Wonderful day trips from Rio abound. When the hustle and bustle of Rio has worn you out, head to one of the below spots to explore serene beaches, colonial history, and some of Brazil’s best food.
Armação dos Búzios, commonly referred to as simply “Búzios”, has been famous every since Bridget Bardot made it her personal home in the 1960’s. Often called the St Tropez of South America, Búzios is a peninsula surrounded by more than 17 gorgeous beaches, each with its own distinct flavor. Cobblestone streets are lined with fine restaurants, posh bars, and lovely boutiques.
Long considered one of the ten most beautiful places in the world, Búzios is sure to delight.
Head to Rua das Pedras for some of the most glamorous nightlife you’ll see in South America.
Most of Buzios’ hotels are actually small, locally-owned boutique hotels, called pousdas.
The west coast beaches are quieter and more protected, while the east coast beaches are where surfers head to ride the waves.
Formerly little more than a required stop for travelers between Rio and Sao Paulo, Paraty is now a remnant of days gone by, as it has retained its colonial village charm and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s enchanting village square, and nearby beaches and waterfalls usually leave visitors wanting to stay longer than just a day. We recommend taking a walking tour of the village and heading to the bay which is surrounded by 300 islands. Water activities are quite popular and taking a boat ride, kayaking, and snorkeling are all possible.
The drive to Paraty takes about 4 hours from Rio (on the BR-101), with buses departing 9 times daily. You can also hire a car, or have your hotel reserve a taxi for you.
Relatively tranquil when compared to it’s chaotic neighbor just across the bay, Niterói is well worth a visit while you are in nearby Rio. Niterói’s most famous attraction is the Museu de Arte Contemporanea (MAC) and is one of the most famous architectural showpieces in South America. There is more to Niterói than just the MAC though. You can visit the 17th Century São Xavier church, and the historic military outpost, the Fortaleza de Santa Cruz.
The beaches of Niterói are secluded and beautiful, but can be some of the most polluted in all of Rio. It is best to relax on the beaches there, but to save your swimming for Rio’s beaches.