Get Booze-ioed in Buzios or Go Shopping!
by Kristian1124 on June 24, 2011
Búzios is famous for being one of Brigitte Bardot's favorite spots back when people knew who she was. Unlike me, my mom still knows who she is and was super-pumped about Búzios because of it. Búzios is also famous for being the weekend getaway for Rio de Janeiro's wealthy, and the 20-or-30-something jet-set crowd. That may be the case, but it is also the place to go for Argentinian tourists of all ages. In fact, in many restaurants and shops, they just assume you are Argentinian and start speaking to you in Spanish. Tourists from who knows where also stop by for the day from one of the many cruise ships anchored just off shore. So it seems Búzios has got a little something for everyone.
My recommendation would be to avoid the main drag, called the Rua das Pedras, during the day. This is when the cruise ship crowd is out, and the area just seems a lot less glamorous by the light of day, and even a little bit kitschy. But hey, it's Brazil, where tacky rules supreme. So don't be surprised. Subtlety and sophistication are not on the menu.
Your best bet during the day is to head to the beach. One of the better beaches is Geribá. Sparkly, fine, and soft-as-silk sand, and brisk, shallow water characterize this lovely place. There are some surfing schools here, too, though the waves seemed a bit too small for anyone but true beginners. Things are quite expensive at Geribá with two beach chairs and an umbrella costing R$25 for the day. And even if you are willing to shell out for the barraca that in Ipanema would cost you less than half, they are often hard to find as many of the beach chairs are available only to hotel guests. The other option is to sit at one of the tables that belong to the restaurants around there. The food is not especially good and is quite expensive, though if you split a table with a bunch of people, it wouldn't be so bad. If you can find a place to sit in Geribá--consider taking your own umbrella--it is a great beach! It costs R$20 each way to go by taxi from the city center to Geribá. Two other popular beach options are João Fernandes and João Fernandinho, both much closer to the city center.
Another daytime option is to take a boat cruise, or passeio de barco. There are boat cruises leaving from the main pier throughout the day. They last about three hours and they take you around to three to four beaches and let you swim around for a while. They usually serve some pretty weak but decent caipirinhas, soda, and shrimp.
Night time is when the real action in Búzios goes down. If you want to, you know, spend a lot of money and show everyone how important you are, there is a Pacha, which I am fairly certain will allow you to do that. Obviously, don't go till late. There are several other clubs (and great restaurants) on Rua das Pedras, and you can just follow your ears to find them. Búzios is expensive, but this is one of the few places in Rio where, in my opinion, you actually pay for the quality. Most of the restaurants are really good! A few of my favorites are Patio Havana, Salt, and L'Escale, which is a bit out of the way but worth the walk. There are tons of shops in Búzios, and most of them stay open really late, like 2am. You can go out to dinner late like the true glamorous jetsetter that you are, go shopping afterwards, and then hit up the clubs. Then, you can sleep it off on the beach the next day. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.