RSSCategory: Alerts

accommodation alert for Rio de Janeiro in July 2013

accommodation alert for Rio de Janeiro in July 2013

Copacabana

World Youth Day will take place in Rio de Janeiro between 23 and 28 July 2013. It is an event organized by the Catholic Church and you should pay attention as it is estimated it will bring to Rio more visitors than the World Cup.

Accommodation in Rio during the period is likely to be scarce, in particular in the budget end of things (the definition “budget” in Rio is a bit of a problem).

In short:

  • if you’ve already made accommodation arrangements for the period, you’re fine and do not need to worry.
  • if you haven’t booked your acommodation yet, you either get your act together and do it ASAP or change the dates of your trip to Rio.

You are not advised to reach Rio during the period of World Youth Day with no hotel reservation.

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January 14, 2013 | By More
credit card cloning, a source of headaches

credit card cloning, a source of headaches

As the list of readers of De viaje a Brasil (the Spanish-language counterpart to this blog) who have been victim of credit card fraud while holidaying in Brazil grows steadily it is clearly time to raise the alarm here at the Brazil Travel Blog as well.

The first time I heard of credit card fraud in Brazil was shortly after arriving in the country more than ten years ago. A Scottish friend of mine visiting Rio de Janeiro was the victim. Since then, the list of friends and acquaintances who have been victims of a widespread crime in Brazil is extense.

Michael Sommers told us at Thrill of Brazil how he himself had been a victim: Summer of Scam: Beware of Card Cloning. Bear in mind he is no ordinary tourist. He’s a seasoned traveller and specialist on Brazil, where he has been based for years. So if someone street savvy as himself falls victim of the fraud, what can an ordinary tourist do to prevent himself?

Criminals get smarter by the minute but my basic advice would be: only use ATM’s that are on public spaces where the constant coming and going of the public would make it impossible for the criminals to set up the devices they use to clone the cards. ATM’s at airports are excellent choices. ATM’s inside bank branches (but not the ones outside the branch with round-the-clock access) are even better. They are not easy to find but some banks have them. The ATM’s are inside the bank branch and you can only use them during banking hours.

ATM’s that are unguarded after banking hours are prime suspects, even if they have CCTV on them.

As the approaching sporting events are likely to herald growth in credit card fraud, it would seem prepaid travel money cards will be the way forward.

November 19, 2012 | By More
dengue fever epidemic declared in Rio de Janeiro, no need to panic

dengue fever epidemic declared in Rio de Janeiro, no need to panic

Río de Janeiro

The authorities of Rio de Janeiro have just declared a dengue epidemic in the city, something of an annual event.

This year’s epidemic seems of a smaller scale than in preceeding years:

  • 12 deaths have been registered as well as 50,000 cases. Readers of this blog will remember previous epidemics with hundreds of deaths and hundreds of thousands of cases.
  • the declaration of the epidemic comes at the end of April, when the rainy season is coming to an end and the number of cases drops drastically.

Should you cancel your trip to Rio because of the dengue epidemic? In questions of health we’ve always believed that everyone should make their own mind based on their tolerance to risk. To those affected, it doesn’t matter much whether the number of victims is large or tiny. We personally wouldn’t cancel our trip to Rio but like I’ve just pointed out, that’s a decision based on our own personal tolerance to risk – which might be different from yours.

We encourage you to read 10 facts about dengue fever in Brazil, a text we wrote with the help of a medical specialist on the issue. After reading the text, you’ll be better prepared to make your own mind.

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a word of warning on accommodation in Rio de Janeiro during June 2012

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a word of warning on accommodation in Rio de Janeiro during June 2012

a word of warning on accommodation in Rio de Janeiro during June 2012

rio+20

If you are heading to Rio de Janeiro in June, pay attention. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 will take place between 20 and 22 June, with preliminary meeting on the previous days and delegates arriving in Rio as early as 13 June.

The Conference is going to wreck havoc with hotel accommodation in the city. Rio doesn’t have enough hotel rooms to host the estimated 50,000 delegates taking part in the event and the local authorities are even considering a scheme to encourage locals to provide accommodation for the participants in the summit (Sem hotéis, campanha incentivará cariocas a hospedar participantes da Rio+20).

So basically:

  • if you have a hotel booking there is no need to worry.
  • if you were planning on visiting Rio during the dates of the summit but you don’t have a hotel booking you need to get that sorted out asap. Or choose another date for your trip.

By all means do not arrive in Rio de Janeiro during the conference without a hotel booked beforehand.

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March 29, 2012 | By More
double concern days before carnival: police on strike in the states of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro

double concern days before carnival: police on strike in the states of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro

Urca

While the ongoing police strike in the state of Bahia takes its toll, a new front has just been launched, as the police forces and firefighters of the state of Rio de Janeiro have began their own strike: Police Strike by Brazilians Makes Holiday Seem a Threat.

Just a few days before carnival time, all tourists heading to carnival land are advised to keep a close eye on media reports. It is still too soon to tell whether the strike in Rio will have the devastating impact it had on Bahia. It can be assumed that the army and a special national force will fill the gap left by the state police forces.

February 10, 2012 | By More