Security and health

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller site provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Brazil. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.

It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.

It is also recommended that Australian travellers register your travel and contact details, before travelling, on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.

Several Brazilian cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Natal, and Recife have established specialised tourist police units to patrol areas frequented by tourists.

Some safety tips to consider:

  • Don't carry valuables such as jewellery, expensive watches, passports and air tickets with you.
  • By law you must carry a passport with you at all times, but many travellers opt to carry a photocopy when they are in the city. If this is the case, ensure that your passport is locked in the hotel safe.
  • Don’t take anything to the beaches in Rio de Janeiro – that includes a camera, bag and jewellery.

Emergency numbers:

Police – 190
Fire department– 193
Ambulance – 192
Chemist (24-hour) – 136

If you are an Australian citizen requiring immediate help in an emergency or urgent circumstances and are calling from within Brazil, assistance is available from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade consular centre in Canberra by calling for free: 000 861 1040.

If you are a calling from a country other than Brazil you should call Canberra reverse charge/collect on: +61 2 6261 1446.