We Hostel, Sao Paulo: This new design hostel stands inside an early 20th-century mansion in the Vila Mariana district of Sao Paulo

The Big Six

We Hostel, Sao Paulo

This new design hostel stands inside an early 20th-century mansion in the Vila Mariana district of Sao Paulo – Brazil's largest and liveliest city. Inside there's one private double, with cable television and a huge balcony, and a range of dorms that sleep between two and eight people. For female travellers, there's a women's-only option, with a private bathroom. The tone throughout is simple but stylish, with metal-frame beds, shuttered windows and wooden floors. But it's the shared spaces that really stand out – with vintage sideboards, eye-catching art prints, mid-century sofas and an industrial-style communal kitchen that opens on to a courtyard. Outside, the restaurants of Rua Joaquim Tavora and the lush green pastures of Ibirapuera Park await.

We Hostel, Rua Morgado de Mateus, Sao Paulo (00 55 11 2615 2262; wehostel.com.br). Doubles R75 (£20); dorms R36 (£10)pp.

Castelinho38, Rio de Janeiro

This small hotel offers outstanding views of Rio's coast from its hilltop perch in the Santa Teresa district. Housed within a two-storey, 19th-century building, it hides 12 spacious rooms with colourful quilts, period furniture and abstract artwork. Start the day with tropical fruits and homemade bread, before exploring the neighbourhood's cobbled streets, ageing mansions and bohemian bars. Come afternoon, retire to the tree-shaded tranquillity of the hotel's terrace, which looks down across the Baia de Guanabara.

Castelinho38, Rua Triunfo 38, Rio (00 55 21 2252 2549; castelinho38.com.br). Doubles start at R200 (£54), room only.

Pousada Santa Clara, Boipeba

For barefoot bliss, head to the island of Boipeba, off the coast of Bahia. Part of the palm-strewn Tinhare archipelago, it combines castaway beaches and quiet villages with lush jungle. One of the best lodges on the island is Pousada Santa Clara, which has 12 chalet-style apartments, just off Boca da Barra beach, with whitewashed walls, colourful throws and verandas for lazy afternoons.

Pousada Santa Clara, Boipeba, Bahia (00 55 75 3653 6085; santaclaraboipeba.com). Doubles start at R200 (£54), including breakfast.

Marica B&B Foz do Iguacu

Foz do Iguacu is the westernmost city in the state of Parana. It's also the main gateway to Iguacu Falls – the mighty waterfall that straddles the border between Brazil and Argentina. While in the area, base yourself at this downtown B&B, which has four homely rooms and hearty breakfasts. Aim for either the purple-painted Lavanda suite or the nautical-inspired Ocean, which features sea shells and pillows printed with fish.

Marica B&B, Foz do Iguacu, Parana (00 55 45 30 273 538; maricabedbreakfast.com). Doubles start at R165 (£45), including breakfast.

Pousada Arizona, Bonito

Bonito is an aquatic playground of lakes, waterfalls and crystal-clear rivers, where swimmers can tread water beside hundreds of fish. Snorkelling, abseiling and flutacao (flotation) are the key diversions here. For a warm, hospitable stay, check into the Pousada Arizona, which has clean, refreshing rooms tucked away within a series of bungalows. In case you hadn't had enough water, it also has a fantastic pool.

Pousada Arizona, Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul (00 55 67 32 554 190; hotelpousada arizona.com.br). Doubles start at R208 (£56), including breakfast.

Janela de Marcia, Florianopolis

This colourful B&B is a five-minute stroll from Lagoa da Conceicao – a huge lagoon in the centre of Florianopolis island. Run by the eponymous Marcia, it has three cheerful rooms, with hammocks outside. Spend lazy afternoons looking up at the canopy, where monkeys and birdlife come to play, or take off for the nearby surfing beach of Praia Mole and the lagoon-side village of Barra da Lagoa, with its pastel-painted houses.

Janela de Marcia, Florianopolis. Santa Catarina (00 55 48 99 581 782; janelademarcia.com). Doubles start at R255 (£69), including breakfast.