Life slows down immediately when entering the gates of HI Cata Vento Hostel in Brazil! Located in Alto Paraíso, “the high paradise”, that is actually among the first approved Brazilian model cities for sustainability, HI Cata Vento is a pioneer hostel for sustainable tourism. Alto Paraíso is one of the most famous touristic destinations in Brazil. Situated in the center of the country, it is 250km away from Brasilia and it takes almost 3 hours to get there by car.
The hostel is situated on a lush, green hill providing relaxing surroundings during daytime, and magnificent star gazing view in the night time. Those pitching a tent among the many trees on the hostel’s campsite may even get a glimpse of the rare, local birds such as the tocano or the arara.
Food for thought
Make sure to set aside enough time to enjoy your “café da manhã” (breakfast) at HI Cata Vento! Being conscious about their carbon footprint as well as their local community, the hostel serves only vegetarian food that is either home made or from local farmers and fruit trees.
Ivan and Julia -the managers of the hostel- make sure to recycle all the waste that can be recycled, and it adds up to 90 per cent, leaving only toilet paper aside.
Strengthening ties with the local community
In line with Hostelling International‘s core values, HI Cata Vento collaborates closely with its neighbours and the further local community. In addition to selling local products, the hostel also provides ready made dishes from local restaurants, a win-win situation.
Julia and Ivan have also created a WhatsApp group with their neighbours. They started this group by knocking on the neighbours’ doors and offering them to join in. Now they use it to lend each other things, invite each other to events or even fixing things such as street lights when needed. They also have used the group to quickly mobilize enough manpower to extinguish a local forest fire.
Wishing for solar panels and bio toilets
As Ivan and Julia are the temporary managers, not owners of the hostel, they unfortunately had to let down some sustainable ideas that they would like to implement. If they were to continue to run the hostel, their first investments would be solar panels and bio toilets. But even without these investments, HI Cata Vento Hostel is still a sustainable paradise for those who want to discover the “greenest” Brazil!
A paradise for nature lovers
Staying at HI Cata Vento also provides you with the opportunity to explore many of its surrounding waterfalls. The excursions range from 2km – 40km and you can find information on all of them displayed in the reception area, the staff are also more than happy to help tourists to a unique experience of the beautiful waterfalls.
Article written by Kaja Knutsdotter Fjørtoft and Michael Aune Øseth