Búzios, Brazil

Búzios is called the Saint Tropez of Brazil because both were popularized by French actress Brigitte Bardot. This resort town – less than a three-hour drive from Rio de Janeiro – has 23 incredible beaches. All your need for a spectacular vacation is a bathing suit and sunscreen.

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1 Sailing into Búzios, Brazil

Armação dos Búzios is a delightful resort town of less than 25,000 people. It is located on the South Atlantic Ocean about 100 miles from Rio de Janeiro. Búzios is one of seven cities along Costa do Sol (Sun Coast), also known as Região dos Lagos. These 190 miles of oceanfront attract Brazilians – especially from Rio and São Paulo – who want to escape the big city in search of sand, surf, sun and sensation relaxation. You will immediately be impressed as your ship approaches Búzios.

Centro Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

2 Docking at Main Pier in Búzios, Brazil

Búzios can be reached by car or plane. If you arrive by cruise ship, your tender will dock at Cais do Mangue. At the end of the main pier is the center of town. The wharf is in the middle of a crescent-shaped bay defined by three beaches: Canto, Armação and Ossos. On the right is Caboclo Island. This is an ecological reserve and one of seven islets accenting Búzios’ seascape.

Cais do Mangue, Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas- Centro Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

3 Options to Explore Búzios, Brazil

Búzios is on the itinerary of about 30 cruise ships a year. Passengers who want to optimize their one-day visit have four options. They can explore the town’s cobblestone streets. Walk along the waterfront esplanades. Take a water taxi to sightsee several of the 23 amazing beaches. Or select one sandy spot to savor the sunshine. This travel guide provides a scenic overview so you can plan what is perfect for you.

Táxi Marítimo, R. das Pedras - Centro Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

4 Orla Bardot Boardwalk in Búzios, Brazil

One of the most popular activities is strolling along Orla Bardot Boardwalk. This seaside promenade begins at the central pier and meanders northeast along Armação Beach. “Beach” is a bit of a misnomer because there is not much sand here. But the expansive views of boats bobbing in the aquamarine water is spectacular. Along the treelined path are restaurants, bars, shops, gardens and sculptures. You will also find wooden observation platforms and benches so you can linger while admiring the beauty. The esplanade ends at Ossos Beach. The next dozen photos show some of the highlights you will enjoy along the way.

Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 994 - Lot. Triangulo de Buzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

5 Brigitte Bardot Statue in Búzios, Brazil

Búzios was primarily a fishing village until discovered by French movie actress, model and sex symbol Brigitte Bardot in 1964. B.B. visited the area with her boyfriend, Brazilian musician Bob Zagury, when she was 30 years old and at the pinnacle of her career. Her public admiration for Búzios quickly popularized it as a resort town. She had a similar impact on Saint-Tropez, France, in the late 1950s. This full-size bronze sculpture of the pop icon on Orla Bardot Boardwalk was created by Christina Motta in 1999.

Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 510 - Centro Buzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

6 Seaview Restaurants in Búzios, Brazil

There are several excellent restaurants in Búzios combining cuisine with excellent views of the sea. They make a perfect place for lunch, a sunset dinner or evening cocktails. This highly-rated example is Madame Bardot Pizza Bar and Restaurant. The outdoor terrace is perched right above the water. Other great options include Mistico, Belli Belli, Bar do Zé, Barba Azur, O Barco and the 74 Restaurant.

Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 805 - Lot. Triangle of Buzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

7 Three Fishermen Statues in Búzios, Brazil

Seeing three fishermen straining as a team just offshore of Armação Beach is a perfect tribute to Búzios’ long history as a fishing community. At high tide, the full-size figures are knee deep in water as they tug together on a fishing net. The ensemble is very lifelike. The bronze sculptures were created in 2000 by Brazilian native and now local resident Christina Motta. Several of her Realism creations are featured in Búzios, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo plus other countries around the world.

Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 410 - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

8 Former President Juscelino Kubitschek Statue in Búzios, Brazil

Another artwork by Christina Motta is of Juscelino Kubitschek. He was the president of Brazil from 1956 to 1961. He is often called the “father of modern Brazil” for his long list of accomplishments and economic prosperity during his term. The bronze portrays him sitting comfortably along the Orla Bardot Boardwalk while waving to passing boats.

Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 410 - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

9 Bench Overlooking Fishermen’s Pier in Búzios, Brazil

Several benches along the waterfront offer a shaded respite for people watching and observing the bustle of boats in the bay. Especially active is Píer dos Pescadores (Fishermen’s Pier) in the background. When someone hauls in their fresh catch of the day, you will want to walk onto the pier for a closer look. You are in for a delightful surprise.

Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 1054 - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

10 Sea Turtle along Fishermen’s Pier in Búzios, Brazil

As fishermen fillet their catch on Fishermen’s Pier (Píer dos Pescadores), they throw the scraps into the water. Within seconds, several beautiful loggerhead sea turtles emerge from the depths to scarf up the free meal. As an adult, this vulnerable marine reptile weighs about 300 pounds yet glides effortlessly in the water. They nest nearby in Praia da Tartaruga. This is Portuguese for Turtle Beach.

Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 294 - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

11 Artisans Market in Búzios, Brazil

Búzios has plenty of stores to delight any shopper, from high-end boutiques to souvenir stores. Some folks prefer sorting through crafts and fashions created by local residents and then bargaining for the best deal. If that is you, then you will like the Artisans Market across from Fishermen’s Pier. The merchandise is displayed inside simple booths lined side-by-side. The merchants greet you with a smile as they proudly show their wares. Purchasing something here is a true memento of Búzios.

Tv. do Colégio, 2 - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

12 Beach Paddleball Game in Búzios, Brazil

The best stretch of sand on Praia da Armação is at the northeast end. This provides a picturesque perspective of the entire bay. It is also far less crowded than at the start of Orla Bardot Boardwalk at the center of town. This gives you plenty of space to challenge your buddy at beach paddleball.

Tv. Santana, 102 - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

13 Colorful Souvenir Shop in Búzios, Brazil

There is a cluster of retailers at the end of Praia da Armação. By far, the most visually inviting is this souvenir shop. The painted plaster figurines and abstract art, together with the blooming garden, draw you closer for a look inside.

Tv. Santana, 94 - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

14 Sant’Ana Church in Búzios, Brazil

The quaint Sant’Ana Church is perched on a hill between Armação and Ossos Beaches. The Catholic church was founded in 1740. According to folklore, it was name in honor of the Virgin Mary’s mother because a statue of Saint Anne was found floating nearby. It was presumably lost at sea during a Portuguese expedition of Brazil’s coastline. Behind Igreja de Sant’Ana is a cemetery originally created to inter slaves.

Igreja de Sant'Ana, Tv. Santana - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

15 Ossos Beach in Búzios, Brazil

After visiting Sant’Ana Church, a short walk down a knoll brings you to Praia dos Ossos. This U-shaped beach is encircled by a stone street lined with homes once belonging to fishermen. These are part of the oldest community on the peninsula. There are plenty of trees to shield you from the sun on hot days. Anchored in the calm blue water are sailboats, fishing boats and yachts. This is an idyllic spot to savor a sunset.

Praia dos Ossos - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

16 Naming of Ossos Beach in Búzios, Brazil

Praia dos Ossos means Bones Beach. The name is derived from the abundance of whale bones that frequently washed ashore. The Portuguese began indiscriminately harvesting whales along the Brazilian coast in the early 17th century. Until 1768, many of the mammals were processed here so the oil and meat could be shipped to Portugal. The carcasses were left behind. In the background are Sant’Ana Church and the Búzios Yacht Club. Praia dos Ossos is also a good spot to catch a water taxi to other beaches or back to town.

Praia dos Ossos - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

17 Azeda Beach in Búzios, Brazil

From Ossos Beach, you can reach its neighbor Azeda Beach by car or foot, but it requires a trek over a hill on a point. The extra effort is rewarded by spectacular elevated views. As you descend a flight of stairs, you will immediately appreciate the picturesque beauty of the white sand … perhaps the best in Búzios. The sea tends to be calm along Praia da Azeda, making it ideal for family swimming. Snorkelers have fun exploring the base of the crags at either end of the beach.

Praia da Azeda, Praia dos Ossos, 1 - Village de Búzios, RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

18 Azedinha Beach in Búzios, Brazil

Are you looking for someplace more sheltered, less crowded and intimate? Then plan to spend an afternoon at Praia da Azedinha. It is just north of Ossos Beach separated by a small headland and defined by fascinating rock ledges. The sand is great. The warm water is crystal clear with a gentle descent making it easy to stand or teach kids how to snorkel. The only downside is there are no amenities. So, bring whatever you will need for a perfect day at the beach.

Praia da Azedinha - Village de Búzios, RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

19 Incredible Geography of Búzios, Brazil

Búzios is located on a five-mile peninsula jetting out into the South Atlantic Ocean. Etched into the hillsides are magnificent homes positioned to optimize the fabulous vistas. The coastline is defined by about a dozen lush promontories sloping toward the sea. These fingers shelter the cove-like havens of sand. The beaches in the west and north promise the calmest water. The waves in the east facing the ocean attract suffers. In the south, the best beaches are Praia de Geribá (popular among the young crowd) and Praia da Ferradura (favored by families). On the right are the two places you just visited: Azeda and Azedinha. Around the center cape named Ponta do Cavalo Ruço are two more beaches you will want to add to your vacation to-do list.

Praia da Azedinha - Village de Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

20 Exploring the Coastline in Búzios, Brazil

The beaches in Búzios are famous among sun worshipers so they get all the attention. But hikers will tell you the scenic highlights are explored on foot along the dramatic coastline. There is something uniquely exhilarating about standing alone on layers of volcanic rock and limestone. Varieties of cactus are at your back. Waves lap below your feet. The ocean air is fresh and heavenly. Panoramas of the sea change with every step. These are fabulous sensations you will remember long after your vacation ends.

Ponta do Cavalo Ruço, Praia da Azedinha - Village de Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

21 João Fernandes Beach in Búzios, Brazil

If watching people – and lots of them – is an essential ingredient to your ideal beach, then find your spot beneath an umbrella at Praia de João Fernandes. This one has everything you will need, from bars and restaurants, to rental outlets for kayaks, snorkeling gear and water toys, to loud music from impromptu parties. Heck, why limit yourself to one day? Spend your entire vacation at João Fernandes Beach in one of several hotels and inns clustered on the hillside.

Praia de João Fernandes, R. João Fernandes - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

22 João Fernandinho Beach in Búzios, Brazil

Sometimes sunning at Praia de João Fernandes may get too intense. You long for peace and solitude – maybe a good nap – but do not want to go far. Praia de João Fernandinho is your answer. It is reachable by swimming around the rocks at the north end of João Fernandes or taking a trail over the hill. The sand is a bit coarse yet sheltered by almond trees. There are also a few amenities such as snacks and a restroom. João Fernandinho Beach is on the northernmost tip of the Búzios peninsula.

Praia de João Fernandinho - Village de Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

23 Schooner Sightseeing Tours in Búzios, Brazil

You have probably taken a hop-on/hop-off bus tour in major cities. The version in Búzios is aboard a schooner. Several operators offer a half or full-day pass for rides around the coastline. The tall ships make stops at several of the popular beaches and a couple of the islets along the way. When you see someplace you want to explore, simply disembark and enjoy your visit. When you are ready to move on, climb aboard the next available vessel from the same company. You can also arrange for a non-stop 2.5 hour tour or a private excursion on a sailboat, catamaran or yacht.

Praia João Joao Fernandes, 69 - Pr Joao Fernandes, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

24 Branca Island in Búzios, Brazil

It is easy to see how Ilha Branca got its name. In English, it means White Island. The islet sits at the end of the Búzios peninsula like a period on an exclamation point. Snorkelers and scuba divers love swimming among the marine life including lobsters, stingrays and octopuses. On top of the uninhabited rock is a lighthouse (Farol de Búzios).

Ilha Branca - Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

25 Waterfront Lunch in Búzios, Brazil

You have finished your tour of the northeast coastline of Búzios. Perhaps it is time for lunch. There are several great options around the main pier (Cais do Mangue) near town center. Some are so close to the water’s edge you can step out and wiggle your toes in the sand while waiting for your food to arrive.

Praia do Canto, R. das Pedras, 151 - Centro Buzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

26 Canto Beach in Búzios, Brazil

Okay, you have eaten, perhaps enjoyed a beer or two and have reapplied your sunscreen. Now it is time to explore the western beaches in Búzios. The closest one to town is Praia do Canto. The shoreline initially runs parallel to Rua das Pedras, a main avenue for shops and restaurants. The other end of the half-mile beach is fronted by mansions. The bay views at Canto Beach are wonderful and the location is convenient. Yet this oceanfront lacks the charm of so many others in Búzios.

Praia do Canto, R. das Pedras, 25 - Centro Buzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

27 Beach of Lovers in Búzios, Brazil

Now imagine a small strip of secluded sand defined by a lush green hillside and warm turquoise water. The sun has been shining on only the two of you since you paddled up in a kayak. You go for a relaxing swim. You hold hands while sitting beneath a beach umbrella. Your smiles are only interrupted by kisses. This is the tropical paradise you have always dreamed about. So, what would you call this sensuous place? The perfect name of course is Praia dos Amores meaning Beach of Lovers.

Praia dos Amores, R. Maria Joaquina - Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

28 Beach of Virgins in Búzios, Brazil

From the Beach of Lovers, it is a short sail to the other side of Ponta da Cruz (Cross Point) to Virgins Beach. You can speculate what their names have in common. Praia dos Virgens is a tiny recess sheltered among boulders. The sand only appears at low tide. This is a haven for total privacy.

Praia dos Virgens - Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

29 Spearfishing in Búzios, Brazil

If you see a bright colored buoy floating in the water off the coast of Búzios, chances are good there are scuba divers below the surface or perhaps spearos, the Portuguese word for snorkelers who spearfish. The latter shore dive. This means they walk into the water with only their goggles, fins, snorkel and spear. They swim along the drop-offs where fish tend to conjugate. This guy was proud to display his full stringer. Perhaps this is no surprise. The word Búzios means diver in Portuguese. If this sport seems a bit challenging, consider chartering a fishing boat. Catches often include grouper, snapper and jacks.

Praia dos Virgens, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

30 Quiet Side of Turtle Beach in Búzios, Brazil

Praia da Tartaruga has two distinct personalities: a quiet and active side. This is the former. The water is shallow, warm and often wave free. Anchored fishing boats add to the ambience. Parents bring their children here for a safe swim. And three species of sea turtles have been coming here for centuries to lay their eggs in the sand. Hence the name Praia da Tartaruga meaning Turtle Beach.

Praia da Tartaruga, R. da Tartaruga, 17 - Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

31 Outcrop Separating Turtle Beach in Búzios, Brazil

Separating the two sections of Turtle Beach is an inviting outcrop. People can’t resist lingering along the flat rock formation while socializing, drinking and keeping their cell phones busy taking selfies and photos of the exquisite scenery. Others explore it while kayaking or snorkeling.

Praia da Tartaruga, R. da Tartaruga, 17 - Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

32 Active Side of Turtle Beach in Búzios, Brazil

No doubt you guessed this is the active side of Turtle Beach. The half mile of sand is crowded with umbrellas, beach chairs, kiosks, bars, restaurants and sunburning vacationers. They all have a great time while swimming, strolling and sunning. The party keeps rolling all day until the crescendo at sunset.

Praia da Tartaruga, R. da Tartaruga, 17 - Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

33 When to Visit Búzios, Brazil

The final strip of gorgeous sand on the Búzios parade of beaches is at Ponta da Sapata, the last promontory in the west. Hopefully, seeing all of this beauty has inspired you to push Búzios to the top of your bucket list. But when is the best time to visit? Fortunately, the climate in Armação dos Búzios is temperate all year with at least 250 days of full or partial sunshine. December through March are the warmest months (low 80s° F), get the most rain (8 to 11 days a month) and are high season for tourism. April through August are cooler (high 70s° F), drier (5 to 6 days of rain) and less busy. This low season offers great rates for bargain hunters. From August through November you might catch a glimpse of migrating humpback whales.

Ponta da Sapata - Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

34 History of Búzios, Brazil

As your water taxi returns from the coastal sightseeing tour, you will travel a course followed by people for millenniums. The first settlers were Tamoio Indians. They were a tribe of the Tupi people who originated in the Amazon Rainforest. In the mid-16th century, the area was discovered by French pirates. Initially, they had a symbiotic relationship harvesting brazilwood used for gun stocks and cabinetry plus a red dye for clothing. In nearly the same timeframe, Portuguese navigators arrived. As the old saying goes, two is company and three is a crowd. In 1575, the Rio de Janeiro governor decided to eradicate the indigenous people and pirates. The bloody process lasted until 1615. For the next 150 years, Búzios was a major port for whale hunters until the mammals bordered on extinction. After 1768, Búzios evolved into a sleepy fishing community. That changed forever after Brigitte Bardot visited in 1964.

Cais do Mangue, Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas- Centro Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

35 Centro Búzios, Brazil

Central Búzios is charming with rustic storefronts beneath red-tile roofs and a European flare. The tempo is casual with a cosmopolitan ambiance. It is compact, making it easy to explore on foot. People meander through the streets with no agenda other than having a relaxing time. Yet downtown (called Armação) can be crowded during peak season when 200,000 vacationers outnumber the residents 10 to 1. The commercial district is a couple of miles away to the south near Praia de Geribá.

José Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 1112 - Armação dos Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

36 Bardot Great Cinema in Búzios, Brazil

Gran Cine Bardot is named after the actress who put Búzios on the world map. Since 1990, the 111-seat theater has specialized in screening foreign films and Brazilian productions on Thursdays through Sundays. Attached is a tavern where you can drink next to a Woody Allen statue, see Brigitte Bardot’s pictures and her signature, and then have a meal on the wooden terrace. Movie buffs flock to town for the three-day Búzios Film Festival during the last weekend in November.

Tv. Dos Pescadores, 88 - Centro, Armação dos Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

37 Santos Dumont Square in Búzios, Brazil

Santos Dumont Square is often laidback and reserved. Occasionally people are seen chatting with friends or crossing it to reach surrounding stores. Then on weekends, Praça Santos Dumont transforms into bustling crowds attending music festivals or browsing through artisan markets.

Praça Santos Dumont, R. César Augusto São Luís, 334 – Centro Buzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

38 Rua das Pedras in Búzios, Brazil

The heartbeat of Búzios is Rua das Pedras. This .75 miles of pedestrian-only road is named after its cobblestones. The English translation is Street of Stones. This is where you will find many of the finest restaurants. The choice of cuisines is almost as varied as the nationalities of tourists. Not surprisingly, delicious seafood is featured on most menus. After sunset, the bars and nightclubs along Rua das Pedras rock until the wee hours of the morning. They are rivaled by the party spots along Orla Bardot Boardwalk.

Rua das Pedras, 266 – Centro Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil

39 Shopping in Búzios, Brazil

Rua das Pedras is also lined with excellent retailers. They range from fashion boutiques – such as the prestigious Brazilian brand of Carmen Steffens – to art galleries, to high-end stores managed by locals. Your credit card will love visiting two malls: Travessa dos Arcos and Búzios On Mall. Not tired yet? Then continue window shopping on Orla Bardot Boardwalk. The store selection is diverse but their prices tend to be high.

Rua das Pedras & Av. José Bento Ribeiro Dantas – Centro Búzios, Búzios - RJ, 28950-000, Brazil