For many years, I’ve heard a handful of scary stories of violence in Rio de Janeiro. A month ago, when I heard about an unfortunate anecdote directly from a friend, I wondered whether it was worthwhile to visit the city in the first place, against all the risks. In general, I believe that the level of insecurity of a place tends to be exaggerated among travelers, but Rio seemed like a definite red flag.
In the end, I spent one whole week in Rio and now the city comfortably belongs to my list of favorite places on this trip. It might have been that I was luckier than others, but Rio was definitely not a place where you have to stay inside after the sunset. Other than the safety situation, there were other aspects of the city that thrilled me. Rio has lots of rock mountains intermingled with the urban neighborhoods, creating dynamic and harmonious coastlines. Besides, its humid climate supports the tropical vegetation, offering jungle-like hiking options close to the city center.
This city has become a candidate to live in after this trip ends. And it was a reminder that you always discover things you didn’t expect when you experience it in person.
@Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 13, 2018