Why Is Brazil So Dangerous? (11 Reasons Why)

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Morgan Stephens

Morgan Stephens has been to 43 countries and counting, and he's never content to stay in one place for too long. Right now, he's living in South Korea, but he's always on the lookout for his next adventure.

Brazil is a beautiful country. There are many things to see and even more to do. Tons of people choose to vacation and live there every single year. It has a reputation among many.

Unfortunately, Brazil is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. You might wonder – what are the factors that make Brazil so dangerous? Why is it unsafe in some circumstances?

Why Is Brazil So Dangerous?

1. A High Crime Rate

Brazil has one of the highest crime rates in the world. This rate includes a mix of crimes, from those that lean more violent to less intense assaults and instances of robbery.

Not only are there many murders in Brazil, but there are also pickpockets thefts and car robberies. You have to be on your game at all times in Brazil to stay free from crime.

Because of the crime rate, it’s not safe to be out at night in Brazil unless you are very careful. There is a fun nightlife, but it comes at a high risk for the average person.

2. Dangerous Insects

There are insects that can bite and spread disease in Brazil, more so than other countries. If you visit Brazil, you can expect to receive at least a few bites at some point.

Mosquitoes and other bugs can bite and spread deadly diseases such as malaria. This disease can put an end to even the most fun trip.

To prepare, ensure you bring bug spray and plenty of netting to Brazil. Keep your body parts covered as much as possible for defense from the bugs in the air and on the ground.

3. Pickpockets Are Everywhere

There are tons of pickpockets in Brazil. It’s a location where you are at risk of getting robbed anywhere you go, no matter how much of a tourist destination a spot might be.

It’s best to avoid carrying any loose items on your person. Tons of people have entered Brazil with a purse or phone and left empty-handed after the trip.

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If you do go out, ensure you keep everything secure. Don’t go in crowded areas and keep watch when riding public transportation. You never know what could happen.

4. Riptides in the Ocean

Brazil is known for strong riptides. These can be dangerous and are often deadly. If you get caught in one, you can become dragged out and under the sea in only a few moments.

A riptide is dangerous because it’s difficult to notice. The water will drag you out and pull you down before a lifeguard has the chance to spot you in the waves.

If you go swimming, ensure you check for riptides before going out. There should be a chart online that will inform you of the ocean conditions before swimming.

5. Scams Happen Often

There are plenty of scams that happen in Brazil, and many occur due to tourists’ lack of Portuguese. It’s critical to be aware of the possibility of scams before visiting the country.

The Good Samaritan scam is common. Locals will ‘help’ a lost tourist and then ask for money. This situation can often lead to violence if no funds are exchanged.

Airports are also common places to get scammed, from stolen luggage to car ride troubles. Don’t accept or give anything to anyone you don’t know.

6. Violent Crime is Rampant

Violent Crime is Rampant

There is a high crime rate in Brazil, and a large chunk of that crime is violent crime. This might include rape, assault, and murder. There is a high rate of violent crime at hand.

In 2020, Brazil had a homicide rate of 23.6 murders per 100,000 citizens – a remarkably high number, and it’s been as high as thirty in previous years.

If you visit Brazil, it’s critical to be aware of the homicide rate and the most dangerous areas. It’s a country that needs more caution than other locations around the world.

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7. Drug Trafficking

Brazil is also a popular spot for drugs to travel in and out of the country. Unfortunately, it’s possible to get stuck in some dangerous situations when you are out in Brazil.

It’s critical to do your research before a visit to Brazil. Some locations are more drug-heavy than others, and thus will provide more danger to the average visitor.

If you can avoid the areas with heavy drug transportation, do it. You don’t want to get caught in the dangerous crossfire of arguing gangs in Brazil.

8. Heavy Rains

There are many forms of severe weather in Brazil, and one of the most severe is the heavy rain. This factor can lead to items such as flooding or mudslide, both deadly on occasions.

If you are in an area that has the potential to flood or experience a mudslide, get out of there if rain occurs. Dangerous weather conditions can overtake an area in a matter of minutes.

Some areas of Brazil are safer than others when there is heavy rain. Ensure you check these out ahead of time.

9. Gang Violence

The common drug trafficking means that there are many gangs in Brazil. These gangs can get violent, and with violence comes death. It’s easy to get stuck in the crossfire.

There are spots in Brazil where gangs will not hesitate to fire on unfamiliar tourists in the area. There have been many deaths as a result of lost tourists stumbling into a slum area.

Although Brazil is working on lowering the violence in the area, it’s still high. Take care if you decide that Brazil is the ideal choice for your next travel destination.

10. Impoverished People

Brazil is a country that is filled with inequality. You have very wealthy people and very poor people. Unfortunately, desperation can lead to violent actions in some situations.

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Scams are a way that many impoverished people try to take advantage of tourists and locals, and it can turn violent. You need to act confident as you stroll down the streets.

Again, research is your best bet when it comes to visiting Brazil. You can determine the areas where tourists thrice, and which locations are best to stay away from in the country.

11. Shark Attacks

There have been multiple shark attacks off the coast of Brazil, some of which have been fatal. If you swim in the ocean, you need to be prepared for the possibility of a shark attack.

Avoid going into the ocean if you have to pee or are actively bleeding. These items have been known to attract sharks, which then attack people.

There’s something about Brazilian water that makes sharks more aggressive than in other spots. Take care if you want to swim in the clear, gorgeous water during your time there.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Anchorage is so dangerous, why St Louis is so dangerous, and why Oakland is so dangerous.


Brazil is an excellent country, and you can visit there if you would like to. There are many things to see and places to visit, all in safe enough locations for any visitor to the location.

There are many items that make Brazil unsafe, from rampant violent crime to the number of pickpockets in the area. Still, if you are careful, you can stay safe in the country of Brazil.


  • Morgan Stephens

    Morgan Stephens has been to 43 countries and counting, and he's never content to stay in one place for too long. Right now, he's living in South Korea, but he's always on the lookout for his next adventure.

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