The small fishing village of Buzios (pop. 10,000), two hours north of Rio de Janeiro, burst into prominence in the ‘60s, when French actress Brigitte Bardot selected it as one of her favorite vacation spots. Originally an Indian settlement and later used as a pirate hideout and supply point for slave traders, the small town went back to its quiet origins after the decline of piracy and the abolition of slavery. Since Ms Bardot’s discovery, however, Buzios has grown a well-deserved international reputation as a playground of the rich and famous. The inviting town offers more than 20 sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, an all-season climate, lively nightlife, a variety of water sports, and sophisticated boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.
Three to five nights.
When to go
Although Buzios is a year round destination, it is better to avoid the winter (June-August) since temperatures may drop into the fifties and rainfalls can be frequent. Visitors should also be aware Carnival is a very busy time in Buzios and reservations must be made well in advance.
• Beachcombing: Beaches in Buzios run the gamut, from tranquil coves to long, sandy strips perfect for water sports.
• Water sports: Sailing, catamaran and schooner tours, water ski, surfing, kite surfing, snorkeling, and SCUBA diving are all popular.
• Shopping & Nightlife: Stroll the popular Rua das Pedras, the town’s main pedestrian road, and peruse the chic and exotic shops. Return in the evening and dance the night away.