Updated: Jan 20
We have traveled a lot with the baby together but directly Brazil seems to be what intrigued you the most. So, FINALLY! I'll share our experience and will answer to the top questions about how it's like to explore Brazil with a baby.
On this blog you'll find out more about vaccines, baby food, things to do, and everything to bring.
Firstly, I would like to start with the fact that we absolutely love Brazil. It was the place where Enzo took his first steps and we have always been a huge fan of Brazil, because the people, the music and they attitude. Also it was a dream country to Arvis, so there was no reason not to go. But offcourse at the beginning traveling to Brazil with a little baby scared us.
Although Brazil is the probably one of the most accepting countries we have visited and also there are a lot of improvements to be made to make it more accessible for babys.
FOOD FOR BABY
It's definitely not necessary to bring baby or toddler food to Brazil. They have the most amazing selection of fresh fruits & veggies (if you want to make homemade purees) and fresh coconut water. I do have to say that for some reason formula milk and diapers are 2 to 3 times more expensive here, we lived in Brazil for a month, so we brought pampers and milk from Latvia. Mostly, we made our food by ourselves, once every three days we bought the food from cheapest market and prepare our daily meals right at the hotel.
TO THE BEACH WITH BABY
First things first about going to the beach in Brazil: Brazilians are very open to all body types! Curvy or skinny or something in between; you see it all, and all in tiny bikinis! So there is no reason to hide your little belly, they are open minded and will not even notice it.
Going to the beach with Enzo was one of my favorite things to do in Brazil. Enzo felt so much fun! I would advise to bring your own sunscreen (SPF 50+ ) because it's one of those very expensive items here, and a mosquito net and offcourse sun hat and swim diapers. Actually I would recommend to buy them on time, 'cause you flat out can't find them anywhere here.
Best beaches for kids were Leblon beach, Prainha, Ipanema, Arpoador Beach and Lagoa. Our top favorites were Ipanema and Lagoa beaches.
TIPS FOR GETTING AROUND RIO DE JANEIRO WITH KIDS
Car seat laws in Brazil: Children should always be in the back seat. Until 4 years old, they must be in car seats, and between 4 and 7+ years in booster seats. From 7+ years old and up, they should use seat belts. Of Course, when we drove from the airport to hotel no one didn't even mention it.
Subway in Rio: The best way to travel cheap is by using the Rio de Janeiro Metro. Actually, it was our most used transport which I really appreciate. Easy access with baby strollers and frequent traffic times.
The subway in Rio de Janeiro is perfect to take you to all zones in Rio. From Barra da Tijuca in the West Zone to Pavuna in the North Zone of the city. You just need to know which lines you are going to need. There are 4 of them, just get to know them.
HOTELS FOR BABY
First I want to mention that we are not type of ''searching for the baby hotel'' family. When we choose a hotel our essential requirements are: close to public transport, centre, sea and with average price. Yes, we lived in Hotel Americano, just next to famos Escadaria Selarónc at the foot of the favela. If you know what's favelas, you know what I'm talking about, if not, in one word we lived near the danger area of Brazil.
It wasn't the quiet place to live and it was not safe to go on the streets at night but we did not feel threatened during the month and we was in Brazil to see its reality not to some builded mask for tourists.
But if you want to know exactly the best hotels for baby, save these ones - Prodigy Hotel Santos Dumont Airport, Petit Rio Hotel, Ramada Encore Ribalta Rio de Janeiro, Bristol Easy Plus Hotel Lapa Rio, Windsor Asturias Hotel.
ATTITUDE TO WHITE BABY
Brazilians are very open minded. Okey, they notice Enzo very well but if I can compare with chinese people, they was positively distant. Yes, they wanted to say hi and smiled every time to Enzo (especially because of his funny hat). But they were not rude and don't touched him without asking. As locals said to us white baby's in Rio is really rare, that's why they seems so happy and interested about how Enzo talks, smiles and just acts. But can say only the best about this point.
WHERE TO GO WITH BABY
Actually I think every place except favelas were good place for baby too if there was a good road surface and even if not, you can always use baby carrier.
Our attraction places were:
hike to Christ the Redeemer ( Tourists in Rio de Janeiro have reported armed robberies on the Corcovado walking trail to the Christ the Redeemer statue. We recommend that you don’t use the trail). We didn't know that before and walked the trail with little Enzo and luckily we climbed without danger.
Hike to Urca mountain (easy walk even with baby in baby carrier, 30 minute climb)
Santa Tereza and Escadaria Selarón
Catedral de São Sebastião
Niterōi Contemporary Art Museum
Jardim Oceanico beach (one of the beast beaches for surfers)
Museum of Tommorrow
Praque das Ruinas
more check here
MOSQUITOS AND VACCINATIONS
I would check with your doctor before traveling to Brazil to make sure your child´s vaccinations are up to date. In addition, I would recommend bringing a mosquito net and repellent. These would be my recommendations for any tropical country you are traveling to. Zika is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the Zika virus. The geographical distribution of Zika virus (ZIKV) has expanded globally in recent years. Please check the specific details and risks about the city you plan to go. Enzo was 8 months old that time and we didn't make any additional vaccinations, just took a whole bag of medication for all occasions (after consultation with Enzo doctor).
SAFETY TIPS FOR BRAZIL
Don’t carry cash - Carry only the minimum cash needed for the day. Keep the rest locked up back in your accommodation.
Separate your cards – If you have more than one credit or debit card, keep them separate. Bring one with you for the day (if you think you’ll need it) and leave the other one locked up in your room. That way, should something happen, you always have at least one card.
Don’t bring valuables to the beach – When you go to the beach, don’t take anything unnecessary. Towel, bathing suit, and a small amount of cash. That’s it! Anything else you bring is likely to disappear!
Beware - There are high levels of crime, particularly robberies, within Brazil’s cities and the murder rate can be very high. However this can vary greatly within a city and we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the geography of a city and take local advice to identify the riskier areas. Crime, including violent crime, can occur anywhere and often involves firearms or other weapons. Pickpocketing is common. You should be vigilant, in particular before and during the festive and carnival periods. We recommend that you do not go on to city beaches after dark.
Don’t wear expensive jewelry and watches - Don’t carry large sums of money and consider wearing a money belt. Don’t use your mobile phone in the street and keep cameras out of sight when not in use. Leave your passport and other valuables in a safe place but carry a copy and another form of photo ID, if you have one, with you at all times. Thefts are particularly common on public beaches and include ‘arrastões’ where large groups of thieves run through an area of the beach grabbing possessions. Keep your possessions close and avoid taking valuables to the beach.
Spelled out responsibilities - Especially if you travel with kid. My main job was to carry Enzo and Arvis protect all the things ( cameras, personal things) and us if needed. You never know what can happen, so, to save each other is the first rule wherever you travel.
If possible – wear a cross-body ‘messenger’ bag (it is much harder to grab it from your hands and run with it). Backpacks are not safe either for obvious reasons – unless you wear one on your chest.
If you need to phone the emergency services, use the numbers below:
190 is to report emergencies, a crime happening at that moment or if someone is in immediate danger.
192 and 193 are for calling an ambulance in a medical emergency.
193 is also used for Fire Services
197 is a non-emergency number for the police to report an incident or for information.
Brazil is a gorgeous country, that has a lot to offer you. Do not let the security concerns prevent you from exploring and enjoying it to the fullest, since the majority of tourists visit it safely each year, without any major incidents.
Have you been in Brazil? Please leave your thoughts below and let us know.