By Michael DeLeo, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Located 105 miles north of Rio de Janeiro is the buzzing peninsula of Armação dos Búzios. Better known simply as Búzios, this small piece of land juts out into the clear Atlantic and boasts over twenty beaches. When the opportunity of a weekend trip arrives, there’s no need to look elsewhere.
This Brazilian peninsula has a storied history of pirates, slave traders and French celebrities. Now Búzios has the ideal lazy atmosphere that a weekend-tripper desires.
With a relatively fine-tuned tourist infrastructure, finding the right ‘pousada,’ (Brazilian Bed & Breakfast) for your budget should not be hard, but book it early as this well-traveled getaway can fill up early.
The dress code downtown is casual, requiring only flip flops and shorts during the day and perhaps a collared shirt in the evening. The street traffic gets a bit heavier downtown but not to the point where a motorist won’t yield to a pedestrian.
In the 1950s the population of Búzios was accelerated by the construction of vacation homes and hotels. But Búzios still hadn’t reached its full potential until Brigitte Bardot graced the sandy beaches in 1964, sparking interest from around the world.
Búzios has handfuls of beaches located within a ten minute walk from the center of town, great for the holiday-maker looking to fill their day with adventures. João Fernandes beach, first made famous by Bardot, has calm green waters and soft bossa nova filling the air.
Look to the north side of the beach and see the artistic, “Amore” that has been carved into a large rock face. At Geriba beach the waters are more like Rio’s with large waves filled with surfers and other water sport enthusiasts.
Pedro Widmar, owner of Deli Biazzara in Leblon has spent a lot of time in Búzios and suggests the best area to stay.
“[Near] Praia João Fernandes [is best] because there you have some of the best snorkeling in Rio de Janeiro [state], including turtles sea horses and loads more seen every day, plus it just gets you away from the center a bit and out of the hustle and bustle of Geriba … definitely the best beach in Búzios.”
Once the sun begins to set, people begin to migrate back to their homes, hotels and pousadas to gear up for a night out on the town. A two block radius will provide a diner’s delight offering Italian, French, American and Brazilian cuisines.
The best route to Búzios from Rio is by bus from Rodoviaria, Rio’s central bus station. The tickets cost from R$23 to R$37 depending on the service you choose. It is recommended during high season, December to March, that you purchase your tickets in advance.
The ride there takes roughly two hours and drops you off right downtown. The bus departs from Rodoviaria at 6:30AM, 9:15AM, 11:15AM, 1:15PM, 3:15PM, 5:15PM and 7:30PM. Once there, Car and buggys are available to rent for R$40 for the day, drivers license and credit card are required.