information about buzios
Buzios was originally known as “Ponta dos Buzios”. ‘Ponta’ means point and refers to the narrow peninsula jutting into the ocean. ‘Buzios’ refers to the conch shells that were found in the coves.
Buzios was settled by pirates and slave traders who made the beaches their home and prospered. Fishing and whaling became a way of life. The village of Buzios was born and would remain a sleepy village for centuries.
Today Buzios is a small cosmopolitan city with visitors from around the world, but it retains its original spirit of a fisherman’s village. The refurbished homes have maintained their original picturesque charm and fishermen still live here and go out for their daily catch.
The early 20th century brought Italian and Lebanese merchants to Buzios. In 1915, a German immigrant named Eugene Honold, who owned a bank in Rio de Janeiro, bought rural properties for the cultivation of bananas and cassava and to produce flour and raise cattle. He built a warehouse, dairy and other buildings. In the 1920’s Portuguese fishermen arrived and contributed to Buzios’ development. Although locals called Eugene Honold the ‘owner of the world’, by 1935 he was beset by personal and business problems, including the ban on foreign ownership of large rural properties. Reluctantly, he severed his properties, which were inherited by his two daughters. They further subdivided the land and lots on Buzios peninsula became available for holiday houses. These lots have since greatly appreciated in value.
In the 1950’s, holiday homes were built on Amacao Beach and in Buzios by French and Brazilian high society and by foreign diplomats.
In 1964, French film actress Brigitte Bardot visited Buzios with her Brazilian companion and the media frenzy put Armaçao dos Buzios on the international map. Soon after, the state government of Rio de Janeiro installed electricity in Buzios and pousadas, restaurants, bars boutiques and nightclubs followed.
Sandy beaches, designer shopping, lovely restaurants, glitz and glamour abound, but so does a relaxed, laid-back pace, low-rise environment, casual eateries and funky beach bars easily accessible on foot and even by water taxi.
Buzios has a semi-dry hot climate even though it is situated in a tropical, humid basin. The pleasant breezes ensure mild temperatures all year round and blue skies and starry nights for 255 days a year.
Much of the colonial architecture of the 18th century survives. Two architects, Octavio Raja Gabaglia and Helio Pellegrino are linked to the modern architecture of Buzios. The 16th century Santana Church, literally pretty enough for a postcard, is protected by the historical society.
ARTS AND CULTURE
Sculptors, painters and crafts people are inspired by the beauty of ocean and mountain vistas, the sunsets and the brilliant vegetation. A sculpture of fishermen by Christina Motta graces the waters of Amacao Beach. Look for other life-size bronze sculptures around town. The annual jazz and blues festival takes place in the winter. The Visa Cine Buzios film festival takes place in the Cinema Bardot and Santos Dumont Square. There are theatre festivals, concerts and handicraft markets in the square.
BEACHES AND WATER SPORTS
There are over twenty beaches in and around Buzios. All beaches are public. The ones on the west side are mostly calm and clear. The east coast ones are wilder and attract surfers and other water-sports enthusiasts. Sports include surfing, sailing, windsurfing, fishing and underwater photography. Scuba diving enthusiasts should visit the islands of Ancora, Filhote, Breu and Pargo. The major beaches are listed below:
- Praia de Geriba is the best and busiest surf beach, and one of the wildest and longest, with a sandy bottom. It is ideal for water sports. Many Brazilian celebrities vacation here.
- Praia Azeda and Azedinha are designated Environment Protection Areas. Bars and food kiosks are not allowed. The waters are calm and crystal clear. These beaches can be accessed by a small walking path or water taxi from Ossos Beach.
- Praia de Ferradura is a bay with clear, calm and relatively cold water, visable from Villa Paraiso. Several mansions line the beach. Windsurfing classes and boards, banana, leisure and water skiing boats are available.
- Praia de Joao Fernandinho has blue-green water and a rocky shore at one end that is good for snorkelling and scuba diving. Seagulls and white-bellied boobies often appear.
- Praia de Joao Fernandes is popular with foreigners, mainly Argentines. Food and drink kiosks line the calm waters. There are many pousadas and hotels in the area and schooners often stop here.
- Praia Brava is located on a protected bay with pinkish sand surrounded by mountains. It is popular with surfers and nature lovers alike. One end of the beach leads to a path to the Praia Olho de Boi, a nudist beach.
- Praia de Manghuinos has sailing clubs such as Buzios Vela Clube and Yucas.
- Praia de Forno is very good for fishing and diving. It has clear water and reddish sand.
- Praia dos Ossos is in the oldest part of Buzios, and is not far from the town center. It is a calm and often quiet beach with views of a charming traditional church and houses.
- Praia Tartaruga is an exceptional beach perfect for watching the sunset.
You can take three-hour boat trips to the most beautiful beaches in the bay, making stops for swimming, snorkelling, and walking on the beach. Ideal when the beaches in Buzios are crowded.
Diving trips can be taken either inside the Bay or to Ancora Island. Advanced divers can do night dives if desired.
Surfing lessons are available at Geriba Beach (from beginner to advanced levels).
- Golf can be played at the 18-hole Buzios Golf Club. There is a restaurant, cart and club rental and lessons for beginners.
- Nature Trails abound in Emergencias Rain Forest reserve. It is a natural refuge for endangered species including the golden tamarind monkey.
Nightclubs, restaurants, bars and cafes cater to all tastes. There is non-stop action on the Rua de Pedras and Orla Bardot.
Cine Bardot is owned by a film aficionado who is the chairman of the Brazil Film Festival. The chairs in the charming cinema were all donated by people in the community. There is an appealing bar adjacent to the cinema lobby. The Brazilian Film Festival takes place in October or November.
You can arrange to have masseurs come to the Villa. Ask Theodore and he will arrange for the massage therapist to come to the villa at your convenience. We can also recommend the following spas:
- Casas Brancas Boutique Hotel & Spa: Alto do Humaita, 10 – Centro Tel: (22) 2623 1458
- Dr Marilene Pereira Mattos: Credito 18955 F Tel: (24) 2242 7540
Buzios is a true paradise for those who love to eat and appreciate a good meal. French, Italian, Moroccan, Thai and various other types of cuisine cater to even the most demanding tastes. Some restaurants that we recommend are:
• Bar do Zé Steak & Seafood: Orla Bardot, 382 Tel: (22) 2623 4986
• Rocka Beach Lounge and Restaurant: Praia Brava, 13 – Búzios Tel.: +55 22 2623 6159
• Insolito Botique Hotel: Rua E1, Lote 3-4 – Condominio Atlântico Tel: (22) 2623 2172
• Belli: Porto da Barra – Manguinhos Tel: (22) 2623 0820
• Cafe Atlântico (Casas Brancas Restaurant): Morro de Humaita, 10 Tel: (22) 2623 1458
• Restaurante Tartaruguinha Fish House: Av. José Bento Riberio Dantas, 440 Tel: (22) 2623 6978
• Restaurante Satyricon (on the Orla Bardot)
• Villa Viccenzo or Capricciosa for pizza and pasta
• Parvati Pizzeria & Trattoria: Rua das Pedras, 144 Tel: (22) 2623 1375
• Praia da Tartaruga: Tel: (22) 2623 6482
(Famous for its seafood and wide variety of appetizers. Popular luaus, happy hours, great music and pleasant atmosphere make it a favourite spot.)
Magma Group: Rua das Pedras, 27, lj1 Tel: (22) 2623 1521
Buzios is an excellent place for recreational off-road cycling. Lots of trails are only accessible to cyclists and pedestrians. Buzios has a lot of trails where you can appreciate the natural beauty of the region.
Armacao Bikes Tel: (22) 9213 4597
Roberto Vihena Bike Tours Tel: (22) 2623 6365
CAR, BUGGY MOTO & BIKE RENTALS
Sun Place Rental Car: Av. Jose Bento Ribeiro Dantas, 1174-lj3 Tel: (22) 2623 5305 or (22) 2623 5841
Rent a Car 24 horas: Estrada de Buzios 815 Tel: (22) 2623 1556
Note: Be careful with speed limits! On the way from Rio to Buzios, there are at least 5 electronic radars that you should be aware of. Two are between Manilha/Rio Bonito. The third is at the end of Via Lagos Highway (just before you arrive at Sao Pedro Aldeia). The last two are as you are nearing Buzios. Also be aware that there are two tolls travelling from Rio to Buzios if you are driving yourselves.
Ponto Praca Santos Dumont Tel: (22) 2623 2160 or (22) 2623 6169
Buzios Radio Taxi Tel: (22) 2623 2509 or (22) 9204 3000
Buzios Bus Station:
Estrada da Usina – Downtown Tel: (22) 2623 2050
Rio de Janeiro Bus Station:
Novo Rio Bus Station Tel: (21) 2291 5151
Auto Viacao 1001 (Reliable bus company) Tel: 0300 313 1001