There is a whole range of places to stay in Recife, Olinda and Porto de Galinhas, from hostels to pousadas to 5-star hotels. Probably the best location is Boa Viagem in terms of price and convenience, whether you are on a budget or not. Olinda is close enough to take a day trip from Boa Viagem by bus (R$1.85 each way) or taxi (approx. R$30each way). Porto de Galinhos and other beaches can also be reached easily as day trips, by bus (R$5.90 each way), taxi, or organized tour.
You may want to stay a few days of your trip in Porto de Galinhas, if you want to spend an extended time at the beach. There are places at all prices, but they tend to be more expensive and must be booked in advance during high season. At Carnival and Christmas/New Year prices rise a lot, and it’s normal to have to book a minimum number of days (5-7days).
Pousadas are a usually more charming and smaller than hotels. If you prefer a friendly and more rustic place to stay, they are definitely the best option. They vary in price and quality a lot. Most are in Olinda and Porto de Galinhas rather than Recife. Follow this link to read more about pousadas
Prices are almost always negotiable, especially if you are paying cash. You can normally get a price, agree to pay in cash and just use a credit card (uncharged) to confirm a reservation. Try to do everything by email rather than by phone to ensure you have records of your agreement. It is also worth noting that breakfast is usually included in the price, but you would be wise to confirm this.
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