Attractions in Buzios, Brazil: What to do and where to go
When thinking of Buzios, tourists intuitively recall this destination's beautiful beaches and unforgettable vacations under the Brazilian sun. However, this city is not just about sand and turquoise water; it also goes hand-in-hand with the great outdoors through its amazing nature reserves. The local culture also plays a defining role in Buzios, offering a variety of cultural centers where visitors can admire the artwork of both local and foreign artists.
You can find everything here, including galleries, music festivals and even a history museum, where you'll discover the roots of this unique city. Various events are held throughout the year, allowing all visitors to fully experience Buzios. A good example is the party celebrating the city's patron saint, Sao Pedro (Saint Peter), on June 29, followed by the Yacht Club's anniversary in July. In November, the entire city participates in the anniversary of the founding of Buzios along with the Film Festival, which takes place in the Gran Cine Bardot, attracting some of the most famous local and international celebrities.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
The coast of Buzios is rich in vegetation and wildlife. The water's tranquil depths and sparkling surfaces invite beachgoers to explore the underlying ecosystems, making scuba diving one of the region's most attractive activities. The popular snorkeling areas are right off of the Joao Fernandes and Joao Fernandinho beaches, both of which offer the ideal crystal-clear, calm and shallow waters. There's no need to worry about carrying diving equipment around during your vacation since it's easy to rent. You can also request lessons and guides to lead you to the most interesting diving and snorkeling spots.
Igreja de Sant'anna
This simple chapel, founded in 1740, was the first religious building constructed in Buzios. Here you can hear about the legend behind the image of Sant'anna (Saint Anne) displayed inside this small church. Behind the chapel, you'll come across an old cemetery that holds the remains of slaves; the cemetery is still used today as a burial ground. If you're interested in stories full of mysteries and magic, make sure to stop by this unique and fascinating church.
Thanks to the variety of water and waves found throughout the beaches of the Armacao de Buzios peninsula, visitors are able to enjoy all types of water and sailing sports. Buzios is even considered one of the best destinations worldwide for this kind of activity. Here, there are often competitions for windsurfing, hobie cats, wakeboarding and kite surfing. The area also offers specialized schools where you can learn to experience these sports like a pro.
Set in the midst of the peninsula's beautiful natural setting, the Buzios Golf Club covers nearly an entire square mile and offers what is considered one of the best courses in Latin America. Golf fanatics can spend hours here working on their swing at the driving range with seven practice greens and overcoming obstacles on the 18-hole putting green.
The Buzios peninsula is surrounded by various islands that can be reached by fascinating three to five hour tours. These tours can be done by yacht, catamaran, fishing boat, sailboat or schooner. During the trip, you can enjoy delicious drinks and snacks, in addition to stops along the way for diving and snorkeling. The main islands to visit are:
- Ilha Rasa - Situated six miles from the Buzios dock, with two beautiful beaches.
- Ilha Feia - A nature reserve with caverns and small beaches.
- Ilha do Caboclo - An ecological reserve facing downtown Buzios.
- Ilha Branca - Located by Ponta de Joao Fernandes.
Panoramic views of the Buzios peninsula can be enjoyed from any of the viewpoints strategically placed on the shores of Brava beach. Another lookout lies adjacent to Joao Fernandes beach, and the most popular is situated by Forno beach, offering visitors easy access. A trip to one or more of these lookout points is well worth it, allowing you to gaze out over numerous beaches and islands.
Rua das Pedras
This cosmopolitan street is the city's main gathering area and is truly the social heart of Buzios. Here, you'll find the best restaurants, bars, art galleries, stores, and even a movie theater showing everything from premiers to classic films. On Rua das Pedras (Street of Stones), you can meet tourists from all over the world as you walk along the cobblestone terrain that gives the street its name. Where the street meets Dos Ossos beach, you'll come across Orla Bardot (Bardot Shore), which has a sculpture of the famous actress that brought the peninsula fame. This sculpture has become a tourist attraction in and of itself. Don't forget to bring your camera!
Orla Bardot (Bardot Shore) is characterized by the interesting sculpture done by plastic artist Christina Motta. This life-size sculpture depicts famous actress Brigitte Bardot, who visited the peninsula for the first time in 1964. The statue celebrates the media frenzy that quickly led to the growth of the city's tourism infrastructure. However, Orla Bardot holds much more than just the statue; it's an entire walkway serving as a small boardwalk connecting Canto beach with Armacao beach. There are also sculptures of three fishermen dragging in a net and of Brazil's ex-president "JK" (Juscelino Kubitschek), creator of the capital city of Brasilia.
Buzios' main attraction encompasses the 25 beaches spread along its shores, with vast stretches of sand and sea that range from calm and cool tides, to strong waves and warm waters. On these shores, visitors can enjoy activities such as footvolley, motocross, kayaking, banana boating, body boarding, surfing and windsurfing, along with snorkeling and scuba diving. Among the area's main beaches are:
- Praia da Armacao - This beach is by the famous Rua das Pedras, the city's social center.
- Praia da Ferradura and Praia das Tartarugas - Warm, calm waters.
- Praia Geriba - The site of many sport and cultural competitions. The place to see and be seen.
- Praia Joao Fernandes - One of the city's most trafficked beaches due to its restaurants and bars.
- Praia Joao Fernandinho - Amazing nightlife.
- Praia Brava - Perfect for lovers of water sports, like surfing.
- Praia dos Ossos - One of the most popular beaches, preferred for sailing.
- Praia Manguinhos and Praia Baia Formosa - Both with calm waters that are perfect for windsurfing.
- Praia das Virgenes - A cliffside beach with a strip of sand.
- Praia dos Amores - Calm, warm waters, ideal for swimming.
- Praia do Canto - Situated in the downtown area.
- Praia Azeda and Praia Ferradurinha - Great for scuba diving due to the calm, clear water.
- Praia Olho de Boi - Well known nude beach.
- Praia da Foca - Beach known for its strong waves.
The beaches at Geriba, Carabelas, Brava and Tucuns, among others, are typical Buzios hotspots where beginners and advanced surfers fill the coastline as they spend the day riding the waves. Surf instructors are always available at these beaches, along with board rental so that surfers of all ages can learn to stand up on a board and take full advantage of this fascinating experience.
Squares and Plazas
Praca Santos Dumont is in the cultural heart of the city, situated alongside the Rua das Pedras. Special events are held at this plaza every weekend, including music festivals and artisans markets; it's also the venue for some presentations of the annual Film Festival each November. The charming Praca Ossos is a square facing the beach bearing the same name. This charming spot is often frequented by nature lovers in search of an outdoor space for reading a book or engaging in a friendly chat.
Pocas das Tartarugas
Between Ferradurinha beach and Amores beach, there are natural bowl formations of varying shapes and sizes formed out of the area's volcanic rock. These natural pools offer a beautiful show of falling water with the coming and going of the sea. Although access can be a bit tricky, requiring experienced guides, once there you'll realize that this amazing site is well worth it.
Punta de Lagoinha
Punta de Lagoinha is a beautiful geographic site where you can see stunning rock formations and pools filled with crystal clear seawater housing fascinating wildlife. This place has served as scientific evidence of the separation of the African and South American continents due to its rocky composition and fossils. Access in and around the area is somewhat complicated, but nature lovers and hikers will find it to be a unique and worthwhile stop.
Reserva de Taua
This reserve, situated on the border between Buzios and Cabo Frio, spans out over more than one square mile of forests and lakes, including the only freshwater lake in the region. The reserve houses about 83 migratory bird species along with 300 butterfly species and a wide variety of mammals such as wolves and monkeys, along with many tree, flower and plant species. There's also an interesting marsh containing 7,000-year-old fossil remains along with the remains of an old settlement that can be visited with the help of expert guides.
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