Where to stay in Brazil

When deciding where to stay in Brazil, you can choose from a good range of accommodation options. An albergue or hostel offers the cheapest option. These have dormitory beds and single and double rooms. Many are part of the IYHA, www.iyha.org. A pensão is either a cheap guesthouse or a household that rents out some rooms. A pousada is either a bed-and-breakfast, often small and family-run, or sophisticated and often charming small hotel. A hotel is as it is anywhere in the world, operating according to the international star system, although five-star hotels are not price controlled and hotels in any category are not always of the standard of their star equivalent in USA, Canada or Europe. Many of the older hotels can be cheaper than hostels. Usually accommodation prices include a breakfast of rolls, ham, cheese, cakes and fruit with coffee and juice; there is no reduction if you don't eat it. Rooms vary too.

Normally an apartamento is a room with separate living and sleeping areas and sometimes cooking facilities. A quarto is a standard room; com banheiro is en suite; and sem banheiro is with shared bathroom. Finally there are the motels. These should not be confused with their US counterpart: motels are specifically intended for very short-stay couples; there is no stigma attached and they usually offer good value (the rate for a full night is called the 'pernoite'), however the decor can be a little unsettling.

It's a good idea to research where to stay in Brazil in advance. Advanced booking is advised in small towns that are popular at weekends with city dwellers (eg near São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), and it's essential to book at peak times.

Where to stay in Brazil: Camping

Those with an international camping card pay only half the rate of a non-member at
Camping Clube do Brasil
sites, www.campingclube.com.br. The club has 43 sites in 13 states and 80,000 members. It may be difficult to get into some Camping Clube campsites during high season (January to February). For those on a very low budget and in isolated areas where there is no campsite available, it's usually possible to stay at service stations. They have shower facilities, watchmen and food; some have dormitories. There are also various municipal sites. Campsites tend to be some distance from public transport routes and are better suited to people with their own car. Wild camping is generally difficult and a security risk. Never camp at the side of a road in Brazil; this is very risky.

Where to stay in Brazil: Homestays

Staying with a local family is an excellent way to become integrated quickly into a city and companies try to match guests to their hosts.
Cama e Café
, www.camaecafe.com.br, organizes homestays in Rio de Janeiro, Olinda and a number of other cities around Brazil.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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