By Alison McGowan, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Affordable travel are words on everyone’s lips at the moment and while getting to parts of Brazil can be costly, particularly for visitors outside of South America, there are ways to visit desired destinations quite cheaply – without compromising on quality.
Low season (i.e. outside December to March) is not only an ideal time to experience Brazil at its calmest, but also to benefit from cheaper airfares, accommodation and surprisingly good weather in many places. And despite missing Brazilian summertime, famed Christmas and New Year’s celebrations and of course Carnival, months like June and July for example, when Festas Juninas take place, still provide ample celebrations and cultural magnificence.
For under R$100 a night one can get a double room including breakfast, in most of Brazil’s charming destinations. Pay just a bit more and you can stay in a uniquely beautiful pousada offering touches of luxury only normally available to big spenders.
Morerê, located on Bahia’s Boipeba island is a sleepy, traffic free, fishing village totally off the beaten track and only accessible by boat or tractor! This is home to Pousada Mangueira, a cozy pousada run by Brits, which is set in wonderfully lush gardens full of fruit trees, coconut palms and tropical flowers, only a stone’s throw away from quiet local bars and restaurants and suitable for those wanting a chilled out beach holiday.
Alternatively, for an affordable dwelling in Salvador, Bahia, there is Pousada Estrela do Mar, which offers a wonderful combination of Irish/Brazilian hospitality, and is conveniently located in the Farol da Barra (Lighthouse) area of the city. Barra is great for those who want to be relatively close to the historical center (20 minutes by bus or taxi), but also want to be by a beach. The pousada itself is only half a block from the bus-stop where direct airport buses pass, and the same distance from the beach.
Travelers wanting to explore the rustic charm of Minas Gerais and the colonial village of São Gonçalo do Rio das Pedras can visit Pousada do Capão. This definitely classifies as one of the most hidden of all the hidden pousadas and is set in 38,000 square meters of rolling green land near Diamantina. The owner is a former chef and guests can indulge in the plethora of exciting global gourmet cuisine on offer and feel like they are getting an extra treat for their money.
Although only 34km from Diamantina it takes a good hour or more to get to the pousada as it is nearly all dirt road. However the trip in itself is worthwhile for the amazing scenery and the location is ideal for a retreat exploring the surrounding countryside.