* During Carnival & New Year's holiday weeks the prices are much higher; 7-10 day packages are available.
Because of real estate prices, the rates for staying at a Rio de Janeiro hostel in Ipanema are slightly more expensive then those in Copacabana. The quality of the better hostels in either neighborhood is the same.
Carnival and New Year's "packages" require a minimum 3 or more nights stay, are about triple the normal daily rates, and usually include transfer to and from the airport.
Typical hostels in Rio de Janeiro have less repeat business than their hotel counterparts, so they rely on internet commercial website reviews or Blogs for future guests. Because of this fact, guests are usually treated very well by the staff, and they tend to keep the atmosphere pretty lively.
Our Favorite Rio de Janeiro Hostels
Ipanema Beach House
Location: Rua Barao do Torre 485, Ipanema. Tel - 55 21 3203 2693
The Ipanema beach House is a very bright and clean Rio de Janeiro hostel, located on an upscale residential street in Ipanema near Posto 10. It's a short 4 block walk to the beach, via Rua Garcia D' Avila, which is one of the most chic streets in Rio.
This hostel, like others, offers sightseeing tour booking and transfers to and from the airport or central bus station. Breakfast, locker, and linens are included. The Bar is open from 3pm - 10pm. They offer free Internet access in the lobby. There is 24 hour security, a locked front gate after 10pm, with 24 hour access for guests.
Ipanema Beach House has 2 dormitory style rooms with bunk beds and private showers. The private double occupancy rooms are popular and must be booked far in advance. An nice touch is the outdoor swimming pool next to the bar, and a snooker table.
Insider's Tip - Dining can get expensive in this part of Ipanema, but the inexpensive Paz E Amor Restaurant (Peace & Love) is just 2 blocks away. Paz e Amor is one of Ipanema's best kept secrets, and it serves huge portions of freshly prepared chicken, beef, and seafood dishes in an comfortable outdoor setting. For more information, see our review of Paz e Amor on the Traditional Brazilian Restaurants Page.
Locations: Rua Barao do Torre 175, Ipanema. Tel - 55 21 2227 6458, and Travessa Cristiano Lacorte, 46,Copacabana. Tel 55 21 2227 1846.
Wave Hostel is located on the same tree lined residential street as Ipanema Beach House, further up towards Rua Vinicius de Moraes and Posto 8.
New Natural, a decent vegetarian restaurant is nearby, and it offers Por Kilo (by the weight) dining all day and night.
The Copacabana location of Wave Hostel is slightly less expensive and offers the same amenities. Both locations are popular with surfers ...hence the name "Wave", with the Copacabana hostel being close to the surf shops in Arpoador.
Services include airport pickup, breakfast included, surf trips, transport to soccer matches at Maracana Stadium, free Internet access, secured lockers, kitchen, luggage storage, telephone, cable TV, and DVD player.
Location: Rua Prudente de Moraes 594, Ipanema. 1 block from the beach. Tel - 55 21 2287 9255
The Mango Tree, an attractive Rio de Janeiro hostel, is a recently renovated 1930´s Colonial style house, located one block from Ipanema Beach near Posto 9.
It's at the corner of Vinicius de Moraes Street, which is a great location close to many bars and restaurants, including the famous botequim, Garota de Ipanema. It's also just 2 blocks from the park that holds the famous hippie fair every Sunday.
It has 8 private rooms and 3 dormitory rooms which sleep 6 - 8 people each. Only 2 of the dorm rooms have AC. Amenities include private men's and women's showers and bathroom facilities.
Tour bookings by the hostel include sightseeing and activities that are "off the beaten track", including hiking up Pedra Bonita, a Favela tour (shantytown), a Favela Funk Party, and evening trips to Mangueira for the Carnival rehearsals and Samba party (a must do while in Rio).
The rate includes breakfast and Internet access. The Mango Tree has lockers, TV room, a beautiful front veranda, and nice outdoor deck. And yes, they have a Mango tree in the courtyard.
It's a popular hostel with a great location close to the beach. Carnival packages sell out early, so book several months ahead.
The Che Lagarto Rio de Janeiro Hostel, is part of a franchised chain that operates in 5 countries in South America. "Che Lagarto" means "Lizard House" in Spanish, a fact that you may gather by noting the lizard mascot on their very slick website. It's very much a party atmosphere here, and they rely on repeat bookings at their other hostels by backpackers trekking across Brazil and other countries in South America.
Their Ipanema and the #1 Copacabana hostels are situated in nice neighborhoods. All three of their hostels are close to the beach. Che Lagarto's website is probably the easiest of all hostels to use for Internet booking. They offer some very inexpensive last minute deals, as dormitory style accommodations can be had for as little as US $13 per night!
The Ipanema Beach location is a bit more upscale than the other two. It hosts the popular "Bar Code", a pub on 2 levels within the hostel, which really ramps up the party on the weekends.
The amenities and services are per usual with the better hostels in Rio de Janeiro: breakfast included, private showers, lockers, free Internet access, TV, game room, security, and some rooms with AC.
Che Lagarto also operates hostels on the pristine Island of Ilha Grande and in the colonial city of Paraty. These are two wonderful side trips within 3 hours travel from Rio. They offer transportation to each location and sightseeing tour bookings. If you are planning a trip throughout Rio de Janeiro state or other parts of Brazil, using Che Lagarto as your choice of hostel makes a lot of sense.
Location: Rua Cupertino Durão, 56 (at Avenida General San Martin)
Leblon ; Tel. 55 21 2294 1853. 1 block from the beach
Opened in 2005, Lemon Spirit Hostel sets itself apart from any other Rio de Janeiro hostel by it's enviable location one block from Leblon Beach in the upscale Leblon neighborhood. Due to real estate prices, most hostels are located in the Ipanema or Copacabana beach neighborhoods. At night, Leblon is a much safer area than Copacabana and it's less hectic than Ipanema Beach.
Leblon Beach is just one block away from this Rio de Janeiro hostel, and if you hang a left when you get to the beach, Ipanema Beach is just a 5 minute walk away.
The Lemon Spirit Hostel is set in a renovated historic building. It offers dorms as well as private rooms, free breakfast , a TV lounge, individual lockers, air conditioning, internet access, a guest kitchen, bar, and an outdoor area. They also have 24Hr security, transfer service to and from the airport, and will arrange tours.
The Lemon Spirit staff recently arranged for a taxi cab to take one of our Facebook fans to the remote and pristine Prainha Beach for just R $100 round trip. Booking the taxi through the hostel ensured the guests that the cab driver would pick them up at the beach at the end of the day!
The only negative we find to staying at the Lemon Spirit Hostel is the distance to the nightclubs in Ipanema Beach and Copacabana Beach, and that the restaurants in Leblon are pretty pricey. Walking back from Ipanema Beach late at night is not recommended, so you will need to take taxis or the bus. The city bus is an inexpensive and easy option for day time travel. Simply walk up one block to Rua Ataulfo de Paiva and catch a city bus to Ipanema or Copacabana. On the return the bus line runs right in front of the hostel on Rua San Martin.
Insider's Tip - For an excellent traditional Brazilian meal offered at a reasonable price, dine at the famous Alvaro's Restaurant which is just a short walk from the hostel. They serve late!
Location: Rua Barata Ribeiro, 111, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tel: 55 21 3209 0348. 3 blocks from the beach.
Stone of a Beach Rio de Janeiro hostel is housed in an old mansion on a busy street just a short walking distance from Copacabana Beach. It's easily recognized by its first floor block stone facade and its blue and white second story outfitted with balconies and ornate arches.
Inside this Rio de Janeiro hostel is the well known "Clandestino Bar" which is open to the public, and where over 200 people may gather for intimate live music performances, including the popular "Festa Joker's" Hip Hip shows every Thursday night. It's billed as a "traditional pub that meets the crazy Carioca, in a funky, rustic, underground style. "
Stone of a Beach is a large hostel, with 9 rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors holding over 70 bunk beds. ($R 35 - 55 per night). There are also several private rooms with double beds for $R 130 - $210 per night).
The nightly rates include a typical Brazilian breakfast, and other services offered include transfers to/from the airport, tours, surfing lessons, etc.