Data, Travel

Poll Discovers Which Travellers Cariocas Prefer To Start A Conversation With In Rio

Poll Discovers Which Travellers Cariocas Prefer To Start A Conversation With In Rio

Ahead of the Olympic Games, we were curious to learn what the sentiment was between local residents of Rio de Janeiro, commonly known as Cariocas, and visiting travellers from other Latin American countries.

Using Google Consumer Surveys, we polled 1000 residents of Rio de Janeiro asking them who they would prefer to start a conversation with on the bus. Read on for the results.

Rivalries Between Neighboring Countries

It’s a well-known stereotype that a rivalry exists between Brazil and Argentine, the Pele or Maradona football debate being an example. Colombia and Venezuela have also been involved in diplomatic disputes that have spilled onto the pitch, and relations between Chile and Peru have been rocky at times, although today these two countries share a free trade agreement. With all this history shared between neighbouring countries, we weren’t sure what to expect. But it definitely piqued our curiosity. What did Latin American countries really think of each other?

Who Would You Prefer To Chat With?

Surprising Results: Cariocas prefer talking to Argentines

Maybe it is better the devil you know… or maybe everything we thought we knew is wrong. Cariocas given the opportunity to sit next to another Latin American on the bus would choose not a Peruvian, a Paraguayan or any other northern neighbour, but rather their perceived nemeses: an Argentine.

Our research showed that more than 30 per cent of respondents elected to speak with a resident of Argentina. Maybe the footballing merits of Pelé over Maradona need further discussing on the bus.

Mexico (20.3 per cent) and Chile (18.5 per cent) were the second and third most popular answers, while Uruguay was also selected by 12 per cent of the respondents.

Even when dividing respondents by gender, the Argentines still came out on top, with just over 32 per cent of Brazilian men and nearly 29 per cent of Brazilian women choosing their southern cousins. One slight difference between the voting of the two genders saw Brazilian men preferring to chat with a Chilean than a Mexican. A cynic might view the male results as a vote for football over Frida Khalo.

“Although a lot of people may be surprised by the results of this survey it really shows that Brazilians are keen to meet and chat to visitors to this amazing city. Busbud is really pleased to be playing its role in helping visitors and locals access Brazil’s world class bus network here through its simple to use app,” said LP Maurice, Founder and CEO of Busbud.

What About North Americans or Europeans?

busbud brazil

Widening the survey to include other nations who send the most visitors to Brazil, we discovered the majority of Cariocas would prefer to sit next to an American.

The United States was selected by 30.5 per cent of respondents, despite a 2012 survey finding only five per cent of Brazilians speak English. Canada placed second with nearly 15 per cent, marginally ahead of Spain (11.9 per cent) and United Kingdom (11.1 per cent).

Brazilian women were less likely to elect to start a conversation with a Spaniard though (11 per cent), preferring Italians (12.7 per cent), British (12.2 per cent) and French (11.4 per cent) over their Mediterranean counterparts.

Meet New People, Make New Friends

At Busbud, we believe that travel is one of the best ways to learn more about the world around us, and to break down cultural stereotypes. If you’re so inclined, we encourage you to strike up a conversation the next time you ride— you might be happily surprised by the conversation.

To easily book bus tickets in Rio de Janeiro, try Busbud today.


Busbud surveyed 1000 residents of Rio de Janeiro using Google Consumer Surveys and asked them a single question: “With whom you would rather start a conversation on the bus”. They were then offered a list of multiple choice answers, either Latin American countries or a mix of North American and European countries.


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