The peninsula that Buzios is located on is known for being relatively dry and breezy. While it is green, it is not the lush thick jungle foliage that you see even slightly into the interior or down the coast.
There are lots of short hearty shrubs, lots of cactus and knotted trees. If you walk off the path, be careful because many of these have thorns and sharp points, but it is usually worth the effort to get unique vantage points where nobody else goes.
The unique foliage can be easily seen in the middle to town, without going into the hillsides. Like these ones pictured in Praça Eucenuco Monnoco, the hearty growth is everywhere.
I believe it may be an artist's gallery, but every time I walked by it was closed and had no definitive information posted. However from the outside, it very much looks like a surreal mixture of humor, art and down to earth oddities.
The artist(s) has several dozen random highly colored statues, sculptures and creations on display for all to see as they walk by. They are on the roof, the balcony, the front entry, even in the adjacent little park space. It is like a scene taken out of a fairly tail or children's book.
Things in Brazil happen slowly and that is particularly true in Buzios. But one thing that always happens a bit too quickly is the rapid fall of the sun, appearance of those lush colors in the sky then the disappearance beyond the horizon.
As you are walking around on the west side of the peninsula (Orla Bardot or my favorite place is along Avenida José Bento Ribeiro Dantas - centro), keep an eye open for where a good place would be to sit and take the sunset.
Get there about 30 minutes early and relax. Most people will not be paying attention to the time and will be running around trying to get any good table at the last minute. But thankfully you'll already have one.
Buzios is a peninsula, with beaches all around (26 I think!), suitable for all the tastes, except for those who like cold water - we don't.
So, in the few days we spent there, we tried several places, all reasonably warm (considering that we were in winter) and, with ease, visited all the peninsula.
You can tour the beaches yourself, in you car and following the map. Or, you can take a escuna (boat) tour that takes you to a 3-hour ride to the 5 or 6 most famous beaches. There are several escuna tours options, available in the front desk of your hostel/hotel.
The one we took was the Queen Lory. It was nice, it took us to beaches Canto, Joao Fernandes, Joao Fernandinho, Tartaruga and Virgens, making stops in Joao Fernandes and Tartaruga for some swimming.
Besides, during the cruise you are invited fruits, drinks and other snacks and samba is played in order to give it a party environment! The escuna was also equipped with all implements necessary to get in the sea and swim safely for around 15 minutes.
One the most well known sights of Buzios is the bronze statues of the three fisherman of Buzios. Always hard at work these fisherman are a reminder of the fishing roots of this once rustic village. In the mornings during low tide you actually walk right out and join the fisherman in their work and towards the evening then water will reach up to their knees. Although I cant quite explain why but the Fisherman of Buzios stand as one of my favorite sites, perhaps I just like seeing people at work.
The charm of Buzios is as plentiful as the endless cobble stones that make up the quaint pedestrian only streets of this former fishing village turned tourist trap. Shops galore abound from pharmacies to high end clothing shops filled with pure unaldulterated junk. But apparently people must actually buy the junk they hawk because they are still in business. The charm is in the many different restaurants that will clamor for your business. Much like the restaurants of the Latin Quarter in Paris the restaurants compete for your business with budget minded set menus and smiling faces inviting you to come in. But nothing quite beats spending a evening on one of the benches facing the harbor and twinkling lights of Buzios, specifically the bench withe bronze statue of Bridget Bardot for company. She has still got it....
For those who crave the solitude of a private beach and are game for a bit of adventure this tip is for you. During my exploration of Buzios I stumbled across this amazing beach and had it to myself for several days. It takes a bit of exploring to find it but if your up for it you can follow my tips and experience your own beach! Simply follow the coastline west of the town of Buzios, it will take you on a road that will go up a steep hill. You will be able to see a island from the top of this hill, continue following the coastline and you will catch a glimpse of the private beach below. Follow the road until it curves past a house built on the hillside. Continuing past that house look carefully at the bushes and shrubs on your left and you might see a small opening. Beyond that opening is a hidden path that will take you down the hill and to the beach! It's worth the effort!
The beaches of Buzios are much like the beaches of Europe, full of people and lacking in sand and space. However there are many different beaches in Buzios to explore and every beach is different in its own way. From sprawling beaches to beaches partially hidden in coves there will be a new beach to explore on every day of your trip. Like many of the Brazilian beaches they are crowded so get a map of the beaches from your hotel and explore as many of the beaches as you can. Whether you prefer lots of beach action or solitude you will surely find a beach that suits your needs!
(This description sounds complex, but there really is only one road to the beach, and this is it.) If you start your walk from the Rua das Pedras, you continue toward the Bridget Bardot statue, past the last shops, up a cobblestone path hill, through the little chapel grounds, and you will see an angel statue that is the landmark that you have almost arrived at Praia Azedinha (little salty beach). Continue down the dirt road until you hit the beach, a small cove (with hopefully few people). I spent countless days here, getting suntan, watching the sunset, watching people, the incoming and outgoing of vendors selling hammocks, juice and fruit, the influx of tourists on taxiboats, etc. It's an intimate beach surrounded by quiet Portuguese homes, sunwashed white with navy blue and mustard yellow trim. Outstanding as one of the best beaches in Brazil, with a bullet.
If you go to the Bridget Bardot statue, or even just walk along Rua das Pedras (the main street in the center of town), you will find not only flyers posted, but vendors trying to sell you a boat excursion. These packages usually cost around $35-60 per person, and include lunch and a boat tour of the beaches and islands in Buzios. You will be on a boat with anywhere from 10 to 30 people and taken all around, stopping for 1/2 hour here and there to dive. Drinks are available (not inlcuded in the price) and usually the boat will stop for lunch. After lunch, the boat stops at a crowded touristy beach where lots of vendors are selling anything from shells to lobster, to fried cheese. This is an all day excursion and is well worth the money. Bring a camera (the boats are generally safe in that people don't steal) and BRING SUNBLOCK. I can't express this more. You will be in the sun all day, and you will need sunblock. Other things to bring: sunglasses, diving shorts (for jumping off the second level of the boat). maybe flip flops for the hot sandy beaches and walking off the boat into the water to access that beach.
Right in the heart of Buzios is the Evangelic Church which was inaugurated in 1963. For me it was a bit out of place since it firstly was locked and secondly surrounded by bars, restaurants and night clubs. Obviously the church was being build before Brigitte arrived at these shores :-)
One of the best ways to explore Buzios and the island surrounding it is by schooner. Bahian style schooners operate from the main pier close to the town centre and depending on duration you will pay anything between R$ 15 to R$ 50.
The fishermen at Armação Beach are bronze sculptures by artist Christina Motta, which seem to have their own life, seeing them for the first time you would imagine that there are actually three fishermen pulling nets from the sea.
The monument of Brigid Bardeau can be found along the beach promenade. Her arrival made this little sleepy fishing village famous in the 1960's and since not only local but also international tourists venture to this beach resort town of Rio State. Today she overlooks the bay and enjoys the splendor of Buzios every day.