What To Know About Traveling To Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games

rio-de-janeiro-2016-1177950_960_720After more than two dozen games in 22 cities, the historic Summer Olympics is finally hitting South America. This August, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will host events, and despite the expected negative press and apprehension, there will be plenty of fans from around the world, filling the stadiums, arenas and streets of the city of more than 6 million. Perhaps that is you, if you were lucky enough to snag tickets through your country’s preferred agent, during one of the multiple phases.

With that out of the way, here’s what you need to know about traveling to Rio:

    1. Schedule a doctor’s appointment:
      The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) suggests setting the appointment 4-6 weeks before you travel. Find out if you have any complications that will prevent you from travel and check for any recommended vaccinations/make sure you’re up to date. Given concerns about Zika and alleged “super bacteria” in the city’s water, this trip could eliminate concerns about other risks and set the foundation for a pleasant experience instead of illness.

    2. Check Your Credentials
      You should know that you will need a Passport to travel internationally. Make sure yours is not set to expire during or soon after the games, pending any possible problems while in Rio. The State Department recommends a cushion of about six months after your scheduled return date. Also, take a photocopy of your passport to carry with you and leave the book itself in the hotel room. For United States residents and a few other countries, Brazil is waiving Visa requirements until September, so there’s no need to secure one.

    3. Getting Around
      A reasonably large city, Rio has a capable public transportation system, including metro, buses and bike sharing. Expect delays on every one of them, given the influx of tourists alongside residents. An alternative, per LonelyPlanet, are vans, which run along Av Rio Branco to the Zona Sul. These may also be crowded, so please prepare to travel well in advance to ensure that you arrive to the places you need to be on time without having to scramble around or rush more than necessary.

    4. Food and Drink
      Though Rio is an advanced city, it’s tap water is not exactly good on the stomach. Thankfully, you can purchase bottled water from a number of places during your trip, like cafes and markets. For food, Huff Post’s AK Turner says be prepared for carbs on carbs. Pretty much every dish comes with a side of fries, rice and beans, but it is delicious. A lot of quality meats, fruit and veggies in the city as well.

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