Beaches around Rio
Surrounded by beautiful coastline and picturesque fishing villages, there is no shortage of beach destinations around Rio...
There are plenty of beach getaways around Rio which are perfect for unwinding after a busy couple of days exploring the sights and sounds of the city. Picturesque resorts and sandy beaches lead into shallow turquoise waters filled with colourful fish and wooden fishing boats, providing a tranquil getaway only a couple of hours drive from the outskirts of Rio. From the glamorous resort town of Búzios to the north, to the charming town of Paraty, to the south of Rio, there is an option to suit every taste.
The beach resort of Búzios, one hundred miles further up the coast from Rio in Rio de Janeiro state, has come a long way since it was originally discovered as a sleepy fishing village by Brigitte Bardot and her Brazilian boyfriend in the 1960s. It is now one of Brazil’s most upmarket resorts with fashionable bars and restaurants, designer boutiques and quiet pousadas. Made up of three settlements on the same peninsula, Ossos at the northern end of the peninsula is the oldest and most appealing with its attractive harbour and yacht club, while Manguinhos is the most commercially developed. The area of Armação, in between the two, is the area to head to for nightlife and a walk along the town’s pretty beachfront promenade.
Brazilians have named this stretch of the coast 'the Brazilian Riviera' and with its blue waters and sandy coastlines it’s easy to see why. This, combined with the Portuguese colonial architecture and cobbled streets gives the place a real Mediterranean feel. A string of 20 beaches surrounds the peninsula, littered with wooden huts selling fried fish and ice-cold beers, making Búzios an ideal spot for some beach time relaxation. Due to its position, Búzios has both quiet coves suitable for diving and snorkelling and open Atlantic beaches, which have perfect conditions for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing.
Paraty and the Costa Verde
The Costa Verde stretches for 350 miles west of Rio de Janeiro along the coasts of Rio and São Paulo states. Flanked on one side by dense forest known as the Mata Atlântica, home to over 1000 species of birds including hummingbirds, toucans, parrots and eagles, the Costa Verde has beautiful golden sandy beaches and clear waters. Popular with international visitors and locals alike, picturesque beach resorts have been developed along the coastline.
The UNESCO listed town of Paraty with its whitewashed and pastel-coloured buildings and cobbled streets is one of the most popular stop-offs along the Costa Verde. The town has developed as a result of its growing popularity and now boasts a good selection of restaurants, bars, art galleries and shops selling handmade souvenirs. Another attraction of Paraty is that it provides an excellent base for exploring the idyllic beaches and islands of the surrounding area. Easily reached from Paraty is the long line of coves, which make up Trindade, while privately chartered boats depart from the port which will take you out to the surrounding islands to snorkel and eat at beachside restaurants only accessible by boat.
Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande
Just a hop from Rio is the exclusive Pestana Angra resort at Angra dos Reis. With deep blue bays, Angra dos Reis is popular with cariocas and paulistas looking to get out of the city for a couple of days. With steep, forest-covered mountains, and 365 different islands, surrounded by azure waters, there is plenty to explore.
One of these islands is the tropical, jungle-covered island of Ilha Grande. With no motorised transport apart from boats allowed onto the island, it has a laid-back feel and hasn’t been overdeveloped. Accommodation can be found in simple but homely pousadas or restored colonial houses and its golden coves are reached on foot, allowing for long lazy walks through the forest to find a peaceful spot.