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REALITY CHECK : 

SAFETY: Please remember that Rio, like most resort destinations, is a very informal city and you will seldom see anyone dressed up in formal clothes and wearing expensive jewelry. Not even the most exclusive restaurants require a jacket for dinner. It is also important to remember that, as in most South American cities, a large portion of Rio's population can be classified as low income. These two factors, combined with a climate that is warm year-round, tend to impose a very casual dress code. Abiding by this code will go a long way in keeping you unmolested (well dressed foreigners stand out in a branch-clad crowd). The passport will not be needed until your next flight and your shopping can be done with major credit cards. For pocket money, all you need to carry any time is about USD100.00 worth Reais. Cameras, purses and other valuables should not be left unwatched anywhere, especially on the beaches. In other words, use the same good common sense that you would anywhere in the world, including your hometown.
Therefore we urge you to seek the advice of you escorts, as they are professionally trained to make sure you have a memorable visit.

Airports and Bus/Railway Stations: This is where your luggage is particularly vulnerable and where most thieving occurs. Do not leave your belongings with any stranger, even for a moment.
Beaches: A great deal of Brazilian culture and Brazilians' spare time revolves around the beach. As a result the beaches can be great fun and very relaxing places. However, please bear the following in mind if going to the beach: beaches in and around the major cities tend to be quite crowded so the advice given above is especially applicable; never visit the beach after dark; please bear in mind that the sun in Brazil can be more direct and stronger than you will experience in Europe, so extra precautions are necessary; some areas, particularly in Rio, have dangerous undertows so you should stay near other bathers and observe the warning flags:
Red - Dangerous, enter at your own risk  /  White - Water is safe, lifeguard on duty.

PERSONAL ARTICLES AND VALUABLES: Please use the hotel safe for valuables, extra money, documents or checks that you will not need immediately. Be careful with purses, shoulder bags or wallets when you go shopping. Do not leave cameras or other valuable articles unwatched on the beach mats while you swim, jog or walk on the beach. Take all the precautions you normally take in any big city of the world.

SOUVENIRS: Rio's south zone is today one of Brazil's most fashionable shopping areas, with boutiques, shops, art galleries, etc. Lined on both sides of Copacabana Avenue (Copacabana) and Visconde de Piraja (Ipanema). If you do not enjoy walking, you might prefer the Rio Sul or Barra Shopping malls. Both are air conditioned and feature some of Rio's most stylish boutiques and stores. Ask your guide for specific suggestions.