When booking a ticket to Juazeiro, make sure you specify Juazeiro do Norte, or you run the risk of ending up in Juazeiro in Bahia, several hundred kilometres south. The rodoviária is a couple of kilometres out of the town, which is smaller than its fame suggests. There is one central square where you’ll find the best and most expensive hotel, the Panorama at Rua Santo Agostinho 84 (t 88/3566-3150, w www.panoramahotel.com.br; R$71–180), but finding somewhere to stay is the least of your worries in a town geared to putting up pilgrims: there are small hotels and dormitórios everywhere. The best place to eat is the Restó Jardim, in Lagoa Seca at Av. Leão Sampaio 5460 (t 88/3571-7768; closed Tues), serving a wide variety of regional and international dishes.

Leaving town, seats fill up fast on the daily buses to João Pessoa, Recife and Fortaleza, so if you’re staying overnight book a ticket when you arrive. Alternatively, it is usually possible to get a seat on one of the pilgrim buses parked around town; their drivers sell seats for the same price as on the regular bus, and groups come from all the major cities, so just pick a bus going your way.

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