In many areas on the internet it says that the water in Rio is safe to drink. It says that their water treatment has improved in recent years, drastically. Now that I'm here, I have discovered that the locals avoid drinking it for the most part.

Is the tap water here safe to drink or not?

  • 1
    Locals are still used to the water not being safe, they got in the habit of drinking bottled water and it takes time to change that habit, so that tells little or nothing about the actual safety.
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 10:01
  • It depends on long you are there. For short stays, I would use bottled water. The body accepts it better. Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 10:32
  • 1
    Update: I drank it and got a stomach infection - so don't drink it. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


No. It is not safe. While it has improved and the water is treated at the source, it does not necessarily make it intact to all taps due to old and damaged infrastructure. Locals do not drink it and people also tell tourists to avoid it.

For this reason, bottled water is easily available and there are tons of people on the streets or walking around with coolers selling bottled water. It is reasonably priced with a 500ml costing 3 Reais or 2 for 5 Reais which comes to less than $1 USD per bottle at the current exchange rate.

  • 2
    I drank the water and ended up with a stomach infection, haha Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 20:32

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