Buzios, Brazil

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I had planned to stay in Rio for the last five days after I returned from Ilha Grande however my friend Greg asked if I’d like to go with him to Buzios, a small beach town a couple of hours north of Rio. I thought it sounded great so we headed off on Friday morning with the plan of staying two nights and then heading back to Rio.
It was an absolutely gorgeous town and you could see why so many Brazilians go there for weekends away and summer holidays. It wasn’t a big place and was mainly made up of accommodation places, restaurants, shops and bars. Pretty much all the things I like in a town!
When we arrived we headed down to the small beach right next to the town and went for a dip. That night we headed out to one of the great restaurants in the main part of town. There were so many great places to choose from but we ended up going to a fantastic place owned by a Frenchman, so Greg felt right at home. We had the local specialty which was a huge seafood soup and it was delicious!

The next day we went to another of the many beaches around Buzios. It was absolutely packed with Brazilians. Here we were able to hire an umbrella for the day (to protect my delicate Australian skin) and had a lady who would bring us anything we needed, which included beers, coconuts, and roasted cheese on a stick (mmmm yum!)

As we were leaving we noticed a place that offered surf lessons, which Greg was really keen on doing, so we decided that we’d come back the next day and stay another night in town.

The next day we hit the beach again, Greg in his surf shirt, and me on my deckchair, under my umbrella. While Greg did a few practice runs, I grabbed an acai (a local berry drink) and sat back ready to watch.

And the boy didn’t do too bad! He was up on the board looking like a pro on a number of occasions. After a quick break and some more energy food (more roasted cheese on a stick) he was back out there and carving it up. I took on the role of official photographer, but after a while I had to head back to my umbrella, I was starting to feel the burn.

After a while he felt he had sufficiently conquered the waves so he came back in and we headed back to town. A successful day for Greg and quite a relaxing one for me.

The following day it was back to Rio after a couple of beautiful days in Buzios. It was such a gorgeous place , so peaceful with spectacular beaches and fabulous food. I think it would be crazy-busy during Summer though so I’m glad we were able to go when it was a little calmer. Thanks Greg for the invitation!


Ilha Grande, Brazil

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Ilha Grande is a beautiful island a few hours south of Rio. After a rough and wet journey over on the boat I arrived at the Che Lagarto hostel that overlooked the main beach on the island. When I arrived it was a bit cloudy but the weather forecast said that it was going to be sunny for the next few days, and luckily it was spot on!

Main beach the hostel overlooked

The next day I wandered around the island and stopped at the next beach and spent the day relaxing and reading on the beach. After lunch I hit up the self serve ice cream store where you can choose however many flavours you like and they charge you by weight.

That night a big group of us went into town to have dinner and on the way back we came across a group of people drinking around a fire on the beach. After grabbing some supplies from the hostel we joined them and a couple of the guys commandeered the guitar and serenaded us all. The stars were absolutely amazing and although I proved to be hopeless at spotting shooting stars it was almost surreal to be sitting on the beach of a beautiful island in Brazil around a fire and gazing up at a perfect sky. Definitely a night to remember.

The next day we caught a boat over to the surf beach called Lopez Mendez. It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be sitting on a beach, watching the boys try to surf , and taking the occasional dip to cool down.

That night we went to a BBQ at a nearby restaurant where you could choose between different skewers of meats, cheese or a couple of varieties of fish. While it took almost two hours for our food to arrive, and we had drunk quite a few caipirinhas by that time, the food was absolutely delicious! Capped of by the fact that once again we were located on a gorgeous beach under the stars on a perfectly warm evening.

I was meant to leave the next day however I decided to stay on one more night because the weather was absolutely perfect, there were some great people staying in the hostel, and there were still so many beautiful places to explore on the island. A small group of us decided to go on a boat tour around the island that visited six beaches and a couple of lagoons where you could snorkel. We were picked up in an awesome speed boat and spent the day taking in the beautiful sights of the island and swimming in some absolutely gorgeous beaches and lagoons. Although, one of the best parts was the speed boat ride in between the stops because it was quite choppy out on the open water making the trip a bit like a roller coaster ride. Another amazing day!

The next morning I took the boat back to the mainland and a bus trip back to Rio. It had been an amazing few days with perfect weather, beautiful beaches, delicious food and amazing people. If you go to Brazil definitely visit Ilha Grande, it’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway but is also lots of fun if you’re by yourself or with a group of friends. It can be as relaxing or as action packed as you like.

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