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Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

United States
Level Contributor
30 posts
225 reviews
114 helpful votes
Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

With continued news of increased crime and violence in Rio, I question the safety of my backpacking son, who will be staying at a hostel in Favela Vidigal during the Olympics.

Perhaps there will be added military presence in very populated areas near the Olympic venues that might tamp down some of the crime there, but I've heard that the once somewhat pacified favelas are now crime-ridden again with drug gang shootings and cops who patrol with guns drawn, it's so unsafe.

And while perhaps walking through there in the daytime you might be ok, what about if you're returning there after dark?

My son dismisses this as media hysteria, but I'd like to feel a little more secure about him staying somewhere that sounds a bit sketchy given the current problems plaguing Brasil.

would love to hear from those who are familiar with things as they are now. thanks!

Philadelphia...
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
28,077 posts
28 reviews
121 helpful votes
1. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

Favelas are always problematic in terms of safety, even in the best of times.

Your son needs to be especially careful when he returns to his room after dark.

Vidigal Pictorial:

http://bit.ly/1BuADIz

United States
Level Contributor
30 posts
225 reviews
114 helpful votes
2. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

thanks for the reply. This is my concern though he will refuse to hear that...

State of Rio de...
Level Contributor
56 posts
3. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

Hello , vidigal is a favela with a beutiful view in Leblon . Many foreigners are leaving there because of that , its safe area even been a favela . But is always nice take care .

Edited: 5:51 pm, July 27, 2016
4. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

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Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
2,829 posts
22 reviews
21 helpful votes
5. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

No, it is not. No favela is "safe". Not even to locals who speak the language.

Stay away from favelas. I do this and i am alive and never had any safety issue.

Just warning.

There are many beautiful and safer places to go.

Why to go to see poor's people misery?

BR

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
2,421 posts
1,219 reviews
624 helpful votes
6. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

There are many tourists in Vidigal nowadays, and many foreigners. Actually foreigners tended to visit Vidigal much more than locals, historically speaking.

I'd say Vidigal is as safe (or unsafe) as anywhere else in Rio's south zone. Regular precautions should be taken anywhere in town.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
4,548 posts
83 reviews
45 helpful votes
7. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

Sorry, but the statistics regarding homicides are completely wrong. You can't really compare like this, also.

As for Vidigal, this is an area that has undergone gentrification. Your son is not the only person to be staying there as a tourist. I would stay somewhere else, even somewhere like Glória or Catete which are less touristy areas served by the subway. But it has become common to stay in Vidigal during carnival, New Years and other events.

He should stick to cabs in the evening just like anywhere in Rio. Uber is also a good option.

Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
1,953 posts
38 reviews
6 helpful votes
8. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

" the statistics regarding homicides are completely wrong."

Why?

1 post
9. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

I just came back from a weekend in Rio. Vidigal is not the best place to stay althought it's worth a visit. Climbing the Pedra Dois Irmãos is a really fun experience but it's far from the city and poorly connected. If he doesn't speak fluent portuguese his chances of getting mugged are 10 times greater, he should be ready for that. There are better places to stay. Many hostels in the city, on the beach and downtown. There is some bad publicity but people should take precautions. Unfortunately there is some bad people in Rio who will be hunting tourists. He probably will agree once he's there so a flex reservation would be best, then he can move to another neighborhood with more going on and less worries.

Edited: 1:52 pm, July 29, 2016
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
2,829 posts
22 reviews
21 helpful votes
10. Re: Is favela Vidigal safe if traveling alone?

Homicides statistics are not correct because in the slum over the hills and in some other hiddens places, the assassins use to not deliver the bodies. They have means to bury or burn or whatever they do to hide the bodies forever... So, if tbere is no body, there is no murder. The person is just disappeared.

Too commom in Brazil.

Ihave a person that went to a dance night in a favela and never returned.

When her mother tried to find her... She was adviced to stop searching or she would be killed too.

The young girl were into drugs.

Sad.

BR