Armação dos Búzios (or just Buzios) is an upscale beach town located on the coast in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. This cosy and chic little town located just under 2 hours from Rio de Janeiro was originally a rustic fishing village blessed with golden sand beaches and breathtaking scenery. It was precisely this private and under the radar feel to Buzios that attracted its major celebrity and put Buzios in the map forever: 60s movie star and sex symbol Brigitte Bardot. The French actress chose Buzios to hide from the paparazzi and to spend time with her then, Brazilian boyfriend. Since then, the fishing village gained its chic reputation and tourism started to flourish. Mick Jagger also famously spent time there with some Brazilian friends whilst visiting Brazil.
Today Buzios keeps its celebrity status in check by accommodating well known A listers and offering much improved infrastructure to its numerous visitors. Trendy bars and cool hangouts are everywhere and during the moths of December, January and February the town buzzes with young and beautiful people looking for fun and sun. Good times and sunshine are certainly present in Buzios and the town gets even more interesting with its endless art galleries and art facts shops. The cobbled street of Rua das Pedras (Stone Street) is the address for the very important and essential beachwear shopping. Along the road are also a rich variety of delicious restaurants, French crepe houses and nightclubs.
Even though Buzios originated from humble beginnings, a trip to this hip beach town can be costly. It is however, very much worth it and after visiting it, you will want to quit your city job and set an up a rustic Inn in one of its gorgeous beaches. After all, if it is good enough for Ms Bardot, it should be good enough for you!
Things to do in
There’s a lot to do in Buzios. Although Buzios has a reputation for partying and luxurious spots, it is surprisingly accommodating for families and kids. The town is very colourful and offers a wide variety of family activities such as boat trips to a number of little islands and beach play grounds. For older kids and parents there are the family courses on windsurfing, board surfing and kayaking. Courses usually cost around R$200 and further information can be found in the many information points spread across town.
In the rare rainy days, the town Theatre might be an option for the little ones with bowling and plays. The Bardot Gran Cinema is also home of increasingly relevant Buzios Film Festival held every year in December.
For the party animals, Buzios certainly will not disappoint. Its main nightclub, Privilege
, has a gigantic waiting list for its NYE celebration and it is the place to be for meeting beautiful people. Throughout the year Privilege is also a hit and offers a variety of music and DJs most days of the week. You will be spoilt by choices of bars and they are usually dotted along the main roads in town.
The beaches are in their own right the best attraction Buzios has to offer. Some are of difficult access but usually wild and breathtakingly beautiful. Gear up with lots of sun protection, water and head to Olho de Boi beach. Do not bother with beachwear as this is a nudism beach. Absolutely stunning location and worth the effort of difficult accessibility. If nudism is not in the cards for you, fear not as every other beach in Buzios also offers crystal clear water and beautiful surroundings. Some of the best ones are Geriba, which is a busy spot and Joao Fernandes with its bars and live music.
Buzios has a rich selection of restaurants. Seafood eateries are abundant but international cuisine is also a popular option. Most restaurants in Buzios offer delicious Argentinean wine which is a result of the highly populated Argentinean community in town. Argentineans also own lots of restaurants in Buzios and they are usually comfortable and welcoming. Rua das Pedras has its fair share of interesting spots for eating and some good bets are Estancia Don Juan, a steak house with the best beef in town and delicious red wine to accompany. Crepe House Chez Michou is a hit amongst Brazilians, especially teens. Its tasty selection of sweet and savoury French style crepes are a good idea for a quick snack before setting to a long day on the beach. A five minute walk from Rua das Pedras take you to Cafe Atlantico, a gourmet restaurant inside the luxurious Casas Brancas hotel. The food in this restaurant will not let you down, but if it does, you always have the view!
From luxury spa hotels to sweet rustic Inns, Buzios is democratic and fair to your wallet. The best thing about Buzios is that anywhere you choose to stay, you will have nice beaches and good shops nearby. The town is very small, so no need to concern on the best location for your stay. If you are in Buzios, that is the best place already!
A selection of Inns and Hotels in town include Casas Brancas Hotel, a Mediterranean style villa with modern bathrooms and luxurious surroundings. Lavish white cotton bed linen spread over the garden furniture gives a chic and decadent feel to it. Prices start at U$198 per night.
La Pedreira is as cute and cosy as it gets. Ran by a friendly Argentinean family, this hotel is comfortable and looks good. It has a relaxing vibe with small balconies with great views over Joao Fernandes beach. This romantic hotel is ideal for couples it also has a mini spa and a good restaurant. Prices start at R$205 per night.
Pousada Santa Fe (Inn) is a nice alternative for families and lower budget travellers. It is comfortable and it offers a delicious breakfast, included in the price. Located steps from Rua das Pedras it has doubles and family rooms, ideal for groups. Prices start at around$150 per night.