About a 3-hour travel from Rio de Janeiro lies the once sleepy fishing village of Armação de Búzios. Discovered by French starlet Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s, Búzios has since enjoyed the reputation of Brazil’s most sophisticated beach resort town. The European touch afforded by the narrow, cobbled streets and architecture still intact since Portuguese colonization contribute to its claim as the Brazilian Saint-Tropez. Though Búzios’ real beauty lies in its more than 20 magnificent beaches whose crystalline waters flow in perfect harmony with the sculptured landscape and exotic vegetation. The variety of easily-accessible beaches—some whose shallow waters are more appealing for families, while others prove ideal for a more active crowd—all allowing for a first-hand experience of Brazilian beach culture. The opportunities for surfing, scuba diving, fishing, kite surfing, even golf, mountain biking, eco-tours and horseback riding are endless.
Extending into the azure Atlantic, the 5-mile peninsula Búzios comprises 3 principal towns. Located at the northernmost point is Ossos, the oldest and most attractive of the three with a picturesque harbor and yacht club; on the isthmus, Manguinhos, the commercial center; while at the heart of the peninsula is Armação, which offers the most for tourists. Here you will find the cobbled street of Rua das Pedras, the peninsula’s cultural hub. An array of sophisticated restaurants, designer shops, even art galleries, and a lively nightlife scene with some of the best nightclubs in the world run this street towards Orla Bardot, the town’s pretty beachfront promenade.