Known to many as the St. Tropez of Brazil, Búzios carries the same casual spirit and atmosphere of a fisherman’s village that lures in locals and visitors alike who have an affinity for the beach and money to spend. Sure, the Brazilian coast is overflowing with tropical sandy destinations, “but this is Búzios.” I repeatedly heard this phrase throughout my time in the resort town, as if rain or shine, traffic or no traffic, crowds of people or not a soul in sight…Búzios was going to leave you satisfied, and you were going to leave Búzios with plans to return.
With 23 beaches, boating, snorkeling, diving, golfing and partying, it’s no surprise that the intimate town of Búzios is a favorite among the inhabitants of the well-known bustling city of Rio de Janeiro and surrounding areas. Only 110 miles from one another, many people find it a city escape, a quiet haven from the honking and crowds in the city center. Some turn it into a romantic getaway and stay stashed in a secluded beachside bungalow all weekend. Others see it as a party destination where they meet friends at Rua das Pedras, an electric area on the waterfront full of bars, restaurants and probably too many bikini shops.
It’s no surprise to see why the city can’t keep up with continued tourism. With one land based entry/exit coupled by cruise ship visits in the marina, visitors can sometimes find themselves sitting in hours of traffic on peak weekends. Perhaps it doesn’t so much matter to those used to it because this…this was Búzios afterall. There were no bad days here, not only apparent by the scenic attractions, but also evident in the attitudes of the Búzios people. One man who had lived on the island for 20 years told me that in Búzios, you’re a person, not a number. I can only think he was referring to the town’s counterpart, Rio de Janeiro, where according to him, nobody cared to know your name. Here, you couldn’t put a price on peace and tranquility, no matter how much one night at a hotel went for, or how jacked up the price for an acai bowl was, followed by a cold caipirinha.
I’m confident in saying that after only a few days in Búzios, I may know it better than most frequent visitors. I popped in enough hotels to host a Búzios House Hunters episode, eaten at the best restaurants to know good vs. better, and traveled both land and sea to advise where to spend your mornings and afternoons. It’s all here – no travel agent fees attached.
Where to Stay
Insólito Boutique Hotel: I’ve never stepped foot in a hotel with more romantic alcoves or nooks than Insólito. There was a family staying here while I was working with the hotel, and they probably felt a little displaced amongst all the couples. Stay turned for my next post featuring this amazing property!
Casas Brancas: This pousada (term used for inn or hotel in Brazil) made it out in my top three as it houses a delicious restaurant, views for days, and 32 spacious rooms with the most beautiful bathtubs…just a few of my favorite things!
Costo do Sol: Only three years old with 40 apartments, Costo do Sol was one of my top favorites in Búzios. With rooms like this:
and views like this:
It’s easy to see why couples from all over the world choose this as their wedding venue.
Tromonto di Búzios: Views, views, views. It’s important here in Búzios, and so is the first meal of the day. At Tromonto, breakfast is served all throughout the day, no hourly restrictions at all. Ahhhhhhhh. Nothing says pure bliss like breakfast for dinner if you so wish.
Le Relais La Borie Hotel: This is the only hotel directly on the beach in all of Búzios. Sure, while some pousadas may be across the street, nothing beats oceanfront views in the morning. And while you “got your toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in your hand,” what really got me going about this place was its dessert trays and comfy cloud-like beds, basically keys to my heart.
Rio Búzios: This is the Argentine playground set on João Fernando beach. With 30 rooms and a spring break vibe, fun is sure to be had here. General Manager Flávio will help with whatever you may need.
Where to Eat
Rocka Beach: This crazy fun establishment is part restaurant, part posh beach hangout for the young, wild and free…although I saw a few families among the chic looking crowd. Great food, even better drinks, and in very close proximity to the area’s nude beach. Score.
Sollar: I’ve always liked cheese, but never have I ever been a fanatic like my sister who dines at restaurants called Cheesetique, or like my best friend who loves it so much, she gave it up for Lent. I’ve always just thought of it as another dairy item in the food pyramid, something you put on sandwiches, something yummy to pair with cured meats and jellies at parties. My oh my how times have changed after my mozzarella tasting at Sollar. The chef brought out the cheese at each stage of creation, the first being soft like butter and ending with something you’d put with a salted cracker. Go here, and go for the cheese tasting. It’ll change your world and outlook on the dairy item.
Café Atlantico: Best meal I had in Búzios. Look at this plate full of sugary goodness! Before this happened, I indulged tuna with an acai glaze and nibbled on the mango and shrimp skewers my boyfriend was taking down next to me. Noommmmm.
What to Do
Eat. Drink. Beach. Repeat. Boating around is always a fun alternative, too!
Travel Tip: If driving from Rio de Janeiro, check out XperienceRio for private transfer services to Búzios!
A special thanks to the Búzios Tourism Board for welcoming me as a guest and showing me the best of Búzios!