Buzios, only a three-hour bus (or car) ride from Rio de Janeiro, is one of the best getaways from the hustle and bustle of the city.
We didn’t want to worry about managing a car, so we decided the easiest way for us was to take a bus. We were glad we did! You can buy bus tickets online (I use Rome2Rio.com to purchase tickets or find any information on the best routes to travel). In Rio, they have three bus stations, but Novo Rio Bus Station (Sao Cristovao area) and the one at the airport (GIG) are the two you will most likely use. We traveled from Novo Rio to Buzios, then back to the airport.
The bus ride was very quick and comfortable. On the way, we had a chance to see the countryside of Brazil and passed many small towns and villages.
The bus leaves frequently, every hour or so, and will cost you between R$57.00 and R$78.00 (USD $17.00-$23.00 in 2016).
Once in Buzios you will probably want to hail a taxi from the bus station to your hotel. They will be available at the station and will cost you between R$25.00 and R$45.00 (USD $7.00-13.00 in 2016).
If spending time at the beach is important to you, stay within 15 – 20 mins outside of Centro (downtown) in areas like Praia dos Ossos (where we stayed) or Praia Azeda. They are both very laid back with several beach accesses and some restaurants.
You will not find any big brand hotels, or any large hotels in Buzios. Guests stay in Pousadas, which are small, privately run guest houses with no more than 20-30 rooms. In most Pousadas every room looks different and has a personal touch that will make you feel welcomed.
Price range: USD 40.00 – 150.00
The main drag is in Centro and it is VERY lively and happening. The streets are filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. It is very easy to find a restaurant with great ambiance and authenticity to anyone’s liking and a lot of them serve original Brazilian food with refreshing drinks.
Frida café was our favorite. The food was delicious and cheap! Unlike in most places where you would pay between R$15.00 and R$24.00 (USD $4 – $7 in 2016) for a caipirinha, Frida offers drinks for R$8.00-R$15.00 (USD $4.00 – $4.00 in 2016). For us, the price of a caipirinha seemed to be a good baseline indicator as to how menu prices generally compare from restaurant to restaurant.
Kitie bistro is a small café in a prime location. It has a very low key vibe and is great for a quick bite.
Mata Hari Bar and Resaurant is an upscale beach bar on the water that serves fantastic drinks. They are on the pricier side, but totally worth the extra cash for a nice night out.
Mr Bred is a late-night, fun place with live entertainment and catchy music.
Rent a dune buggy to explore the area. The peninsula is not that big and has many beaches and viewpoints worth checking out and it is a fun way to get around. It will cost you about R$100.00 for the day.
Take a boat around the islands
Go bar hopping
Check out different beaches
Eat a lot of sea food
Have a fruit caipirinha on the beach. On every beach, you will see “drink boats” (an old boat hull converted into a wet bar) where you can find mixed drinks for cheap that you can enjoy while basking in the sun. You can also rent a beach chairs and umbrellas.
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