Thousands of Olympics tourists will stay in these hostels that were built in the middle of Rio’s slums — take a look inside

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A visitor sits in her room at the Pousada Favelinha hostel.
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Pilar Olivares

Plans for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are still under way, despite political upheaval and growing concern over the spreading Zika virus.

With more tourists than hotel rooms available, visitors are looking for alternative housing options. The hostels and private homes in Rio’s favelas – shanty towns within the confines of the city – might hold the answer to a more authentic Brazilian experience.

Below, take a look at the various hostels and private homes that are opening their doors for visitors during the Olympic games.


According to Reuters, Rio is expecting upward of 500,000 tourists during the Olympics. That’s much more than the International Olympic Committee-required 40,000 hotel rooms.

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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Hostels in neighborhood slums known as favelas — which were once considered too dangerous to visit — are opening their doors to tourists looking for affordable lodging.

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The Mirante do Arvrao hostel.
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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Most of these lodges are in “pacified” favelas, neighborhoods that have been regulated by the Pacifying Police Unit. This force was specifically created to drive out gangs and crime in 2008.

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The Pousada Favelinha.
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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

TripAdvisor reviewers have said that the Tiki hostel in the Cantagalo favela is “charming” and warm,” although past visitors do warn those considering a visit to “know what you’re getting” ahead of time.

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Balcony of the Tiki hostel.
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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Source: TripAdvisor


Rooms at the Tiki hostel can be booked for as low as $38 a night this August.

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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Travelers on TripAdvisor raved about the view of the city from the Pousada Favela Cantagalo hostel.

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Inside a room at the Pousada Favela Cantagalo.
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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Source: TripAdvisor


Ligia is the owner of Pousada Favela Cantagalo.

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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Many of the rooms are humble, such as this one in the Pousada Favelinha hostel.

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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Room sizes can vary greatly.

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A room at the Pousada Favelinha hostel.
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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

The hallways can be just as small.

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A hallway inside the Pousada Favelinha hostel.
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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

If you’re lucky, you can snag a room that has a small balcony and hammock attached to it.

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Pilar Olivares/Reuters

If tourists want to get cozy with the locals, some people are even renting out rooms in their homes, like this house in the Pereira da Silva favela.

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Pilar Olivares/Reuters