ABSTRACT Objective: To describe the clinical profile and treatment of Brazilian Guarani indigenous children aged less than five years hospitalized for acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI), living in villages in the states from Rio de Janeiro to Rio Grande do Sul. Methods: Of the 234 children, 23 were excluded (incomplete data). The analysis was conducted in 211 children. Data were extracted from charts by a form. Based on record of wheezing and x-ray findings, ALRI was classified as bacterial, viral and viral-bacterial. A bivariate analysis was conducted using multinomial regression. Results: Median age was 11 months. From the total sample, the ALRI cases were classified as viral (40.8%), bacterial (35.1%) and viral-bacterial (24.1%). It was verified that 53.1% of hospitalizations did not have clinical-radiological-laboratorial evidence to justify them. In the multinomial regression analysis, the comparison of bacterial and viral-bacterial showed the likelihood of having a cough was 3.1 times higher in the former (95%CI 1.11-8.70), whereas having chest retractions was 61.0% lower (OR 0.39, 95%CI 0.16-0.92). Comparing viral with viral-bacterial, the likelihood of being male was 2.2 times higher in the viral (95%CI 1.05-4.69), and of having tachypnea 58.0% lower (OR 0.42, 95%CI 0.19-0.92). Conclusions: Higher proportion of viral processes was identified, as well as viral-bacterial co-infections. Coughing was a symptom indicative of bacterial infection, whereas chest retractions and tachypnea showed viral-bacterial ALRI. Part of the resolution of non-severe ALRI still occurs at hospital level; therefore, we concluded that health services need to implement their programs in order to improve indigenous primary care.