Is Sao Luis Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Sao Luis poses several challenges to solo female travelers. It struggles with high levels of violent crime, including against tourists, and the threat of pickpocketing or mugging is ever present. While it's a vibrant city with a rich culture, increased vigilance is necessary, especially at night. Public transportation is typically safe, but unregulated taxis should be avoided. Always maintain situational awareness, use reputable accommodation providers, avoid displaying valuable possessions in public, and stick to populated areas.

Safety rating

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How safe is Sao Luis?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Unsafe

São Luis, Brazil has its share of safety concerns, especially at night. Like many big cities, certain areas may have higher crime rates than others. It's advisable not to walk alone at night, and always ensure you are in well-lit, populated areas if you have to be out. Use reputable taxi services and avoid displaying valuable items. With the right precautions, however, it is possible to have an enjoyable time in São Luis.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Unsafe

Public transportation in Sao Luis, can be considerably inconsistent and problematic. Reports suggest frequent occurrences of crime, such as pick-pocketing and muggings, on buses and at bus stops, particularly in the evening. Many of the buses are reportedly not in optimal condition, increasing safety concerns related to mechanical problems. Additionally, the bus routes and schedules can sometimes be confusing and erratic. An occasional strike by bus drivers can also disrupt service. It's recommended to stay vigilant at all times while using public transportation in Sao Luis. A safer alternative might be to use ride-sharing apps or taxis.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Moderate

Sao Luis, like any bustling city, can have instances of street harassment. However, it is not dangerously pervasive. During the day, major areas have a lively atmosphere and are relatively safe. Instances of street harassment increase during late hours, especially in less crowded or poorly lit areas. It's advisable to take precautions and perhaps avoid roaming alone at night.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:High

In Sao Luis, petty crimes such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, and minor scams can be a common occurrence, particularly in crowded areas and on public transport. It's crucial to keep belongings secure at all times and be especially cautious when in busy locations. Always keep an eye on your belongings and be vigilant of your surroundings.
Tap water:

Tap water:Unsafe

It's recommended not to drink tap water in Sao Luis directly due to potential bacterial contamination. Most travelers and locals prefer to drink from bottled water or ensure tap water is filtered or boiled before consumption.

Is Sao Luis safe to travel?

Is Sao Luis safe right now?

Before your visit to Sao Luis, it's essential to check travel advisories for Brazil, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.
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United States Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The United States Government advises exercising increased caution in Brazil due to crime. Some areas have an increased risk. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: October 19, 2023
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Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Brazil due to high crime rates and frequent incidents of gang-related and other violence in urban areas. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: June 4, 2024
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Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises to exercise a high degree of caution in Brazil due to the threat of violent crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: May 6, 2024

Safety in Brazil