Buzios: Full of Brazilian Charm
Buzios is a major tourist destination in Brazil. This little peninsula, just off the coast of Rio de Janeiro attracts travellers from around the world! Its beautiful beaches, brightly coloured ocean, and charming village make it a hit among Brazilians and foreign vacationers.
The destination’s popularity arose after a visit from Brigitte Bardot and her Brazilian boyfriend Bob Zagury in 1964. The town was truly grateful and built a statue in her honour, and now the destination is so popular, that it can even be referred to as the Saint-Tropez of Brazil. The high season runs from December 15th to March 15th. The centro (or town centre) is charming and very small and you will be able to find almost everything on the main street called Rua das Pedras (Stone St).
Where to Stay
In Buzios your best bet is to stay at one of the charming pousadas the peninsula has to offer. The destination is well equipped with some all purpose resorts like Breezes Buzios and Serena Buzios however the pousadas (B&B) and boutique hotels are a must for those wishing to embrace the charming and relaxed style of Buzios.
One of the most famous boutique hotels is Casas Brancas, located right on the beach and is 2 minutes walking distance from centro. This luxurious boutique hotel, with haute cuisine, unique massage therapies and fabulous guest rooms will certainly make for a dream vacation. The Villa Rasa Marina is the newest boutique hotel in Buzios, located on Praia Rasa. The water is very calm which makes for a great place to relax. The hotel offers yoga lessons and is known for its soothing massages and healthy appeal.
A great pousada to relax but not miss out on any happenings going on downtown is Pousada Corsário. This cute B&B is located on Praia dos Ossos, and offers a versatile environment with a game room and playground for the kids and sauna and a pool for the adults. Another pousada close to the little village is Pousada Byblos (above), only 3 minutes away from downtown and also walking distance to Praia dos Ossos, Azeda and Azedinha beaches. Each room is uniquely decorated, and the service is truly personalised. You can even choose to have your breakfast at the pool or in your room. Porto Bay Glenzhaus is an inn full of charm with 17 suites immersed in the tropical environment of Buzios, as well as being walking distance from the village.
If you’re looking for a pousada with a fabulous view, Pousada da Azeda will blow you away. Located in a small colony of Atlantic Forest preservation, overlooking the Praia dos Ossos, João Fernandes and Azeda; the inn offers a great pool, sauna and gym area and a unique place to relax that will fit your budget.
Buzios is the perfect destination to spend your days lying on the beach and catching a fabulous tan. There are 23 beaches to choose from, so make sure you know which one to pick before heading out for a day in the sun. One of the most famous beaches is Praia de Geribá; this is where most of the trendy restaurants are located and some of the best New Year’s parties. A good tip is to spend your day at the Fishbone Café, here they offer a great beach lounge with house music and good drinks. This beach is also family friendly, and attracts surfers for its good wave formations. The next beach, Praia da Ferradura, is a great water sports beach. You will see many jet skiers, windsurfers and even divers around this beach, and there are many kiosks with food, drinks and even massages available.
The inns on Praia da Ferradura are very well located, as centro is only minutes away. This next neighbouring beach, named as a smaller version of the previous beach, Praia da Ferradurinha is one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. The white sand forms natural salt-water pools and the rocks surrounding the beach turn it into a charming enclosure. The kiosks are not so elaborate here, but offer the basics. It’s a great place to kayak or go for a romantic stroll on the beach. Praia de João Fernandes is for the young crowd who love a beach party. There are many restaurants with traditional Brazilian tunes and good snacks to choose from. The beach is surrounded by inns, hotels and luxury condominiums, its worth renting an apartment during high season, especially for the New Year.
On the other side of the peninsula you will find Praia Rasa; this beach is very secluded, and offers calm waters with a good breeze, which attracts windsurfers. There are many private and vacation homes here, and no kiosks. Praia da Tartaruga is quite popular among tourists and offers a wide variety of kiosks and restaurants on the beach. There is a unique rock formation which divides the sand strip in two, with warm waters to swim in. The beaches Praia Azeda e Azedinha can be accessed by land, however taking a water taxi makes for a beautiful ride. The beach forms a large pool with crystal clear calm waters. The miniature version (Azedinha) can be accessed by Azeda and is so tiny that you can explore it in 40 steps. Two beaches with picture perfect postcard beauty are Praia dos Ossos and Praia do Recanto. These are great beaches for hikes so you can soak up the marvellous view.
Restaurants and Bars
During the day, your best bet is to snack at the kiosks scattered along the beaches. Most of them offer grilled snapper, shrimp and squid caught the same day! For those looking for a gastronomic visit, spend the day on Praia da Ferradura, here you will find a few options: a great pick is a crispy shrimp cake that you can get at Samuca Bar. Another good pick is at Praia Brava, here you can try the ceviches at Rock Beach Restaurant & Lounge. In José Gonçalves, there are the famous crab cakes from Ranieri, while in the bustling Geribá, the açaí and fulfilling sandwiches are good at the Fishbone Café. Aside from this cafe in Geribá, another good music environment with a five star cuisine is Patio Havana (below). Here you can enjoy the best seafood and a varied selection of wines.
You must reserve at least one day to go to Chez Michou. The crepes, with many different fillings, have been a hit for over twenty years! Other favourites are the dried meat with cheese sandwich and the classic Alessandro, with cheese, ham, tomatoes and oregano. For dessert get the crispy banana with chocolate and vanilla ice cream – unbeatable! Another delicious choice for a good desert is Café Maré Mansa, who are famous for their banana cake with chocolate. A tasty ice cream choice is Mil Frutas, which has ice cream cake and guava cheesecake flavours! For those wishing to get out of the hotel routine and explore the village, try Estância Don Juan, an Argentine restaurant with three different environments and good choices of meat. One of my favorites though has to be Salt, a newly opened restaurant on the Orla Bardot. The charming restaurant is nestled in green vegetation and has a rustic-chic decoration with tables on the deck that overlook the seafront. The food is impeccable, signed by Ricardo Ferreira, and the music makes for a great ambience.
Written by Brazilian Guru, a travel blog written directly from Brazil! Check us out for travel tips, good restaurants, fabulous parties, beautiful beaches and only the best of Brazil.
Top image by Lorando Labbe