Carnival in Salvador da Bahía, Brazil
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Women travelers in Brazil

Despite the nation's ingrained machismo, sexual harassment is not the problem you might expect in Brazil. Wolf-whistles and horn-tooting are less common than they would be in Spain or Italy, and, while you do see a lot of men cruising, more than you might think aren't looking for women, which spreads what hassle there is more evenly between the sexes for a change.

The further north you go, blondes (men as well as women) bring out the stares, but attention which can seem threatening is often no more than curiosity combined with a language barrier.

Chances of trouble depend, to an extent, on where you are: the stereotype of free-and-easy cities and of small towns and rural areas that are formal to the point of prudishness often holds good - but not always. Many interior Amazon towns have a frontier feel and a bad, machista atmosphere. Also bear in mind that in any town of any size the area around the RodoviƔria (bus terminal) or train station is likely to be a red-light district at night - not somewhere to hang around. The transport terminals themselves, though, are usually policed and fairly safe at all hours.

Women traveling alone will arouse curiosity, especially outside the cities, but the fact that you are a crazy foreigner explains why you do it in most Brazilian eyes; it shouldn't make you a target.

Source: TravelNow Destination Guides

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