With all the hype about the 2016 Olympics in Brazil I thought I’d give you a round up of my top 5 places to stay in Brazil. While Rio is the obvious choice for most tourists I skipped the capital and headed on an epic adventure across the North East of Brazil. My adventures kicked off in Salvador, where everyone loves to party. I travelled inland to hike in the rugged terrain of Chapada Diamantina (a former diamond mining colony). Chillling out in the remote hippy fishing village of Jericoacoara was another highlight as was climbing the endless dunes of Lençois Maharenses.
Along the way I found a bit of a mixed bag when it came to accommodation. Some of the places I was lucky enough to be hosted at were high-end luxury 5-star pousadas. Others were pretty basic. There was one pousada where Sharps was too tall to sit on the toilet in the bathroom. Another had no door to the toilet so you could see (and hear) everything from the bed practically next to it. Lots of places I visited didn’t have much by way of info on them in guidebooks . That’s why I wanted to share my top 5 places to stay in Brazil (in no particular order). Hopefully it will make a trip to Brazil easier for you if the World Cup has peaked your interest in a visit.
My top 5 places to stay in Brazil
Not the poshest of pousadas but Alcino’s is easily one of my top 5 places to stay in Brazil. You’ll find Alcino’s pousada in Lencois, the gateway to Chapada Diamantina (inland from the city of Salvador). And the breakfasts at this pousada are legendary. I still dream about them now. Owned by an artist called Alcino, his personality is reflected in this quirky pousada, which has a real homely feel to it. Oh, and have I mentioned the never-ending breakfast? Freshly prepared each morning, it consists of a variety of about 10 different plates, that change daily. You can check out my full review of Alcino’s here.
The almost mythical fishing village of Jericoacoara (Jeri to the locals) is a holiday hotspot for Brazilians. It can also make finding somewhere lovely, and reasonably priced, to stay a challenge. The Pousada Agapanthus in Jeri is both, and another of my top 5 places to stay in Brazil. A six-hour drive from Fortaleza (the final part only accessible by 4×4 vehicle) Jeri is packed full of pousadas. But the chic boutique-style Pousada Agapanthus, run by a friendly Italian couple, gets my recommendation as a hidden gem. Not only is this six-bedroom pousada gorgeous, it’s also located on a quiet street opposite Jeri’s famous sunset dune. What more could you ask for? You can read my full review of this Brazilian hidden gem, the Pousada Agapanthus, here.
I’ve posted before about how the island of Boipeba, which is south of Salvador, is a hidden gem. It’s one of my favourite places in North East Brazil. The super luxurious Pousada Mangabeiras in Boipeba is also one of my top 5 places to stay in Brazil. Its remote location, perched on a hilltop overlooking one of Brazil’s best beaches, offers incredible ocean views. Each of the bunglows at the Pousada Mangabeiras has its own hammock (some have hot tubs). It also has a restaurant, games room and pool (something of a rarity in Boipeba). You can read my full review of the Pousada Mangabeiras, one of my top 5 places to stay in Brazil, here
Head along the coast from Fortaleza and you’ll find a much more pleasant alternative, the seaside resort of Canoa Quebrada. True it can be packed full of Brazilians all with the same idea of escaping from the city. But as I discovered at the Dona Flor, another of my top 5 places to stay in Brazil, it is still possible to find a cheap boutique hotel away from the crowds. I loved that the Dona Flor was gorgeous, super chilled out and on a quiet street away from the main strip of bars and family-filled pousadas. You can read my full review of the pousada Dona Flor here
A chic boutique hotel in a deserted island paradise, Oceano Atins takes the final spot in my top 5 places to stay in Brazil. Literally in the middle of nowhere, we arrived off a small boat in Atins from Barreirinhas. It’s also possible to fly from Fortaleza on the North East coast of Brazil to Sao Luis ,which is a short trip to Barreirinhas. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised to find such a high-end pousada, with lots of chic touches and white marble, in Atins. As you can see from the picture of the ‘high street’ there isn’t too much there. Oceano Atins backs onto an endless stretch of white sandy beach. This hidden gem is the perfect place to get away from it all. You can read my full review of Oceano Atins here.