I get a lot of questions about safety and security whenever I travel to Latin America and especially Brazil. I’m happy that people are concerned about the safety of my well-being, but I’m the one that isn’t concerned one bit. I find that the media’s portrayal of a dangerous city/state/country is way too overblown to proportions. After all, I survived visiting San Pedro Sula (TWICE), dubbed the most dangerous city in the world outside of a warzone. I was in Belo Horizonte, the 3rd most populous city in Brazil and spent three nights and four days during the World Cup.
Introduction to 2014 World Cup in Brazil
American Airlines DFW-GRU 777-300ER Business Class
How to Get From Guarulhos Airport to Sao Paulo via Public Transit
Augusta Boulevard Sao Paulo Hotel Review
The Sights and Sounds of Catedral da Se in Sao Paulo
The Sights and Sounds of Liberdade in Sao Paulo
The Sights and Sounds of Rua 25 de Marco in Sao Paulo
The Sights and Sounds of the Mercado Municipal in Sao Paulo
The Sights and Sounds of Faria Lima in Sao Paulo
The Sights and Sounds of Rua Augusta in Sao Paulo
The Sights and Sounds of Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo
The Sights and Sounds of FIFA Fan Fest in Sao Paulo
The Various Eats in Sao Paulo Brazil Part 2
How to Get From Sao Paulo to Guarulhos Airport on Public Transit
GOL Airlines GRU-CWB 737-800 Economy Class
Four Points by Sheraton Curitiba Hotel Review
The Sights and Sounds of Downtown Curitiba in Brazil
The Sights and Sounds of Old Town Curitiba in Brazil
The Sights and Sounds of Rua das Flores in Curitiba Brazil
The Sights and Sounds of FIFA Fan Fest in Curitiba Brazil
Curitiba International Airport TAM Oneworld VIP Lounge
GOL Airlines CWB-CNF 737-700 Economy Class
Estoril Belo Horizonte Hotel Review
The Sights and Sounds of a World Cup Match in Belo Horizonte
The Sights and Sounds of the World Cup Protests in Belo Horizonte
The Sights and Sounds of Downtown Belo Horizonte Brazil
The Sights and Sounds of Mercado Central in Belo Horizonte
The Sights and Sounds of Savassi in Belo Horizonte Brazil
How to Get to Ouro Preto From Belo Horizonte Brazil
The Sights and Sounds of Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais Brazil
Is Belo Horizonte Brazil Safe For Tourists?
The Various Eats in Belo Horizonte Minas Gerais Brazil
TAM Airlines CNF-GIG A320 Economy Class
Hospedagem Ledo Rio de Janeiro Hotel Review
The Sights and Sounds of the Beaches of Rio de Janeiro
The Sights and Sounds of FIFA Fan Fest in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro International Airport Proair Sala VIP Lounge
US Airways GIG-CLT 767-200 Envoy Business Class
US Airways CLT-LAX A321 First Class
Keep in mind that I was in Belo Horizonte during the World Cup and there was police practically everywhere when it was match day.
However, when it wasn’t a match day, I didn’t see much police on the streets of Belo Horizonte. This wasn’t a problem because there were many people out and about during the day time going about their daily lives.
During the day time, I walked all over Centro Belo Horizonte and it was really safe. I even took the bus and the metro with no problems.
Of course, you should always practice self-awareness like not flashing expensive jewelry and always keep your wallet in your front pocket. Don’t carry a DSLR camera around your neck and make yourself a target for petty theft.
Prostitution is a big thing in Belo Horizonte and it’s actually legalized in Brazil. Street hookers are mostly found in the red light district of downtown Belo Horizonte. If you aren’t looking for sex, chances are that you won’t even run into them because they look like ordinary people standing outside of small buildings usually with a staircase to go upstairs to small apartments where the deed is done. According to this article, prostitutes were given free basic English lessons and even a handheld mobile credit card payment machines during the World Cup.
Another thing to know is to never walk down a street or alley if there are no cars or people around during the daytime or nighttime. This was a lesson learned for me where I Was Held at Knifepoint in Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup in Brazil. This won’t stop me from visiting beautiful Rio de Janeiro or Brazil for that matter because that could happen anywhere in the world.
I did encounter one problem in Belo Horizonte and that’s when I tried to take a picture of a gang trying to hustle unsuspecting tourists on the streets of Downtown Belo Horizonte in a game of 3 card monte. Needless to say they were pissed when I took a few pictures of them, but I told them that I didn’t take it and they left me alone.
Of all the times I’ve visited Brazil, I’ve been warned to not go out during the night time. I even practice this in my home town of Los Angeles because all the bad things happen at night. I can’t even imagine to tell you how many bad things happen in Los Angeles in the night time between the hours of 12am – 5am. I couldn’t fathom being out that late in any international city for that matter. Belo Horizonte is pretty safe during the day time, but don’t expect it to be the same after night falls.