conceição: 20 million reals (about $8 million) ...
- Calla Di Volpe Romazzino, Itaim Bibi: 17.4 million reals (about $7 million)
Retirement Visa in Brazil
Applicants for a Brazilian retiree visa must be over age 60 with a pension or investments that pay out at least $1,400 USD per month.
Can foreigners buy or rent Real Estate Property in Brazil? Yes, we can. Foreigners are permitted to buy, own and rent Real Estate Property. By law Brazilians and foreigners are on almost equal footing when it comes to property ownership and tenant rights.Is Brazil safe to visit now? ›
Brazil - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. Exercise increased caution in Brazil due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.How Safe Is Rio 2022? ›
We'll be honest: Rio has some unsafe areas
Locals tell us that central, beach areas are safe during the day and that things tend to get more dangerous as you move north, towards Zona Norte. Rio is a big city with a lot of tourists, which means two things: one, many crimes are crimes of opportunity.
There are high levels of crime, particularly robberies, within Brazil's cities and the murder rate can be very high. This can vary greatly within a city, so familiarise yourself with the geography of a city and take local advice to identify the riskier areas.Is Brazil safe for solo female Traveller? ›
Brazil faces real issues of poverty and crime so solo female travelers will need to be on guard. This is not a destination for new travelers and I would only suggest solo female travelers visit here if they are experienced solo travelers. Even then, you'll want to make sure you take every precaution that you can.Is Argentina safer than Brazil? ›
In terms of security, violence in Brazil has dropped dramatically over the last three years. Cities like São Paulo, for example, had their homicide rates dropped by almost 80%! But, in general, many large cities in Brazil are still far more violent than anywhere in Argentina.Is Manaus safe for tourists? ›
Manaus is a relatively safe city for travelers to explore during the day and night without a tour guide. But even the most experienced travelers can fall foul to local criminals looking to make a quick dollar or cause harm.
Is Copacabana safe? ›
You are relatively safe on Copacabana Beach during the daylight when there are many people around, but your chances drop significantly lower when you visit the beach after dark. There is no reason for you to be on Copacabana Beach after dark (especially not recommended for solo travelers).Is Rio safe at night? ›
Walking around Rio's main streets, especially near the beaches, is perfectly safe during the day, despite the city's reputation. However, just because you're in a wealthy or touristy neighbourhood doesn't mean you're safe to wander at night. In fact, these areas are specifically targeted by criminals.Is Brasilia a safe city? ›
Compared to other cities in Brazil, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia is very safe. The city has a reputation for being an affluent, safe place to live and in the central district this is especially true.Is Lima safe for tourists? ›
Short answer: yes. Visiting Lima is just like visiting any other metropolitan area. There is, of course, a risk of petty-crime. But Lima is largely safe if you stick to the main touristic areas, such as Miraflores and Barranco.Can you drink the tap water in Brazil? ›
Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water in Brazil? Officially, yes it is safe to drink tap water in Brazil and very tempting as it is free. The Brazilian government has worked hard in recent years to improve the quality of drinking water.Is Rio safe for tourists? ›
The safest areas of Rio are in the South Zone. The tourist-friendly beaches of Copacabana (a beach praised in this article) and Ipanema are considered safe during the day. At night there are issues with criminality as with most large cities, but nothing abnormal.Are taxis safe in Rio de Janeiro? ›
We recommend using a Rio de Janeiro taxi to explore the city as comfortably as possible. Taxis are the fastest and safest transportation option in the city, and they are easily hailed on the street. They mostly congregate at taxi ranks and around major hotels in the city.Are buses in Brazil safe? ›
Intercity bus travel is generally safe in Brazil, the same way other means of transportation are. Nothing more than the usual precautions – pickpockets, etc.What do I need to know before going to Brazil? ›
- There are no introverts in Brazil. ...
- English isn't spoken widely. ...
- The juice bars are amazing. ...
- Brazil is an outdoor world. ...
- There's an enormous gap between rich and poor. ...
- One of its biggest cities is in the middle of the Amazon. ...
- Parties are important. ...
- Rhythm is king.