Cabana Copa gains consistently high reviews from all who stay there, its location is safe and convenient, it is close to the metro and bus stop and is very clean. Moreover, it’s independently owned so there is a very high attention to detail, a more personable approach and the manager is on site everyday.
They offer nice big lockers for all your bags allowing you to explore and enjoy the Copacabana beach (two blocks away) without the constant worry of the safety of your luggage. Friendly and helpful staff complete the package.
Cute little hostel, run by the nicest staff. Very conveniently located within walking distance from Santa Tereza’s hottest spots, while very near to downtown Rio. Excellent advice on local day tours, nightlife, and other things to do while in Rio. Just sorry the weather was too chilly to enjoy the terrace, pool and the patios!
Casa Mango Mango, Rua Joaquim Murtinho 587 - Santa Tereza, Rio de Janeiro
In case you want to make new friends or you’re travelling all by yourself, this is the place to go! The cool thing is that Clandestino is open until late hours. The crowd is young and friendly and each night has a different feel to it. I loved the nachos I ordered and they have a bunch of beer brands for you to pick and choose. The dancefloor was packed and I had such a wild night with the Brazilian guys I met and the Italian friend who was staying in my hostel.
Rua Barata Ribeiro 111, Copacabana
Cautionary tale about booking at a hostel a year in advance,due to Carnival.
We booked a twin room with Golden Lion Hostel a year in advance to ensure we had beds booked for carnival week. Then 2 weeks before we due to arrive, we tried to reconfirm our bookings. The hostel only replied (after prompting from hostel booking website), to say that “due to a change in ownership, our booking no longer valid”. The hostel did not seem to want to honour our valid booking. The worrying aspect is if we had not chased the hostel, we would have simply arrived there in Carnival week with no booking and little chance of finding alternative……so would you risk booking at this hostel?
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Golden Lion Hostel Rua Visconde de Silva 55, Humaitá - Rio de Janeiro
Fatima is a fantastic landlady. Very helpful, her breakfasts were the best I have ever tasted at a hostel and we even joined Fatima at the local Carnival Bloco. Due to another hostel canceling our booking at the last minute in carnival weekend, Fatima kindly found us a temporary room, for which we are eternally grateful.
Located in quiet, safe part of Leblon district and very close to banks , bars , supermarket , restaurants etc.. Cleanest beach in Rio only about five minutes walk away. Excellent transport links to rest of Rio.
I highly recommend this place.
Fatima Macintyre Guesthouse, Rua General Venancio Flores, 555 Ap. 101, Rio de Janeiro, 22441-090, Brazil
I stayed there for a week with friend and we had so much fun. The atmosphere is great - party all the time! The staff are helpful and friendly and they have a good location in Copacabana, very close to the beach. I loved it and would back for sure.
I really enjoyed this Mexican joint over in Leblon. The food's great and cheap, especially on weekends where they have an all-you-can-eat buffet with a wide variety of goodies.
I didn't run into any other Mexican restaurants around Rio (and trust me, I looked), so I imagine this is the one to go to. You'd better skip breakfast if you plan on spending an afternoon here!
Rua Rainha Gulhermina, 48. Leblon
In order to avoid being ripped off by oportunista taxi drivers, when you arrive at the Rodoviária Novo Rio, take the exit from your platform, turn right and take the escalator to the upper level, then cross to the departures area. Take the escalator down to the taxi drop-off point and grab the first cab you find that has just left a passenger.
The driver will be glad of the fare and will do it on the meter. To make sure he's honest, tell the him your destination, point to the meter and say, "No relógio, ta bom?" (on the meter, OK?).
You can do a quick, easy search of buses and departure times to your chosen destination at www.novorio.com.br/. Just fill in the PARTIDAS NOVO RIO field and click.
This hotel is just across the road from Copacabana beach near the Old Fort (worth a look). We were there in April 2006 and the hotel cost USD $60 a night B&B for the two of us. We had a sea view, very nice room with a large double bed, TV and mini bar and en-suite bathroom. The room was excellent, the staff really friendly and the buffet breakfast was superb. A real gem of a place and very reasonable.
We had a trememndous stay at this B&B in a 'real' neighbourhood. The energetic owners are qualified city guides and they completely transformed our holiday. They regularly organise all kinds of tailor-made itineries at very reasonable prices, from hiking in the forest to beach trips and city/cultural tours. Amazing.
10-15 minute walk from Botafogo beach
Tel: 55 21 2554 8980
Take the tram to Santa Tereza, travelling over the aquaduct. Fantastic experience and gives a great (and safer) view point of Santa Tereza district. Take the tram at around midday and watch all the school kids clambering on around you (it's a free ride if you hang off the side!) Fantastic but watch your wallet.
Near to the modern cathedral
Great hotel and cheap (170 reais a night) for a twin/double room. One block from Ipanema beach (not Copacabana)- friendly/accommodating staff - clean rooms and nice little rooftop pool that overlooks the city. Good place.
The original lyrics were written by Vinicius de Moraes in a restaurant/bar, past which the eponymous Ipanema-ista walked. Today, it's unpretentious and you can still sit by the pavement and watch the pedestrians. They serve a great steak + papas fritas and sell the best Rio souvenir - a T-Shirt bearing the opening bars of the famous song. By the way, the bar is on Vinicius de Moraes Street (in Ipanema). But when you fly in or out of Rio, you will pass through Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. That's the guy who wrote the music.
Calle Vinicius de Moraes, Ipanema
Sometimes, when the mercury is nudging 40 degrees and there isn't space on the beach for a German to lay out a handkerchief, let alone a towel, escape from the heat and clamour of Rio can be a welcome relief. The traditional getaway route for Cariocas is to take the Washington Luis highway to the cool mountain cities of Petrópolis, Teresópolis and Nova Friburgo.
Recently though, some of a more enterprising nature have begun to open up the Serra Fluminense above the oil boom town of Macaé in the north of Rio State. The centerpiece of this area is the sleepy hill town of Sana, a bridging point across the crystalline, cascading waters of the Sana River, guarded by the majestic 3,700 foot Pedra do Peito do Pombo (Pigeon Breast Rock).
The best choices for accommodation in Sana are the town’s charming and inexpensive pousadas. Highly recommended is the pretty Repousa da Sana, with its mature gardens, restaurant serving tasty local dishes cooked in a wood burning oven (ask for the baked trout), shop selling local crafts and its comfy, tastefully decorated riverside chalets.
A big bonus here is that the owner, Antenor Sousa, speaks passable English, a rarity in this part of the world. He is a keen photographer and has spent the last 20 years documenting the town and its surroundings so there isn’t a lot he doesn’t know about the place.
For travelers with an eye on their budget, many pousadas also offer a camping option with bathroom and laundry facilities. From your base in town you can take guided walks to the dozens of waterfalls and natural swimming pools that dot the region, trek up some of Sana’s steepling granite peaks or enjoy a very agreeable couple of days’ pony trekking. There’s also enough rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, kayaking and white water rafting to keep the adventure sports enthusiast absorbed for days.
And after these strenuous calisthenics, what better way to wind down than in a hammock on your chalet deck, caipirinha strategically placed at arm’s length, with the calls of roosting flocks of parrots and the chattering of the river lulling you to sleep? Keep a weather eye on your drink though, as the local Micou monkeys, emboldened by human contact, are rather partial to those cachaça-impregnated lemons.
I should point out one small inconvenience. The nearest bank is 12 miles away in Casimiro de Abreu and, as telephones are a relatively new phenomenon in Sana, many of the town’s pousadas, bars and restaurants don’t accept credit cards.
However, carrying cash does not present the safety risks that it does in Rio. You are less likely to be mugged than savaged by a member of the town’s bovine community which outnumbers the human population by some distance, in other words, not very likely at all.
There is no direct public transport link between Rio and Sana. Take an air conditioned coach from the Terminal Rodoviaria Novo Rio to the town of Casimiro de Abreu (the journey last about three hours), from whence you can catch one of the large number of VW Combis that shuttle between Casimiro and Sana. Don't worry when you hit a dirt road as you wind your way up into the hills; the district council in Macaé has plans to pave it but it hasn't happened yet. The Repousa da Sana is about two kilometres before the town centre on your left. Ask the driver to drop you there. There are two websites in Portuguese that you will find useful, the general information site, www.portaldosana.com.br, and the Repousa da Sana's homepage, www.repousadasana.com.br.
A great Brazilian invention is the restaurant where you pay by weight. There are hundreds of these throughout the city and many of them are really good: you go to the buffet, and pile up the plate with salads, barbecued meats and cooked dishes. At the end you weigh your plate – and pay for what you have served yourself. Its unlikely to be more than 20Br$, or £5 for a sizeable feast.
The best place for local specialities, and true old school service, really the most delightful staff. It's in a residential part of the city - I think we were the only tourists both times we went.
The price was very reasonable.
On Saturdays, Brazilians eat feijoada, the most delicious pork dish you will ever eat. I don't really like pork and it blew my mind. Botequim make feijoada to die for. I am salivating writing this.
Rua Visconde de Caravelas 184, Botafogo
Osteria Policarpo, an intimate spot (about 20 seats), with excellent appetizers, pasta courses, main courses, and desserts, and reasonable prices. If I remember correctly the owner is Venetian. Close to Cobal, an open-air gathering place to drink and socialise into the early hours of the morning.
Il Nonno, slightly larger (80 seats), and easy walking distance from the north end of the main metro line in Saens Pena. Pasta in various flavours (our last outing was squash and spinach). They also specialise in galeto (small chickens).
Largo dos Leões, 35 - Humaitá (this is the continuation of R. São Clemente in Botafogo)
Rua Conde de Bonfim, 601, Tijuca
A restaurant specialising in food from the north east - carne seca, carne de sol, aipim. Very reasonable prices, large portions, and in addition to the beer on draft you can choose from a huge list of tropical juices to wash your food down.
R. Paulo Barreto 25, Botafogo, five minutes walk up R. Voluntarios from Botafogo metro station;
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