From Brazilian beaches to the Amazon Rainforest and Carnival fever, there are plenty of attractions to tempt us to the South American country - but after a British woman was shot when she strayed into a rough neighbourhood while looking for water, how safe is it to visit Brazil for your next holiday?

[Read more: Is it safe to travel to Mexico?]

Terror

Although there is no history of attacks, as with any international destination, there is always a risk, so stay vigilant.

Security

Most visits to Rio de Janiero, the country's biggest tourist magnet, are trouble-free, but there is a high profile military presence, mainly to deal with issues such as drug trafficking.
 
The most common crime is petty theft and pickpocketing around tourist attractions such as Copacabana Beach, so exercise caution and take the obvious precautions, such as keeping valuables out of sight, especially around busy times such as Carnival time.
 
 
If there is any threat of violence, do not resist, as attackers may be under the influence of drugs. 
 
Rape and sexual offences are rare, but for safety's sake, buy your own drinks and keep an eye on them.
 
Car-related theft can be an issue. Keep doors and windows locked, and at traffic lights, try to keep to the centre lane, away from the kerbs.
 
Beware of people approaching you for directions, and try to have your car keys in hand as you approach your vehicle.
 
Credit card cloning or fraud related to cash machines is quite common. If any notes come out of a machine coloured pink, they have been tampered with - take them straight back to the bank.
 

Favelas 

The shanty-towns found in all Brazilian cities have high levels of poverty, and high levels of crime. Exercise extreme caution if visiting, even with an organised group.
 
When in doubt, check before going.

Public transport

Only used licensed taxis; you can usually pay in advance with a credit card, or with cash inside an airport, rather than out on the street. Taxi apps are also useful, but avoid showing off your phone in public.
 
Buses have a questionable safety record and pickpocketing is common. Metros are generally safer than buses.

Driving

 
There is a zero tolerance policy on drink driving, with fines, suspension or even jail terms all possible. Road accident levels are high, and particularly in rural areas, road quality can be poor.
 
If you have an accident, move your vehicle to avoid causing obstruction, and call the police on 190.

Boats and swimming

Sea conditions can be unpredictable, so beware currents and sharks. Boat accidents have been known to happen on the Amazon, and merchant vessels have been the subjects of attacks.

Health

Brazil is still regarded as being at risk of the zika virus, dengue fever is common in the rainy season and yellow fever and malaria can be found in some parts of the country.
 
Ensure you have health insurance and take any recommended medicines before your trip. The ambulance emergency number is 192.
 
Photo credits: Mike Egerton/Owen Humphreys/PA.