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Driving at night - Recife area

Grosseto, Italy
Level Contributor
40 posts
198 reviews
Driving at night - Recife area

Hi everyone! We are a group of 4 and would like to rent a car and drive Recife airport - Olinda - Porto de Galinhas - Recife airport (one week car rental).

We are accustomed to drive abroad (in Latin America only in Mexico, though) and I do speak

Portuguese.

From/to airport to Olinda/PDG be late at night (late flights, unfortunately).

Is it really risky or can we do it? I just fear being carjacked, not roads themselves... what do you say?

16 replies to this topic
Philadelphia...
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
25,923 posts
28 reviews
1. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

It could be very risky. I wouldn't do it.

Brazil 2017 Crime & Safety Report: Recife:

http://bit.ly/2hFOTyX

Driving in Brazil:

http://abt.cm/1bgvTtq

http://bit.ly/2axEVdg

seattle
Level Contributor
194 posts
345 reviews
2. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

I suspect that you would be fine but depends on your comfort level, fatigue, time of arrival, etc. All the airport car agencies have moved off site but not far from the airport. You check at the airport desk and then take the shuttle to the lot.

For me, if I arrive late night I stay at the airport IBIS hotel and take the car in the morning.

Monte seems to always discourage driving in Brazil and is right that it can be dangerous but I've found that common sense, good maps/internet access opens up many opportunities that wouldn't exist without a car. It's life; little risk and little reward.

Grosseto, Italy
Level Contributor
40 posts
198 reviews
3. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

Thanks everyone!

Yes drtravels, what I’m trying to figure out is the difference between ‘perceived’/theoretical danger and actual one. I.e. if I stick to highways at night Recife airport-Olinda (and ask the rental about risky areas to avoid absolutely) do I really risk getting stopped and robbed (or worse)?

Or it’s all just ‘possible’ risks?

Last time I was in Rio everybody told us about risks at Carnival... but then no problem at all, mixed with the crowd, used the metro... ok!!

Edited: 28 November 2017, 05:11
Philadelphia...
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
25,923 posts
28 reviews
4. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

Naturally, not everyone has a bad experience driving in Brazil, but because of the current dire economic conditions in the country, you're chances are better than ever that something untoward will happen, particularly at night.

A senior U.S. diplomat in Brazil was shot last week during an attempted robbery on a highway near Rio de Janeiro.

http://bit.ly/2BkfeI8

Rio carjackers recently took Brazilian football player Jefferson's Range Rover at gunpoint (video):

http://bit.ly/2z6QsMG

Police in Rio de Janeiro said they shot dead a Spanish tourist after the car she was in failed to stop at a police roadblock in the Rocinha favela.

http://bit.ly/2l9xeRp

Several weeks ago a British woman was shot as a drug gang opened fire on her car after straying into a favela near Rio:

http://bit.ly/2vG8GUH

Belo Horizonte, MG
Level Contributor
572 posts
10 reviews
5. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

Obviously in the examples posted above, the reasons for the mishaps are clear and can be (mostly) avoided. In the first example they had stopped on the shoulder to fiddle w their GPS. In the second it was an expensive car (most CCTV footage of brazen car robberies I've seen involve expensive cars). In the third and fourth they drove into a favela. If you plan your trip carefully (i.e. load a route into your GPS that sticks to highways), chances that something happens are slim.

Still, I don't know Recife and might opt for staying at an airport hotel one night if I were in your situation. I drive in the dark regularly, but where I live is probably a bit safer (less dangerous) than other cities.

Edited: 28 November 2017, 08:34
Grosseto, Italy
Level Contributor
40 posts
198 reviews
6. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

Agreed Gggghhh.... no expensive cars, no stopping, no making resistance during an assault. This is the basics. Absolutely.

The taxi driver will know how to avoid favelas and such. But I’ll overnight in Olinda. This will save me a lot of ‘useful’ (daytime) hours...

Edited: 28 November 2017, 20:33
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
7,014 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

are you renting a car and driving yourself... or taking a taxi from airport?

quite different answers to each question...

Grosseto, Italy
Level Contributor
40 posts
198 reviews
8. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

After reading comments (I found one where someone observed that you can be jailed (!) even for minor offenses on the road... probably even for a fender bender with a casualty) I decided to use the taxi :(

The idea of having my husband ending up in jail for road traffic related offences is frankly unacceptable (ehrm...)

Edited: 30 November 2017, 01:30
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
7,014 posts
2 reviews
9. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

yes, that sounds like a better idea, especially at night... and, yes, airport taxi should know the best route to Olinda and to avoid certain areas.

Philadelphia...
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
Level Contributor
25,923 posts
28 reviews
10. Re: Driving at night - Recife area

Always make sure that all the taxi doors are locked before the cab departs from the airport.

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