Where to stay in Brazil
Brazilian accommodation runs the spectrum from glitzy 5-star beach resorts and boutique hotels to simpler family-run ranches and Amazon jungle lodges. We tend to find that a mixture of hotels, guesthouses (pousadas) and lodges works well for most families and allows you to enjoy a variety of both accommodation and locations – and budgets. We know swimming pools are important so try to include these where possible, even when near to a beach. At just what age do children understand the appeal of sand and sea over pool we wonder…?
What is a typical Brazilian hotel like?
One of our favourite places to stay is deep in the southern Pantanal, Pousada Aguape. It has been in the same family for over 150 year. In fact Stubborn Mule’s South American specialist Helene Cooper actually stayed here at the start of her Round The World trip over 25 years (ahem) ago. Pousada Aguape is not about luxuries but it is in the heart of the wildlife paradise that is the Pantanal. Rather than a 24hrs receptionist, expect a toucan screech for a wake-up call; no TV but plenty of capybaras or anteaters to watch roam through the grounds. Instead of the gym there is a swimming pool and volleyball court to enjoy.
Not that you will have much spare time with all the fantastic excursions on offer – spot jaguar from horseback (well, maybe but you never know), take a boat trip in search of anaconda, enjoy a night spotlight safari (just watch those glinting crocodile eyes), meander a nature trail, check out the local cattle ranch or try your hand at piranha fishing (no pun intended – they are vegetarian). If you have ever wanted to watch your children fall asleep to the sounds of nature rather than electronic devices – and in a hammock – then this is the place to experience it.
For a piece of history head to the coast and the exquisitely picturesque town of Paraty. Think pastel colonial buildings, cobbled streets and, yes, horse and carts are genuinely the way to get around here. In its heart lies the Pousada do Ouro. Simply decorated using traditional Brazilian décor in a rustic style, this gorgeous lodge still manages to offer modern amenities such as air conditioning, WiFi (yes, we know, it is sometimes a necessity with children/work) and even a spa. For children there is a lovely pool within its tropical gardens, for parents there is much needed outdoor cocktail bar overlooking the pool…
From here you can meander the beautiful historic streets of Paraty (only 3 hours south of Rio), venture into Brazil’s only tropical fjord and summit Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak (yes, another Sugarloaf), visit a cachaça (sugarcane drink) distillery, take a dip in a waterfall in the nearby rainforest or have a splash at a ‘secret’ beach at Playa Negra. You can also enjoy a local cookery course and learn about the roots of Brazilian cuisine with Indian, Portuguese and African influences. Does that whet your taste buds?
For a real treat you could look at Belmond das Cataratas at Iguazu Falls. “Poor Niagara” exclaimed Eleanor Roosevelt and we totally agree with her. The Iguazu Falls are so much more than a mere waterfall. They are a phenomenal deluge in the most dramatic setting, in our books beating Victoria Falls as well.
Surrounded by lush rainforest you can spend many days here enjoying the falls, the jungle and the wildlife as well as the many adrenaline experiences on offer. Staying at the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas Iguassu Falls allows prioity access to helicopter rides, dawn access to the bird park and the novelty of being right on top of the falls themselves as opposed to down the road in the somewhat soul=less town Foz do Iguazzu. Five-star accommodation in the jungle, Hotel das Cataratas is a taste of luxury well worth splurging out on for the last few days of your trip.
These are just a few examples of where to stay in Brazil, all properties that we love. Our holidays are tailor-made, so once we have found out a bit more about you and your family, we’ll be able to suggest places that will suit your family, bearing in mind the ages and interests of your children.
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
Brazil in pictures
Talk with our friendly team about your family travel needs.