Where to stay in Brazil
Hotels in Brazil vary according to region. First-class accommodation in Brazil is largely restricted to the cities of the south and is generally expensive. There are also a number of pousadas: small, privately run guesthouses that are less expensive than the major hotels.
Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasília have many modern hotels, ranging from the very expensive deluxe to budget options. The Amazon Basin continues to develop as a tourist attraction and has numerous lodges.
Brazil offers some extremely impressive luxury hotels, such as design marvel Hotel Unique in São Paulo, the finely tuned Sofitel on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach front, and colonial Hotel Cataratas in Foz do Iguaçu, which also affords guests glorious out-of-hours visits to the waterfalls.
Grading:The Brazilian tourist board has a star-rating system (from 1- to 5-star), but the classification is not widely used.
Camping is uncommon in Brazil, though some tour operators offer organised group trips in the Amazon and in the Pantanal regions. Since many parts of Brazil are wild, or semi-explored, it is wise to drive on main roads, and to camp with organised groups, under supervision and with official permits. The Camping Clube do Brasil (www.campingclube.com.br) runs numerous sites across the country.
There are many jungle lodges nestled into the greenery of the Amazon and surrounding areas. Choose from basic bare essentials to a more deluxe stay, and wake up with the call of the wild.
Brazil has plenty of hostels for those looking for more of a budget stay, although even the most basic can get pretty pricey around Carnival time, especially in Rio. Dormitórios which have several beds to a room are generally the cheapest.
Small guest houses called pousadas can be extremely characterful and atmospheric. Rooms with bathrooms are called apartamentos, and those without a bathroom are called quartos.
Airbnb, as part the wider homestay market, has expanded rapidly in Brazil over the past five years, capitalising on the influx of visitors for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Rentals are focused along the coast and the major cities in the south.
Eco hotels in Brazil are becoming increasingly popular, located mostly in or near the Amazonian rainforest. Some provide visitors with luxury accommodation built on treetops and also arrange informative tours to the surrounding area; however, prices tend to be very high.