Difference between revisions of "Armação dos Búzios"
Revision as of 20:18, 31 January 2013
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 (when Brazilian schools are on holiday). 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.
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. From Rio de Janeiro cross the Niteroi toll bridge and head for Rio Bonito on the BR-101 highway. At Rio Bonito transfer to the RJ-128 highway in the direction of Pedagio VIA LAGOS.
All guest houses ("pousadas") supply maps of the area. Make sure you get one as the geography 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.
Clockwise around the peninsula, the main beaches are.
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 R30 in August 2012
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.
There are about 10 surf schools that teach all ages, as well as one girls' surf school, "Surfer Girls".
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).
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.
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.
Nightlife is huge in Búzios. Búzios is widely known for its sexually open atmosphere. In Brazil, there is a saying, that "no one goes home alone when partying at Buzios". One of the best nightclubs in town is Privilege. 
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!
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.