Just got back from Rio on my 2weeks holiday and I must say it has been my best holiday ever! Rio is amazing! Lovely people, cheap and great food, perfect weather. I was a bit concern when reading so many warnings about the crime sceens in Rio prior to my trip. After spending 2 weeks there, it is not what people claimed it was at all. Brazilians are very friendly people. I spent everyday on the beach, walked with my backpack in every corner of Ipanema, Copacabana, Botafoga and the city center and I felt safe. I even walked near Favella. It is absolutely ok to carry your camera in your pocket anywhere you go and take any pictures when necessary. I always carried cash (R200 or £50) and a credit card to the beach in case I need to buy something. When my friends are not around I just asked some tourists on the beach to look after my stuff while I took a swim. I know it sounds crazy, but I never had any problem. Of course it's important to keep it all in a low profile. I think people who got robbed are people who act like tourist, and had too much pre-caution.
Food is great in Rio and real cheap. Restaurant that offer all you can eat is very common in Rio, or you pay your dish base on the weight. Brazilians love meat and suzzi, so if you are a meat lover like me, you will enjoy the finest meat! A very good meal with vast choices only cost £5.
Fresh juice bar can be found in every corner. Fruits are very cheap indead! I got 5papayas, 1pineapple, 3kg bananas, star fruits - all in one big box for only £2!
Taxi is real cheap, you pay a basic fee £1 and a ten min ride can cost approx £3.
Dont forget to bargain! Even in shopping malls! At least ask for 10% discount. But if you are really good you might get more. I was in a Levis store and bought 2 t-shirts, got 20% off! This is the most fun of it. Obviously if I buy something on the beach for £1-2 I wouldnt haggle considered how tough those people's life are.
Overall, It has been a great experience for me in Rio. Again, Rio is not as scary as most people say. It's a bit depressing to get back to my normal life in London but I'm already planing my second visit next April/ May!