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Armação dos Búzios

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South America : Brazil : Southeast : Rio de Janeiro : Armação dos Búzios
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Armação dos Búzios (often shortened to just Búzios) is a coastal city in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro.

Búzios beach

Understand

Búzios is more than a city, consisting as it does of a peninsula beach resort with twenty beaches and over 200 places to stay, of all categories.

When to go

High Season is from November till March and June to July (local schools holidays). Low season is from March till May and August till October. April and May can be a very good months to go because it is dry and quieter for families looking for relaxing times. December is the busiest month and it is great for parties, although you may face some lack of basics (water and food supplies) and prices rise substantially. In general, the area can get very congested during the high season, while during the low season there is almost no one there except at weekends. Avoid going in March because it can be quite wet.

Get in

Búzios is 176km from Rio de Janeiro and 600km from São Paulo. Buses connect the city to those capitals and neighboring cities (especially Cabo Frio). Long distance buses are operated by 1001[1].

Driving from Rio de Janeiro is easy. But during the high season parking is extremely difficult in the downtown area and at the main beaches.

Get around

All guest houses ("pousadas") supply maps of the area. Make sure you get one as the geography of the area can be confusing. Basically, there is one main road running east-west with roads to the various beaches leading off from the left and right.

Minivans ply several routes around the peninsula. Taxis can be called by the "pousadas" and there is a taxi rank in the town square close to the schooner wharf.

See

  • Beaches The west-facing beaches generally offer calm water while the ones facing the open sea, to the east, attract surfers, windsurfers and kite enthusiasts.

Clockwise around the peninsula, the main beaches are.

    • Praia Rasa. First beach on the left as you arrive from Rio de Janeiro. Wind surfing and kite surfing and a few pousadas but a bit off the beaten track.
    • Praia de Manguinhos. An extension of Praia Rasa, closer to the downtown area and with more accommodation.
    • Praia Tartaruga.
    • Praia do Canto. The harbour for the downtown area rather than a beach. Lots of accommodation.
    • Praia da Armação and Praia dos Ossos.
    • Praia João Fernandes. This is an upmarket residential area but the beach is disappointingly small and at high tide there is little room.
    • Praia Brava. Surfing beach exposed to the Atlantic. Few facilities.
    • Praia Olho de Boi. Naturist beach reached by following a 500m trail from Praia Brava. Take your own refreshments.
    • Praia do Forno. Attractive toe-shaped beach with one small bar.
    • Praia de Ferradura. Large, sheltered beach for swimmers not surfers. A few bars where the vans stop. One upmarket pousada but little else in the way of accommodation.
    • Praia Ferraderinha. Attractive small beach that can get rather crowded. Only reachable by car if you want to pay R10 an hour for one of the few parking places. Park at or take a van to Praia de Geribá and walk. From Praia Ferraderinha the fit can swim to Praia dos Amores (Lovers’ Beach), where it is said that “two arrive and three leave”.
    • Praia de Geribá. Popular beach with many bars and restaurants and pousadas either on the beach or in the blocks behind it or on the overlooking hill. Good surfing location and there are several people offering surfing lessons (look for the upright surfboards in the sand).
    • Praia Tucuns. Long, almost deserted beach with no facilities other than a large, unattractive resort at the far end.


  • Rua das Pedras is the downtown area on the north coast that offers restaurants, shopping and nightlife.
  • The views. There are several viewpoints (mirantes) around Buzios. On the top of a hill close to Praia Brava there is a tower that offers good views of much of the peninsula. The road up to it is not very good but it is just about reachable with an ordinary saloon car.

Do

  • Boat trips through the beaches

A 2.5 hour schooner trip goes round the beaches and out to the islands off the north coast. Fresh fruit is served, and it often stops for an optional swim in the ocean near the beach, and then stops at the beach itself. More than one company provides such tours, and they are easy to find. Just go out on the long dock from downtown and people will be there promoting the next trip with flyers. This is the better alternative than using one of the local travel agencies as, particularly in the low season, they may sell you a trip that is cancelled for lack of passengers and you will then have to wait for the next one offered by the same company. The cruises cost 30 Reais in August 2012

  • Scuba diving

There are two excellent and certified scuba diving instruction schools, which both do daily trips for beginners and experienced divers. They are located across the street from each other on the main street by the beach downtown.

  • Surf Lessons at Geriba beach (Video: [2]

There are about 10 surf schools that teach all ages, as well as one girls' surf school, "Surfer Girls".

  • Annual Jazz Festival

Goes for 4 days around 22nd of July every year. About 6 of the nightclubs and the pagado have live jazz music throughout the night. Most of them are free throughout the festival (a few require reservations).

Buy

Alfredo's Arabic bikini shop on the beach side of the main street downtown is an excellent store for homemade bikinis. Many shops are locally owned, and a chat with the owners can reveal a lot of great connections and recommendations around town.

There is many casual fashion stores in the area. One thing to be aware of is that pants are usually sold by waist size and not by length. You are expected to have them altered to your size, and the store may very well not provide that service. If you do not know the language, it may be difficult to get it done. Suggestion: do not buy the pants until you have secured the service.

Across the street is an internet café that will let you hook up your notebook for hourly fees (around BRL$6/hour), or use their computers.

The good thing is must of shops still open till midnight.

Eat

Búzios is notorious for its sophisticated and therefore expensive restaurants. Even basic places can be much more expensive than would be the case in Rio de Janeiro. This is not the place for a cheap holiday. The new big thing in Búzios is pay-by-the-kilo restaurants; the original was a place called Boom and now there are about 20 of them. Boom's the good one.

David's on the main beach street downtown is one of the best casual seafood restaurant's.

Drink

Nightlife is huge in Búzios. One of the best nightclubs in town is Privilege. [3]

Buzios has a particular timing for going out. As a beach destination, most tourists stay on the beach till after the sunset, which during summer can mean after 8PM. Because of that bars and restaurants stay pretty much empty until something like 10PM and clubs normally only open after 12AM and goes on till the sunrise.

If you are in Buzios you must make sure you visit Takatakata, a bar on the main Rua das Pedras run by a crazy Dutch guy called Kaiser. He only lets about five people into the bar at any one time but it's definitely worth a visit - make sure you try the Takafire cocktail!

Sleep

Buzios has numerous options for accommodations from stylish guesthouses to 5-star hotels. During the low season they are almost empty and you should be able to negotiate some good deals.

  • Casas Brancas, [4]. Family owned for over 35 years, with 32 individually decorated rooms and suites, the Pousada boasts elegant architecture, multilingual staff, and a laid-back atmosphere.
  • El Misti Buzios Hostel & Pousada (El Misti Buzios Hostel & Pousada), Rua JV no. 7, Ferradura, + 55 (22) 2623-2383, [5]. El Misti Buzios Hostel offers free transfers from the bus station & breakfast. Cool atmosphere, swimming pool, close to the beach & downtown. Cheap prices, dorms & private rooms with great views.
  • Martin Pescador Boutique Hotel, + 55 (22) 2623-1449, [6]. Established in 1981, one of the first hotels in town, renovated in 2007, offers 18 individually decorated suites, all featuring a balcony and view of the sea. The two types of suites - standard, with queen size double bed, and luxury, more spacious with two rooms - are equipped with color television, air conditioning, telephone, minibar, safe, and free wireless Internet (Wi-Fi). Offers swimming pool, sauna, TV room, game room, bar with direct access to the beach, and and gazebos on the beachfront. The hotel also offers beauty and body treatments, manicure, pedicure, hair stylists and massage. The cuisine combines Mediterranean and Brazilian cuisine of the region, such as seafood, tropical salads, meat and pasta.
  • Porto Bay Búzios, Rua dos Coqueiros, nº 10, 55 22 2623 2823, [7]. Boutique lodge with 21 suites in the centre of town. Breakfast can be served near the pool.

Get out




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