In Rio de Janeiro and other tourist cities on the Brazilian coast, the Summer has always presented a significant increase in all kinds of crimes, mostly those against property. This occurs due to an influx of tourists, increasing the local attractiveness for criminals. As the beaches become overcrowded, the risks build up: mass robberies, thefts, robberies by fake beach sellers etc.

In response to such a trend, authorities reinforce public security in strategic locations: the waterfront, near central bus stops, important streets, and parks. Normally named “Summer Operation”, the extra security, however, is not enough to stop the usual increase in crimes.

Considering the facts described above, it appeared necessary to share with our clients a few recommendations regarding security risks typical from this time of the year.


  • Avoid unnecessary exposure of valuables/expensive items, including walk and talk on the phone
  • Try to circulate in a group, preferably with local friends. At night, avoid walking alone
  • Maintain your original passport and documents in a safe place and carry copies
  • Bring only the strictly necessary to the beach and do not leave your belongings unattended when you go for a swim. Locals tend to ask other bathers
  • During holidays or on weekends, the beaches are normally overcrowded, it is when most crimes occur. Hence, whenever possible, prefer weekdays
  • If it is not possible to avoid the weekends, prefer going to the beaches outside of peak hours, in the morning, before 11:00, or in the late afternoon, after 15:00
  • In Rio, generally, the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Arpoador are the ones that have more incidents. The access to and from gang-controlled areas is faster and Arpoador beach is half enclosed, only having an “exit” to Ipanema
  • Prefer quieter beaches, like Leblon and Barra da Tijuca
  • Be always attentive to your surroundings, never allow children to move away from you
  • If you find yourself in a mass robbery, be quick: try to remain calm, grab the kids and move with the crowd trying to reach a Municipal Guard or a Military Police nearby. Let your belongings in the sand. The most important is yours and your relatives’ safety
  • Check with the local public services the beaches bathing conditions. Thus, you can avoid contact with contaminated water.
  • Pay attention to strong marine currents, indicated by red flags or warning signs put by the lifeguards on the sand
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