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São Paulo Has Urban Campsite with Artificial Grass on Building Rooftop

09/22/2016 - 11h10

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BRUNO MOLINER
FROM SÃO PAULO

The tents placed side by side, with mattresses and sleeping bags inside, make up a scenario that is very similar to that of any other campsite in the world. But there is one difference: instead of waterfalls and mosquitoes, there is artificial grass, and the buildings and traffic of São Paulo.

Inaugurated in 2015 on the rooftop of the Aki Hostel, located in Paraíso neighborhood, the urban campsite is the only of its kind in the capital city of São Paulo.

The Brazilian Camping Association (Abracamping) and the country's Ministry of Tourism do not have any other campsite registered in the city - which does not prevent, however, other isolated experiences from having appeared without the institutions' knowing.

"I camped there because of the low prices and the place's convenience. Unlike the traditional campsites, you just have to cross the street and go to the market if you are hungry," says accounting consultant Marcos Akamine, 32, who camped there for a week earlier in June.

The daily rate per person is R$ 30 (US$ 9) and the campsite can hold up to ten tents, while the communal bedrooms with 15 beds have daily rates of R$ 35 (US$ 10).

Neither of the options includes breakfast. The similar prices are because the campsite's occupation rate has increased five-fold since June, reaching 34% in the first 20 days of September.

For those who do not have any campaign equipment, the Aki Hostel offers two-person tents and blankets, sheets, pillows and mattresses free of charge, as well as access to campsite facilities and services, which include bathrooms, showers and internet connection.

AFTER THE FIFA WORLD CUP

Campsites began to be discussed again in the country after the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup, when tourists from several countries, mainly Argentina, Uruguay and other neighboring countries, invaded the cities that received the soccer matches and camped in areas improvised by the City Halls.

At the end of the event, the Ministry of Tourism demonstrated that it would begin to discuss the issues concerning campsites and motorhomes. In Brazil, there are no specific laws on the subject and people are only allowed to camp in certified areas.

Abracamping says that, in 2014, there were some 400 campsites in the country, but only 36 of them were registered in the ministry's database - some of them have already been deactivated. Two years later, by June 2016, that number had increased to only 38.

"We did not know of any camping areas in the city of São Paulo. The only new thing we knew of was that there was a demand from motorhome owners to create a temporary parking area for them, but the project has not taken off yet," says Luiz Edgar Tostes, the director of Abracamping.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

Read the article in the original language

Marlene Bergamo/Folhapress
Inaugurated in 2015 on the rooftop of the Aki Hostel, located in Paraíso neighborhood, the urban campsite is the only of its kind in São Paulo
Inaugurated in 2015 on the rooftop of the Aki Hostel, located in Paraíso neighborhood, the urban campsite is the only of its kind in São Paulo

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