By Felicia Bryson, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – It is hard to miss the large amount of bodies in Rio with at least one tattoo. As Cariocas spend most of their time out in the open and showing lots of skin, tattooing has become a long-lasting trend. For those becoming influenced by all the body art, here are some of the best and most respected institutions in Rio to have them done.
One of the oldest tattoo studios in Rio is Caio Tattoo in Galeria River in Arpoador, which has been in existence for more than thirty years. Galeria River is located on the stretch between Copacabana and Ipanema beach.
Less than a mile away on Rua Teixeira de Melo (Ipanema) you will find another one of the most renowned places for injecting ink into your skin; Banzai Tattoo. They also have parlous in Tijuca and Barra.
Another popular place is Rio Tattoo in Copacabana on Rua Barata Riberio, which is just opposite the Arco Verde metro station, also known for its professionalism.
Even though nowadays Rio is Brazil’s tattoo mecca, it has not always been like that. Back in the 70s, people who were interested in having a tattoo done had to travel all the way to the city of Santos, located in the state of São Paulo.
This is where Brazil’s first tattoo parlor was opened by the Dane Knud Harald Lykke Gregersen, who went by the name of Lucky Tattoo. His major customers were surfers, musicians, sailors, prostitutes and foreigners. Today it is widely accepted in all classes of society and can be done anywhere and everywhere.
However, there are many things one should take into consideration before putting a needle to your skin. First of all, no matter where you end up going for your tattoo, make sure that the tattoo studio is hygienic and the needles being used for your tattoo are taken out of their packaging in front of you. Old needles that are reused may transmit blood-related diseases such as HIV.
Since you are in Rio, you will be very tempted to show off your new tattoo at the beach. This is not advisable as this is where you will find your tattoo’s biggest enemies: sun and salt water. It is better to wait until your skin has completely healed (crust has disappeared) before putting your foot in the sand.
Also, tattoos both new and old should always be protected with lots of sunblock as colors may otherwise fade. So choose wisely, listen to the artist’s advice and enjoy Rio!