Maybe because I was born in Rio, I always took Búzios for granted. While Búzios is simply one of Brazil’s best beach resorts and a mere 3 hours from Rio by car, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t been there in years. So finally, the rock hit the head, and what if I simply hit the road and write Travel Guide to Buzios, Rio de Janeiro? Shall we call it plain local beach tourism?
At the time, a front cold took over the city scaring off locals and tourists alike. Just a week before the trip, Rio’s temperatures dropped to 14˚C /57˚F with plenty of showers in the forecast. For a city that practically never sees winter, that is really cold. Búzios with rain is the same thing as money in the trash. What do to? Pray for the sun to come out?
That is exactly what I did, and the cosmos heard. I arrived on a hazy afternoon and settled in the Pousada (the term most used in this city, referring to small bungalows, with about a dozen rooms).
It’s a lot easier to understand Búzio’s geography of beaches if you look at the map.
Each little beach is a tiny little bay, one next to the other, and the region is full of them.
At Geribá beach, I set down at a table and ordered lunch. Pastel de Queijo (cheese empanadas), Bolinho de Bacalhau (cod fritters), and Empadinha de Frango (chicken empanada) are on the menu.
As we walk the beach, there are a vast lot more food options. With each step, we encountered another beach vendor displaying their own food products and creations, from fruit salad to peanuts, corn, and empanadas.
The reason Búzios is so appealing is not only because of its heavenly beaches but because of its ability to maintain nature intact. The last feeling you will have while in Búzios is the sign of any foreign influence. But you will likely have to deal with locals charging double, sometimes triple for anything you can think of; from ice cream to bottled water, a chair, a towel, or a Caipirinha.
My insatiable curiosity leads us to another beach that same day, called Tartaruga, where lobsters are sold by the dozen.
I’m obviously armed with electronic devices hidden in our pockets, but on the beaches of Búzios, the path to the shore remains so unmarked by modernity, that other than those electronics and a car, we might have easily strayed back a century in time with those dusty roads and improvised trails.
The reflection of the sun falling upon the ocean created a platinum mirror effect, altering the light, and changing perspectives. That image cannot leave my mind.
“The summer season is so crowded here, that it’s not enjoyable. I even know people who couldn’t make it to their pousadas because they got stuck in traffic on New Year’s Eve “a local friend said.
On the next day, I started with Ferradura where a restaurant that serves Comida Típica Buziana(typical food from Búzios) grabbed my attention.
“What is Comida Típica Buziana?” I asked the waiter. “Grilled fish, grilled shrimp, fried calamari, fish moqueca (Brazilian fish stew), salads, sandwiches, and lots of different juices, “he answered.
In a Travel Guide to Buzios, Rio de Janeiro, all beaches were gorgeous, but Ferradura soared above the rest.
A visit to the Orla Bardot, in honor of Brigitte Bardot, the famous French actress who visited Búzios in the 1970s, when this place was nothing is a must on the agenda.
Brigitte Bardot adored Búzios, and her statue is a glimpse of what was one of the most gorgeous women on earth and is now the main attraction in town. A few steps down, there is the statue of Juscelino Kubstchek, a former Brazilian president from 1956-1961 who died in 1976, and who also fell in love with this place.
Along the road, many of the famous restaurants that made Búzios famous for its seafood, like Bar do Zé, are included in a Travel Guide to Buzios, Rio de Janeiro.
Rua Das Pedras is a street with incredible nightlife, where the young and beautiful gather.
Without Rua das Pedras, Buzios simply wouldn’t be complete. It’s like a perfect cycle: day equals beach, night equals Rua das Pedras. People get together, flirt, drink, and eat. It’s a sweet life in Buzios!
Another local attraction is Chez Michouz, a famous creperie.
My advice: forget about the night action for once, when it’s impossible to get a decent table even off-season, and instead, go to Chef Michou Creperie during the day.
“If Búzios was taken by Americans, this place wouldn’t lack electricity, water, or have dirt roads to the main beaches, a friend said. And suddenly, I realized the cliché: the grass is always greener on the other side of the street.
Americans are used to prefabricated cities, like Orlando and Las Vegas. One tiny little mountain good for skiing and some major company develops a mega hotel or a ginormous ski resort. But what is most remarkable about Búzios, is how it captivates tourists despite its shortcomings.
My friend was downright about the infrastructure, but this trip turned out to be a lot more than a visit to a beautiful area full of paradisiac beaches; it gave me the sense of using travel in the oldest of ways: to simply escape.
Some restaurants worth visiting:
Farinatta (by reservation only)
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