Buzios-A Slice of Heaven on Earth
I was born and raised in Hawaii, been to Italy, traveled the United States and parts of Canada, but Buzios was one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The beaches are pristine and the water is crystal clear. The locals are laid back and friendly. It was like I stepped into a different world after two weeks in Rio. There are much fewer cars than in Rio and virtually no traffic. Everything and everyone moves much slower in Buzios. It's a wonderful place to hide out and relax for a weekend or longer.
Buzios, a small fishing village, first gained international attention when actress Brigitte Bardot and her boyfriend in the 1960's, escaped there to get some peace and quiet away from the paparazzi in Rio de Janiero. She fell in love with Buzios and ended up spending months longer than she had planned.
Buzios is a peninsula with 20 beaches located 105 miles northeast of the city of Rio de Janiero. Buzios is an ideal spot for ocean sport lovers, party goers and those that want to just relax and do nothing. The west coast beaches are calmer than the east coast ones that are ideal for ocean sports. Armação and Geribá are most popular for surfing. Manguinhos is best known for windsurfing.
Fifty years after the "discovery" of Buzios by Brigitte Bardot, it has been transformed into one of Brazil's hottest vacation destinations. I had visited Buzios during the off season which left the cobble stone main street of Rua das Pedras and beaches of Buzios virtually empty. I was told that during peak seasons (November-March), you have to reserve your accommodations months to a year in advance, the streets are packed with tourist and the beaches are just as crowded as the ones in Impanema. The night life is booming at full capacity, especially around Carnival time.
Getting to Buzios from Rio de Janeiro is an easy task by air, boat, bus or car. I took a 2.5 hour bus ride from Rodoviária Novo Rio(the Rio de Janiero bus station) to Buzios for 64 reals ($36 US) round trip. These buses are super clean, comfortable and have air conditioning. Compared to companies like Grayhound, these buses are 1st class.
While in Buzios, I stayed at one the of the nicest hostels I've ever seen, called the Nomad. This hostel has beach front access, an open court yard, and free breakfasts with ocean views. They have female dorms, mixed dorms and private rooms ranging in price from $35-$190 reals ($21-$110 US) depending on the season. Buzios also has five star hotels similar to those I've stayed in in Italy.
Buzios reminded me a bit of Capri Italy, both very magical places. Buzios is great to visit with friends, as a romantic get-a-way or a place to go and meet new friends. If you are an ocean sports lover or outdoor enthusiast, you will be in "Ocean Heaven". If you love to shop, lay out at the beach, eat good food and party all night, than Buzios is great for that too! My experience in Buzios was very memorable and I can see why Brigitte Bardot fell in love with Buzios.