Adventurous travellers check into Rio slum for £8 a night

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The Independent US

Breathtaking views high above Rio de Janeiro's beaches and mountains can be yours for just a few dollars a day - if you skip the pricey hotel favoured by the Rolling Stones and sleep in a slum.

Rio's favelas are infamous for drug and gang violence. But a new hostel called Pousada Favelinha ("the little slum inn"), is attracting adventurous tourists, mainly from Germany, France and the US.

You can only get to the Pousada Favelinha, in the jungle-covered hillside slum of Pereira da Silva, on foot. Most of its 1,900 residents live in unpainted brick hovels they built themselves, but the hostel owners say staying in the slum is safe. It has gained a reputation as one of Rio's calmest favelas since police killed a neighbourhood drug lord in a shoot-out seven years ago. A police squad also trains there, so criminal gangs avoid it.

Even though the tiny inn has no telephone and only accepts reservations by email, its five rooms were booked solid during Rio's famous carnival. Each room in the white, three-storey inn has expansive terraces overlooking Rio's bay. A room with a double bed costs about $35 (£20) a night, while backpackers pay $15 (£8.50) a head to sleep in a large shared room.

"This place isn't for wimps," said co-owner and shanty-town dweller Andreia Martins, 31."If you are uptight, you can go stay at the Copacabana Palace." That's the luxury beachfront hotel where the Stones stayed last month when they performed free for more than a million people.

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