Is Rio water safe to drink?

by Ed
(Aurora, Colorado USA)

We will be in Rio for the upcoming Carnival in February.

We would appreciate info regarding whether is hotel and restaurant tap water safe to drink, or whether we should always buy bottled water just to be on the safe side.


Bom dia Ed,

Your question is a good one, and is commonly asked by first time visitors to Rio de Janeiro.

The tap water in hotel rooms is safe to drink, and doesn't contain microbes that will give you intestinal problems that visitors to Mexico encounter. However, the taste is rather unpleasant and Rio's water treatment system can get overloaded in times of heavy rains which are known to occur in the Tropics. For this reason we stick to drinking bottled water.

After you arrive in Rio, head to a grocery store and pick up a few liters to store in your hotel room. You could bring with you some smaller bottles to fill and carry around while sightseeing.

The water in restaurants is filtered, tastes good, and is safe to drink. However, it's only served frozen, as ice cubes that is. Unlike in the USA, tap water over ice is not served in Brazilian restaurants. You must buy bottled water, like you would buy a soft drink, either carbonated (agua com gas) or normal (agua sem gas).

Visit our water and electricity page for more info.

Boa viagem from,

The Editors of Rio de Janeiro Travel Information

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