Beautiful Beaches of Búzios

What if we told you there is a place where you can choose between 23 idyllic beaches, each more beautiful than the last? This place is in Brazil and is called Armação dos Búzios, or more commonly, Búzios. Whether you want to spend your days lying on the beach, playing in the ocean or admiring the incredible coastal scenery as you walk between the coves, you will love the beautiful beaches of Búzios.

The town used to be a small fishing village that no one paid attention to until Brigitte Bardot visited in the 1960s. The rumour is that she went for a short vacation and ended up staying for a month. Her declaration of love for Búzios brought it to the world’s attention and changed this sleeping fishing village into a top tourist destination. 

Búzios is spread out across an irregularly shaped Peninsula with dozens of pointy capes reaching out into pristine water. Between these capes are deep coves filled with sandy beaches. The natural beauty of this area is unmatched.

Búzios is only 175 km east of Rio making it a popular place for Cairocas; a nickname for people from Rio. A lady from northern Brazil told us that this has made Búzios too busy and she doesn’t like to visit. Although it’s true it is quite busy, it seemed to us that most visitors prefer to stay together and over-populate a few select beaches leaving the rest to be enjoyed in peace. Being further south, the water in Búzios is colder than at beaches like Pipa in northern Brazil but for us, it was a small price to pay to swim in the beautiful bays.

Below is a  brief overview of some of the 23 beaches in Búzios. Praia means beach in Portuguese.

Praia Brava

Translated in English to Wild Beach, Praia Brava is one of our two favourite beaches in Búzios. The turquoise-coloured water compliments the green hills that enclose the golden sandy beach. A rocky outcrop separates it into two parts which adds to its wild nature. After exploring the beach, we climbed to the top of one of the hills for a better look at the entire scene.

In addition to the natural setting, Praia Brava isn’t very busy which helped put it on the top of our list. It’s a bit of a distance from town and there are not many hotels or restaurants nearby which is probably what keeps it more quiet.

On the other side of the hill that we hiked, we looked down to a tight cove and the very pretty Praia Olho de Boi. Richard was taking pictures of the beach from the top of the hill and received strange looks from a man passing by. We later learned that it is a nudist beach. The man probably thought Richard wanted pictures of the bare butts below!

Praia da Ferradura

Have you ever wanted to visit a cul-du-sac where the road is golden sand and the centre is a calm ocean? Then you want to visit Praia da Ferradura. Tall rocky cliffs protect the entrance to the horseshoe shaped bay making it feel even more secluded. This setting is what made Praia da Ferradura tied for first place as our favourite beach.

There are places where you can rent an umbrella for the afternoon or buy a drink, but there are also many area on the large beach where you can spread out, with no one else around. There are a lot of hotels nearby including some beachfront properties but not as many restaurants.

Praias do Forno & da Foca

When we saw the small dirt parking lot at the entrance to Praia do Forno, we had low expectations for the beach. Once we stepped onto the sand though, we were treated to a lovely view. The bay is mostly fringed by rugged rocks with a small patch of sand in the middle to make a beach.

Just a short walk away a small slit in the rocky cliffs has just enough room for the small, picture-perfect Praia da Foca. From a lookout on the top of a nearby hill we had a gorgeous view of the bay that houses both. This area is a bit removed from town and there are only a few hotels nearby, but they are worth the effort to visit.

Praias de João Fernandes & Fernandinho

These side by side beaches seemed to be the party spot in town. The beach bars on Praia João Fernandes were busy and each was blaring their own music. We thought these may be the ones that our friend from northern Brazil was referring to when she said Búzios is too busy. The sand is silky and the setting is very pretty so if you like to be where the action is, this is where you want to be. The water though, is supposedly the coldest of all the beaches in Búzios.

From the main beach, you can walk across the rocks to reach Praia João Fernandinho (Little João Fernandes). This small beach is a little less busy and has a much nicer setting than the main beach.

There are a lot of hotels and restaurants on the hilly streets surrounding these two beaches. In fact you can stay in this neighbourhood and never need to go to downtown Búzios. Just remember you may have to walk up and down a few hills to get anywhere.

Praias da Azeda & Azedinha

A long wooden staircase takes you from the road down to these two small beaches surrounded by tree-covered hills. There are umbrellas to rent and venders selling food and drink, but it’s not very close to downtown. Between the distance and the stairs, these two beaches are less busy.

Praia Geriba

This very popular beach felt overrun with people. It actually has a pretty setting and the nicest sand in all of Búzios, but was very busy and that took away from its appeal. There are a lot of hotels on the beach and in the neighbourhood. Richard stayed here years ago and is the reason we traveled to Búzios. The funny thing is that on this trip, Geriba was one of our least favourite beaches!

Praia da Tartaruga

A long road takes you from town to the cove hosting Praia da Tartaruga. If you’re there at the right time you can see turtles hatching on the beach. It’s a more rugged beach with scrubland behind, but warmer water than most of the other beaches. Its quite popular with families, but everyone seems to congregate in the middle so at either end there is plenty of room. 

Praia Ossa

This little beach is just a few minutes walk from the pedestrian street in downtown. Fishing boats bob in the water but it didn’t seem to be busy with boat traffic. A small colonial church on a hill overlooks the pretty beach.

Praia dos Amores

Climb over the rocks at the end of Praia Canto to reach this small, isolated beach. There was no one on the beach when we were there and we don’t know why . Maybe it isn’t popular because it’s only accessible by walking over the rocks and there are no kiosks selling food or renting umbrellas.

Praia Canto is immediately behind the pedestrian mall and is not very popular because the sand is a bit muddy and the border are cement backs of hotels and houses.

If you don’t like lying on the beach, which believe it or not, we don’t, Búzios is a great place to go for a walk along the coast. There is a lovely boardwalk called Orla Bardot, that runs from town to Praia Ossa. It passes a small fishing harbour which has a statue in the water of fishermen pulling in their catch. On the way you’ll also see a statue of Brigitte Bardot who made Búzios famous.

In addition to the incredible beaches, the surrounding hills have a mix of forest and scrubland and offer amazing views. Downtown, the streets are clean and safe to walk. Rua das Pedras is a pedestrian street near Praia Canto where most people end up in the evening. They are is filled with beachwear shops and souvenir shops as well as many restaurants and pubs for all budgets. 

Many people wonder if Búzios or the nearby beachtown of Arraial do Cabo is better for their vacation. Even though they’re only 36 km away from each other, the two towns are quite different. Búzios has more space to spread out in its picturesque coves. We found the beaches in Arraial do Cabo, even though equally beautiful, were even more crowded. You can compare for yourself in our post about Arraial do Cabo. (Coming soon)

How to get to Búzios

The nearest airport is in Rio. Buses leave Rio several times a day destined for Búzios. Once you are there, inexpensive city buses travel between Buzios, Cabo Frio and Arrail do Cabo.

Where to stay in Búzios

Which beaches you plan to visit may determine what part of the peninsula would be best for you. We stayed near Rua das Pedras so we would be central to everything and close to restaurants. Some beaches have hotels nearby while others are more remote. Read the above sections on each beach to see if there are hotels and restaurants in that area.

To read about our other adventures in Brazil click here.

Coming Next – Arraial do Cabo

For pictures from other blogs go to Gallery at

To read about more of our adventures go to Destinations.

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