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good advice on where to stay

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Glasgow
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good advice on where to stay

My wife and I are coming off a cruise from BA to Rio next March and having read so much about the crime and dangers of Rio are a bit sorry we did not just head to the airport straight away and give this place a miss. However fact is we will have two days to see Rio before we head off home. We are 60 years old- young at heart, but not looking for a wild nightlife -more about the sights and culture.

Can anyone suggest where (ie loction in town ) we should stay. And a hotel (say) $200- $250 a night. We want safe area where we can walk the streets without fear of being straightaway mugged. (is there such a thing?) . Clean hotel. Comfort, new refurbished is better than spa facilities for us.

Oh and recommendations on a city tour company which will take us to see whatever should be seen whilst we are there.

Is this a lot to ask of Rio??

Houston-Lisbon-Rio...
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1. Re: good advice on where to stay

Greetings,

Generally speaking the dangers of Rio de Janeiro are oftenttimes overblown in the press. This is not to say that there is no crime in Rio, because there is, but if a tourist uses common sense and stays aware of their surroundings they will, in all likelihood, have no problems whoatsoever.

Firstly, you should probably arrange for transport from the port to whatever hotel you finally decide upon. I would recommmend for you to contact Grayline Tours as they have a very safe and comfortable hotel transfer service. Grayline is a world-wide operation with a good reputation. They offer many tours and the aforementioned hotel transfer service. I have used their service and can vouch that it is quite good. You can find Grayline by doing a Google search and I will include the Grayline Rio URL below:

http://www.grayline.com.br/indexrioing.php

As to where best to stay for a "young-at-heart" couple, I would suggest the Ipanema and Leblon areas. You will have no difficulty walking the sidewalks of Ipanema/Leblon. There is a heavy tourist police presence (at least until sundown) in these areas and I am sure you will feel very much at ease in these neighborhoods. As far as hotels in your price range I would recommend either the Sol Ipanema or the Marina Palace Hotels. Both are situated directly across from the beach with the Sol Ipanema in Ipanema across from Posto 9 and the Marina Palace in Leblon. Between the two the Sol Ipanema is less expensive but both fall within your budget range and both offer fine service.

On what to see during your two-day stay? I would recommend that you certainly take in the Christ Statue on top of Corcovado and if you can squeeze it in consider Sugarloaf Mountain. But if you can only get to one of these two Rio icons, then make it Cristo Redentor. Once again, Grayline Tours offers half-day and full-day tours that cover both of these sites. You might also consider getting to a Brazilian Rodizio (bar-b-que) for a meat-lover's feast and perhaps take in a Samba Plataforma (stage show).

Finally, some caveats:

Like any big city Rio has crime but you can greatly minimize your chances of being victimized by using common sense and following some simple rules:

1) Do not wear expensive jewelry or watches. Even fake or costume jewelry and watches will attract unwanted attention. If you must wear a watch, buy yourself a very cheap timepiece and should someone try to take it from you..just give it up and never offer resistance.

2) Only carry enough money to cover whatever you are doing that day

you can also carry a credit card but keep money and card in separate pockets. Don't carry a bulky wallet or purse, a money clip and a thin leather holder for your credit card should be fine. I know some people who keep an extra 50 Reals in one pocket to offer up in the case they are accosted but I don't think that such a precaution is necessary. Keep wallets and money in front pockets. Use your hotel safe to store passports, cash and jewelry when you are out and about.

3) Try not to consult maps while walking the streets and if you are toting around a digital camera, small ones can be kept in your pocket while larger ones should be carried in non-descript shopping bags. It is not wise to have that 10MP Digital SLR hanging off of your neck while strolling the streets of Rio.

All that said, if you do go on group tours with Grayline or a private tour guide, like Luciano Sampaio of Rio VIP Tours, you can remain secure in the knowledge that your safety and interests have being taken into consideration and you can relax and enjoy whatever venue you are visiting without worry of being mugged.

Rio de Janeiro is a great city with warm, friendly people, great food, incredible views and monuments. 99% of those who go to Rio have a great time with no problems and those tourists who do run into difficulty have typically done something unwise like strayed into an unfamiliar area at night (always take taxis when traveling at night), hooked up with some unscrupulous indiviual at a bar or walked the streets either carrying or wearing expensive items.

Remember there are a lot of poor people in Rio and if someone sees something on a tourist that could probably feed their family for a month, then the tempation to do the wrong thing can be overwhelming.

Anyway, I hope that this long reply has been at least a little helpful.

Safe travels to you!

George B.

San Clemente...
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2. Re: good advice on where to stay

Excellent advice from the previous post and is right on on everything from the transport from the ship, to the hotels and the city tours.

I stay in the same area and it is beautiful and so much fun. You have so many excellent restaurants and shops in Ipanema to choose from.

The Ipanema area is the safest and I have never experienced any problems there except for sunburn. Just use the same caution as you would at home when visiting the beach with valuables.

Cheers!!!

Glasgow
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3. Re: good advice on where to stay

Thank you both- I feel better already...will take your good advice .

Saint Paul...
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4. Re: good advice on where to stay

Thank you George and Ricardo. I am going to Rio next September with my 50 yr old parents who are concerned with safety so I will send your posts to them.

Thanks!

Rachel

5. Re: good advice on where to stay

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