HOW TO GET THERE
We started our trip to Buzios not really knowing anything about this magical and charming place. We arrived there at eight in the morning with our Transatlantic cruise ship, Buzios was one of the many stops we had in Brazil last December. We usually asked our cabin steward what where the must-see cruise ports and he literally said “You have to visit Buzios, you’ll fall in love with this town” and well he wasn’t wrong at all. We arrived with our cruise ship,but talking to an Uruguayan couple we learned you could go by car or by bus and the trip is approximately two-three hours from Rio de Janeiro. The couple came to Buzios by bus and they said they paid R$28 (USD$8 approx.) per person for the ride.
We started our magical trip to Buzios arriving to Cais do Mangue by tender and just that was a different experience by itself. We arrived ashore on a small but picturesque pier. When you walk through the wood pier you realize how unique this former fishing village is and why is called the Brazilian St. Tropez. The view of the village is by itself is stunning with sand and tropical vegetation in the inside of the land. When you finish walking the wood pier you’ll arrive to the famous Rua das pedras, which I’ll talk about next.
PRAIA DO TARTARUGA
Near the Orla Bardot you’ll immediately find many water taxis. These water taxis can transport you to the many beaches Buzios have. We really didn’t know anything about this place so we took a chance and we decided to go to the same beach as a father and son where going to and we shared the ride. We paid R$8 per person for a one way ride, which is about USD$2.30 per person, we were four passengers in total plus the driver of the water taxi. The father and son that went with us wanted to go to Praia Tartaruga so we agreed to go to this beach that we didn’t even know existed. The ride was about ten minutes and it was well worth it. When you arrive you’ll see this narrow bach full of kiosk and little restaurants that will greet you with a menu, lounge chairs and beach umbrellas.The lounge chairs and beach umbrellas were free if you got something to eat or to drink. The menu was full of shrimp and fish but you could also get only a beer and just enjoy the view. You could also keep walking and soak up the beach atmosphere without purchasing anything. We decided to stay under the beach umbrellas as the sun in Brazil in December can be pretty strong and we didn’t want to get sunburned. We drank a couple of beers, enjoyed some grilled shrimps and take a swam in the crystalline water. One thing you must calculate is money, Brazil is pretty inexpensive but here in Tartaruga the food price ranged from R$36-R$45 for a plate of shrimp, the portions were pretty huge though so we shared our shrimp plate. We relaxed and stayed until we felt our energy was recharged and we wanted to explore the downtown of Buzios. We asked the waiter to arrange our return to downtown in a water taxi and to give him instructions to take us to the main pier. Water taxi’s drivers are really nice but keep in mind they don’t speak english so be patient and try to explain yourself the best you can to avoid any misunderstanding.
We took our water taxi ride with a nice Uruguayan couple that was going to their hotel after a stroll down Tartaruga beach. We chatted a little bit about the village but were interrupted by the waves, the ride was very bumpy and wet. We arrived totally soaked to Rua das Pedras but it was a fun ride and fortunately the driver takes your belongings and puts them in a safe place before you depart. Just keep in mind that waves are not predictable and sometimes you can arrive to destination totally dry or completely wet.
When we disembarked the water taxi we decided to take a stroll down Orla Bardot, this beautiful waterfront promenade was named after famous french actress Brigitte Bardot and you can actually take a photo with her bronze statue in the promenade. The souvenir shop seller told us that Bardot was the one that made Buzios such a popular destination. The legend tells that Bardot in the 1960’s was in Rio with her, then brazilian boyfriend, and she needed to escape from paparazzi so he took her to Buzios and she obviously felt in love with this lovely village. Walking down the promenade is a nice stroll, even though there’s sun and can be quite hot, the sea breeze you get will refresh you and will make you enjoy the walk and appreciate what this town has to offer. Down the promenade we saw many bars and restaurants by the beach, you get also a nice view of boutique but impressive hotels in the area. We made our way back to Rua das pedras to explore the other side of Buzios.
Rua das pedras has no car traffic so walking in this beautiful village is relaxing. In this road you will find many pubs, bars and restaurants where the main night life takes place. By day was full and there where many places that sells many local food and culinary specialties. The restaurants where clean and the smell was just amazing, the prices where a lot cheaper than Tartaruga beach so I’ll recommend eating here.
We bought some souvenirs in the “downtown area” and decided to take a stroll down the beach near the pier.This beach was also full of kiosks and restaurants to eat, there was also a sushi place. You could also take a swim in the beach without the many people that was in Tartaruga beach. There we encountered the gym trainer from the cruise ship and he told us he went parasailing and scuba diving with his partner. Next time we visit Buzios we will scuba dive as the water was marvelous and it looked like an unpolluted sea. It was 6pm by the time we finished walking so we decided to return to the cruise. Buzios is a small and enjoyable town which can be visited in just a weekend or a couple of days. This village screams “RELAX” to me and I’ll be visiting it soon next time we go to Brazil.