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Brazil: Buzios Paraty and Costa Verde

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Head either east or southwest along the coast from the bright lights of Rio de Janeiro and you enter a different world.  The forest-smothered coastline, scalloped with rocky bays and exquisite beaches, is studded with laid-back beach resorts, secluded upmarket hotels, and colonial-era ports.

Búzios is a chic jet-setter resort set on a peninsula fringed by white-sand crescent coves three hours’ drive east from Rio. Revealed to the world by Brigitte Bardot, it resembles somewhat a privileged spot on the Côte d’Azur, with swish villas, cobbled streets, trendy boutiques, colonial pousadas, elegant restaurants and lively nightlife.  

Head southwest out of Rio along a winding coast road with waves of steep mountains cloaked in dense mata Atlântica rainforest tumbling to tiny sandy bays. Outstanding among fishing ports and leisure resorts is the baroque architectural masterpiece Paraty, a little bit of imperial Portugal in Brazil.

The jade-green ocean is peppered with islands, one of the largest being undeveloped Ilha Grande, ringed by sugary beaches and with a choice of laid-back pousadas and hiking trails.

Our holidays to Buzios Paraty and Costa Verde

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Our insider tips for Buzios Paraty and Costa Verde


Laura Rendell-Dunn

Choose a bar such as Patio Havana on Rua das Pedras, hub of Búzios’ nightlife, and settling down to people-watch and listen to live music.


Paul Winrow-Giffin

From the port of Paraty, Savour a fresh seafood lunch with cocktails on deck of a romantic traditional schooner as it explores the secret beaches of the coast and islands.

Mary Anne

Mary Anne Nelson

Go snorkelling surrounded by huge shoals of tropical fish along the rocky shoreline of Ilha Grande,

Kathryn Rhodes

Kathryn Rhodes

Take an early morning stroll through Paraty’s quiet lanes, with just tropical birds for company.

What our experts say

Búzios is on a peninsula and offers great snorkelling opportunities to remote and popular beaches.  It has its own micro-climate, with many more hours of sunshine than Rio and far less rain.  We went off-season when it was very quiet, but there are plenty of cliff walks and even in winter there are days when it is warm enough to sit on the sands. It's a very popular destination for Brazilians and Argentinians during the holiday season (Dec-Mar) when it can be heaving, with a party atmosphere (albeit chic, its too expensive for ravers...)  


Chris Rendell-Dunn

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