Weekend Trip from Rio de Janeiro to Buzios Brazil

The tiny beachtown of Buzios, Brazil was originally made famous by Bridgitte Bardot. The actress supposedly hid there on vacation with her Brazilian boyfriend, and then constantly declared her love for the fishing village’s beautiful beaches.

Since then, international celebrities such as Mick Jagger and Madonna have made it a prime resort location. It is now known as Brazil’s St Tropez, a prime hotspot for upmarket tourism.

Ocean in Buzios Braziltypical view in Buzios

It’s an easy place to check out, if you’re in Rio de Janeiro for a while and want to venture out for a weekend trip to see something new. The beaches are quite different from Rio de Janeiro, and the landscape is more rocky, with lots of cacti.

Busy Beach in Buzios Brazilone of the busier beaches in Buzios

If you love beaches, scenic views, and relaxation, Buzios is a perfect fit – especially if you like exploring in a car.

The town has a beach for everyone – from those that like bustling, busy, Brazilian beaches packed with umbrellas and chairs, to those craving a private beach of their own… Buzios has it!

Private beach in Buzios Brazilmy own private beach for the morning!

If you like roadtrips, Buzios may be one of the best places in Brazil for you to check out. It is safe, simple, and almost impossible to get (badly) lost. With over 20 beaches, most are best discovered by driving along the coast line until you see a little grass parking lot and then following the trail down to the beach.

Looking for a new beach in Buzios Brazilin search of a new beach

You can also pick up a map from your hotel or tourist agency, and see what you can find!

Random scenic overlooka random scenic overlook we stumbled upon

Necessary Details

For a town made famous by a stylish French actress, I expected it to be a lot more chic. I was quite disappointed by the quality of the restaurants, and even before arriving, the quality of the hotels available. The most obvious description would be overpriced and substandard. While the shops and charming promenade of “downtown” Buzios are adorable, and the views stunning – not much can be said for its eateries or hotels, or at least not much positive.

chowing down on fajitas in Buzios Brazil Food in Buzios is overpriced and low in quality

42 Reais Nachos in Buzios BrazilThe “nachos” above were 42 reais – a handful of chips, 2 store-bought salsas, an enchilada sauce, and a spoonful of guacamole. Um, what?

The meal I’m seen gleefully chowing down on (because I was starving, not because it was delicious) later resulted in food poisoning. Great!

I’d recommend getting an Airbnb with a kitchen (not bad values, in general, and if it’s your first visit you get $30 off), and cooking for yourself. Save your money for drinks, which were actually quite good and cheap.

Drinks in Buzios Brazilthis is what I’m talking about

While friends had come to Buzios via bus, I would highly recommend renting a car. All of the beaches are quite spread out, and I didn’t see a single taxi while there. Another popular option is renting a dune-buggy style cart car, or a moped. Being motorized is definitely the way to go to make the most of the beaches and vistas of Buzios.

We rented a car from Rio de Janeiro, and it was an easy, safe 3 hour drive to Buzios. The main road towards Buzios and Arraial do Cabo does frequently have police barricades with stops (I have been stopped 100% of the time that I have passed by), in which the police will review your passport and check your car. Be sure to always have ID on you in Brazil, this is a good example why. When you step out of the car, be sure to watch the police officer who is checking your vehicle, to be sure that nothing is taken out of nor put into your vehicle inappropriately.

Don’t Forget

Bugspray: I found that the beaches in Buzios had a lot of bugs – sand gnats, bees, and flies in general. I would definitely recommend bringing bug spray with you.


I’m a BIG fan of this natural, organic version, as I’m trying to reduce or eliminate the amount of potentially harmful chemicals I put on my skin – the largest organ in my body. Sunscreen is ridiculously overpriced in Brazil in general, but especially in Buzios. And if you’re looking for a natural version – HAHAHAHA not going to find it.


Umbrella and beach mat: The larger beaches had kiosks renting umbrellas and chairs, as usual in Brazil. Some of the smaller (and prettier) beaches were more deserted and didn’t offer rentals, so if you don’t want to get sunned out and you want a comfy place to sit, be sure to bring your own

If you forget sandals, coverups, or a bikini, you’re in luck! Buzios has really decently priced, cute beach wear at lots of little local shops in the main promenade, and at its night market.

Pin Weekend Trip from Rio de Janeiro to Buzios!

Weekend Trip from Rio de Janeiro to Buzios

Necessary Details: Buzios 

Where to Stay in Buzios and Rio de Janeiro 
For a wider range of pricing options, check here  or Airbnb is a great value in Rio de Janeiro and in Buzios. You can use this link for 39USD off your first stay!
How to Arrive to Buzios 
The best and easiest way to arrive to Buzios is to rent a car, but you can also take the bus from Rio de Janeiro.
To arrive into Rio de Janeiro: You can take the bus into Rio de Janeiro from many destinations within Brazil, but most people choose to fly. While Copa Airlines isn’t my favorite carrier, they do usually offer the cheapest flights. To check the latest low prices on airfare to Brazil, try Skyscanner , or if you have some date and/or destination flexibility and want to score the absolute lowest prices, try Kiwi.com.
Visa information for Brazil and Visa Renewal
I’ve written an extensive post (along with Q&A about the topic in the comments) here
What Else to Do in Rio de Janeiro
Check out my full guide to Rio de Janeiro here, which includes the best suggestions for hiking (including my favorite Morro do Leme hike), where to eat, weekend getaways from the city (including Buzios), and the best beaches.
You can read every article I’ve ever written about Rio de Janeiro (and there’s a lot: I lived there for almost two years!) here.
Viator offers a bunch of different Rio de Janeiro tour options, including for visiting Christ the Redeemer, and provides excellent customer service and refunds if anything goes wrong — much more than local operators would do.

What’s your favorite weekend trip from Rio? What’s your favorite weekend trip from your home city?


A short vacation in Thailand turned into a life abroad with a canceled ticket home. Nearly a decade later and after living in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, and Puerto Vallarta, Steph is on to her next adventure and living back in beautiful, cosmopolitan Mexico City. She is living, traveling, and working (both as an expat therapist and an international health insurance representative) around the world to find the beautiful, inspirational, and interesting while sharing it with you!

Find me on: Web | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Jefferson
    December 1, 2017 / 5:34 am

    How are you doing ?
    I’m from Brazil (Vitoria-ES) but I’m living in Belgium.
    When I was young I lived in Cabo frio and now I going back in 23dec to introduce this town to a friend.
    I really apreciaty your blog… is fulltruth about the food in Buzios, i’m agree hahaha
    I’ll follow you on instagram, so we’ll be friends 🙂
    See you soon…

    • Steph
      December 2, 2017 / 5:30 pm

      Hi Jefferson! I’m doing great, how are you?

      I’m glad you like my blog and that you agree!! 🙂

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