Olympics-Paralympics Information

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 22, 2016


The Olympic Games will take place in Brazil from August 5 to August 21 and the Paralympic Games will take place from September 7 to September 18, 2016. The majority of events will take place in the city of Rio de Janeiro; soccer matches will take place in five other Brazilian cities in addition to Rio (Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Manaus, Salvador, and São Paulo). Full information about the Olympic and Paralympic games for U.S. citizen visitors is available on the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2016 Fact Sheet and the Country Specific Information for Brazil on travel.state.gov. The Department recommends that all U.S. citizens residing or traveling abroad enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive pertinent safety and security information. The Department of State encourages U.S. citizens planning to attend the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil to remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times, as with any travel abroad.

AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES: The American Citizens Services (ACS) unit located in the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro at Avenida Presidente Wilson, 147, in the Centro neighborhood, will offer extended office hours during of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including weekends, for emergency services. American citizens in Rio de Janeiro during the Games who need emergency assistance should phone the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro ACS unit during business hours, Monday to Sunday, from 7 a.m. to midnight, at (+55 21) 3823-2000. Outside of these hours, call the Consulate’s ACS hotline at (+55 21) 3823-2029. If calling from the U.S., dial +011-55-21, followed by the eight-digit telephone number. If calling from Rio de Janeiro, drop the country and city codes (+55 21) and dial the remaining eight-digit number. For assistance in other parts of Brazil visit Mission Brazil’s Olympics and Paralympics American Citizen Services webpage to find the U.S. Embassy’s or nearest Consulate’s contact information.

We recommend all travelers regularly monitor the State Department’s travel resources webpage at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Worldwide Caution notices. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

STAYING INFORMED: To help U.S. citizens prepare for a safe and enjoyable stay in Rio de Janeiro and throughout Brazil, the U.S. Mission to Brazil has developed several useful resources containing travel information for visitors and residents:

  • SMS Notifications: If you would like to receive important messages from U.S. Mission Brazil on your phone during your stay, send a message from your U.S. or local phone number to optinrio@state.gov. The service will terminate after the conclusion of the Games on September 19.
  • @USCitsBrazil on Twitter: Follow Mission Brazil’s Twitter for U.S. citizens living and traveling in Brazil.
  • USinRio Smartphone App: All the essential information you need to stay safe, plan your journey, and contact us during your time in Brazil. Available now via Apple’s App Store and Google Play.‎
  • American Citizen Olympics/Paralympics Video Series: A series of six videos, including a welcome video from U.S. Ambassador Liliana Ayalde, with tips for having an enjoyable and safe time at the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. Additional Games-related videos are also available on this link.
  • #USinRio Blog: Practical and fun details for your Olympics and/or Paralympics journey.
  • USinRio Facebook Event: Let us know you’re coming to Brazil for the Olympics/Paralympics! Add your “RSVP” so you’ll have the latest news on the Games.

HEALTH AND MEDICAL CARE: Medical care in many hospitals in Rio de Janeiro is good. However, medical care in many Brazilian localities differs somewhat from Western standards in approaches to primary care. While public hospitals are free, private hospitals require payment and using a healthcare plan with them can be complex. Travelers should consider purchasing private medical evacuation and/or repatriation insurance. There are no required vaccinations for Brazil. Travelers are advised to be up to date on their regular yearly influenza vaccination since this is influenza season in Brazil. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends yellow fever vaccination for travelers to many areas outside of major cities; specifics recommendations can be found at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/yellow-fever-malaria-information-by-country/brazil#seldyfm707. Mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue, Chagas and Chikunguya are prevalent and travelers should bring mosquito repellent for their visit. The CDC has issued a travel notice regarding the Zika virus and the Olympics, including the recommendation that women who are pregnant should not go to the Olympics. For additional information about Zika, visit the CDC website.

LODGING: Severe shortages of hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro are expected during the Olympic Games. We urge everyone planning to visit during this time to ensure that they have accommodations for the duration of their stay and not to rely on finding something upon arrival. Visitors should exercise caution when they book private homes using popular booking sites. When choosing lodging, consider location, security, and the availability of a safe to store valuables.

CRIME: Rio de Janeiro has a high incidence of crime, including pick pocketing and armed robberies that can happen at any place and at any time. In addition, credit card fraud and ATM scams are endemic; visitors should monitor their accounts regularly for undocumented withdrawals or charges. U.S. Government personnel in Brazil are prohibited from traveling to Rio’s “unpacified” favelas but may visit Rio’s pacified favelas after obtaining permission from the Consulate’s Regional Security Office. (“Pacification” is a law enforcement and social services program designed to reduce lawlessness in favelas). However, even pacified favelas can be unpredictable and dangerous. U.S. visitors in Rio de Janeiro who visit favelas could be placing themselves at risk. For more detailed information regarding safety and security in Brazil, read the Country Specific Information for Brazil.

EVENT SECURITY: Brazilian authorities are taking appropriate steps to assure public safety. There is no indication of a specific threat to U.S. institutions or citizens, however, as with all large-scale public events, U.S. citizens should be aware of their personal surroundings and follow good security practices. When traveling, U.S. citizens may wish to provide a friend, family member, or coworker a copy of their itinerary.

TICKET SCALPING: Reselling or buying tickets for the Games to/from anyone who is not an authorized vendor, a friend or a relative for more than face value is a serious crime in Brazil and you could be arrested and jailed. For more information, visit the official website of the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games at www.rio2016.com and read the official ticket-buying guide. If you have tickets that you cannot use, contact the Authorized Ticket Reseller (ATR) where you bought the tickets (in Brazil, Rio2016.com and in the USA, cosports.com).