The Beauty of Buzios
While in Rio, our instructors gave us the task of organizing a day trip to another city of Brazil . After hearing stories of the previous year's trip, it was clear to me that the beauty of Buzios was incomparable to any other city in Brazil . Buzios is located approximately two hours north of Rio de Janeiro and can be reached by car, bus, or water. Our journey by bus took us through some of Brazil 's mountain side that tourists normally do not get to enjoy.
When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil , Buzios was a small fishing village that was already inhabited by the Tamoio and Goitacas tribes. Because of the lack of defense provided by the Portuguese for Buzios, along with its numerous coves and inlets, it was the prime target for French, English and Dutch pirates. In 1555, when the French invaded Rio de Janeiro and established the French Antartica, they developed good relations with the Tamoio and Goitacas tribes. The French then set up bases for protection, which was successful until 1575. This was however, a short lived capture because the French aided by the Indians reclaimed the territory. It was not until, 1615, after several battles that the Portuguese finally drove the French away for good.
The city didn't gain popularity until around the 1960's when members of Brazil 's high society were attracted to the beauty and privacy of the small fishing village. It was in 1964, when the world's most famous movie star at the time, Bridgette Bardot, visited Buzios that its
popularity began to increase. The movie star was brought to Buzios by her Brazilian boyfriend and instantaneously fell in love with the lifestyle. She found a great escape from the public and the tabloids. After photographers discovered she enjoyed the city of Buzios , they published pictures of it and turned it into the city it is now.
The city of Buzios is approximately five miles long and contains both the Brazilian and Antartic maritime currents. The west is composed of beaches with calm and warm water, while the east has beaches that reach the open ocean with some small coves and cold water. The name Buzios includes three communities on the same peninsula. The first is Ossos, which means bones, and is located on the northern tip, it is the oldest and some say the most attractive of the communities. It is covered in colonial homes and portrays a lot of the early architecture of the city. The other two communities are Manguinhos and Armacao which now contain many of the recent resorts that have been built. Buzios now has the international reputation of a paradise with its sandy white beaches, crystal clear blue water, a perfect climate in any season, and some of the best shopping and nightlife in Brazil . Throughout our stay the city definitely lived up to its magnificent reputation.
While Buzios has a lot to offer, it is its twenty-five different beaches that are the number one attraction for visitors. The beaches can vary from the northern end of the peninsula which are the easiest to get to and are more sheltered, to the southern beaches which are prettier, but much harder to get to. There are four beaches in Buzios that have gained the most popularity. Azeda Beach is a small beach with very calm and crystal-clear water that can only be reached by foot on a small trail or by boat. The Joao Fernandinho Beach is another popular small beach but is more accessible and offers its visitors many bars where you can enjoy all types of seafood. The Ferradura Beach is a horseshoe-shaped bay with a large variety of bars and restaurants that is visited by those who own homes in Buzios. For those visiting for the day or staying at a resort, the most popular beach is Geriba Beach . This is a wonderful open beach that attracts a lot of famous people and is perfect for sports such as boogie boarding and wind sailing.
Another popular spot for Buzios is the Rua das Pedras. This 1200 foot long street is the home to Buzios very finest
bars and restaurants. Because of the diversity of the visitors attracted to Buzios, the city offers a variety of dining such as French, Italian, Moroccan, and Thai cuisine. The Rua das Pedras also serves the city with a very active nightlife. On this street you can usually find very famous people attending shows, nightclubs, parties and bars of all kinds.
If the beaches are too hot and the nightlife is too busy for you, you can always enjoy the wonderful shopping of Buzios. The downtown of Buzios offers some of the most upscale shopping in Brazil . With its cobblestone streets and small boutiques, it is very easy to spend an entire day browsing the fashions of Buzios.
Whether you enjoy basking in the sun, snorkeling in crystal-clear water, eating wonderful cuisine, or improving your wardrobe, Buzios can satisfy all of your hobbies. It is a paradise that most only dream of, and is definitely worth the small trip from Rio .
Ladle, Jane, ed. Insight Guide , Brazil . Verlag: Apa Publications, 2004.