Made famous by Brigitte Bardot and her boyfriend back in the 1960s, Búzios has been a not-so-secret, sought-after paradise ever since. It’s the most popular destination along the Costa do Sol, a string of beaches that reaches 190 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. With its ubiquitous hotels, fine dining, nightclubs and gorgeous swaths of sand, it’s little wonder South Americans flock here for winter vacation when the skies are clear and the temperatures hover in the 70s.
Búzios proper is a five-mile peninsula with -- count them -- 23 beaches. Three small towns comprise Búzios - Ossos, Manguinhos and Armação de Búzios. Ossos is the eldest and the prettiest of the three, Manguinhos is primarily commercial and Armação is home to most of the tourist amenities. You’ll find picturesque waterfronts, charming cobblestone streets, hotels and inns, all manner of dining establishment and more – all of which emanates a St. Tropez vibe.
Speaking of hotels, there are tons of amazing accommodations in the Búzios area. Abracadabra Pousada, Pousada La Chimere, and Vila D'este, for example, range from standard to luxury -- although all are beautiful and comfortable.
From idyllic fishing village to sophisticated beachfront retreat, Búzios has earned its title as not only one of the most beautiful places in the world, but one of the most charming.
Here’s what not to miss in Búzios:
- Rua das Pedras – the main drag for nightlife, shopping and dining. Stroll the European-esque cobblestone street and mingle with the locals.
- Orla Bardot – an oceanfront promenade that continues eastward from where Rua das Pedras left off. Walk along the beachfront from Armação to Ossos, noticing the renowned bronze statues along the way, including Brigitte Bardot and former Brazil president Juscelino Kubitschek.
- Porto da Barra – Manguinhos’ waterfront district and home to a plethora of bars and restaurants. This is the place for wining and dining, especially come evening when the sunset paints the horizon.
- Praia do Forno – a red-sand beach marvel. Snorkel the coves and rock pools of this coarse red-sand beach.
- Praia da Tartaruga – an idea snorkeling spot and one of the best places to catch the sunset. Sip a caipirinha on this pristine beach, where sea turtles are regularly special guests.
- … and More Beaches – Families flock to Ferradura and João Fernandes for their calm water, water sports enthusiasts love Manguinhos and natural history buffs fall for Ponta da Lagoinha – though not a swimmable beach, there are rocks there that are more than 520 million years old.
- Fine Dining – a smorgasbord of flavors from the settlers who came from all over the world and never left. Dine on everything from French and Japanese to Italian and Thai. Seafood is obviously a large player on many menus.
- Ecotourism Activities – an inland that is just as enticing as its aquamarine waters and white-sand beaches. Hike on nature trails, mountain bike, raft, rappel and horseback ride in the Pau-Brasil Environmental Protection Area.
- Dance All Night – beach days followed by dance parties. Particularly over the holidays and throughout the summer, Búzios come alive after dark with live and electronic music, concerts, dance clubs and more. Most of the buzz is found along Rua das Pedras and Orla Bardot.
- Admire the Art – from beachfront home studios to sophisticated galleries. Wander the neighborhoods and Rua das Pedras to find various local artwork, from paintings to tapestries. Look for Galeria das Pedras, where you can view rotating and permanent exhibits and perhaps take a piece or two home.
When Should I Go to Buzios?
Búzios’ enviable coastal Brazil location lends itself to sunny, dry weather – more sunny and dry than the country’s other southeastern beaches. Winter – from June to August – is the most ideal time to visit to capitalize on the warmth, but generally speaking, Búzios is lovely year-round. Do your planning well in advance for those popular winter months, particularly July, as students are on break. Then again, summer is also quite busy, around New Year’s Day and Carnival.
How Do I Get to Buzios?
Get to Búzios by land, air and sea, then once there, move about on foot, taxi, car, motorbike or water taxi. It’s about a two-hour drive from Rio de Janeiro.
If Buzios and its bountiful beaches, culture, dining and history sound appealing, reach out for a free consultation and start planning your trip to Brazil today.