Back to the blog


How to Save Money on a Hotel in Rio

June 7, 2015

Staying in Rio certainly isn’t cheap, especially for US travelers. A dollar that used to get you almost 4 Brazilian reais now gets you just 2.

A typical hotel can run R470-940 ($150-300) in the nicer parts of Rio — Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon.

Our biggest tip on how to save money on a hotel in Rio? Don’t stay in a hotel! Read on for three hotel alternatives that will save you money in Rio.

Hotel Alternative #1: Apartments

Search for rio apartments and you’ll find a ton of local agencies. Like a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, you’ll need to summon your courage to overlook the less-than-polished exterior of the agency websites.

You’ll find the actual apartments are just as lovely, clean, and well-appointed as a typical hotel. This is where you’ll find the best deals, not to mention a more authentic experience.

RealRio Picks
Vinicio Flats
Vacation Rentals by Owner

Hotel Alternative #2: Pousasdas

Pousada means inn, and Portuguese speakers use the word to refer to a small, independently-owned guesthouse.

Pousadas often run well under R314 ($100) a night. The best (and least expensive) pousadas are harder to find. The best English-language resource is a site run by an expatriate Englishwoman, Alison McGowan: Hidden Pousadas Brazil.

You can also do your own detective work by searching for pousada Rio de Janeiro. These local websites are usually in Portguese; use Google Translate to get basic details about the pousada, then find an email address where you can send your initial inquiry to the proprietor.

RealRio Picks
Hidden Pousadas Brazil

Hotel Alternative #3: Cama e cafés

Cama e café translates to bed-and-breakfast. This is another phrase to use in your search for inexpensive accommodations in Rio. Staying in a cama e café is a lot like a pousada — a home-stay-like B&B. Like pousada, accommodations range from modest to lavish.

RealRio Picks
Cama e Café

You may be interested in…