The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil

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The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil

The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil

The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil

Experience

A colossal country that is almost a continent in size, Brazil’s long coastline has a wealth of incredible beaches for visitors to enjoy and amazing almost year-round warm weather. Whether it is the pristine sands of Bahia in the northeast or the famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro; you’re sure to never leave disappointed with the surf, sea and sands that greet you.

If you’re in Rio de Janeiro then there are numerous beach options both in the city and its surroundings for you to choose from. Paraty and Ilha Grande to the west are popular choices while Buzios to the east of the city is an equally attractive destination.

For a quieter, more laidback (and cheaper) option that is as yet relatively unknown to foreigners, Arraial do Cabo is an amazing place to spend a couple of lazy days on the beach and, with some of the best beaches in the whole of Brazil; it’s definitely worth stopping by!

Lying just under three hours to the east of Rio, this tiny beach town’s stunning beaches are popular with Brazilian and Argentinian tourists who come here to enjoy the sun and the deserted sands that line Arraial do Cabo’s shores and as such you are unlikely to find much English spoken here.

One of the best beaches that lie right next to the town is the delightful Praia do Forno which is surrounded by forests and is only accessible by a short trail over a hilltop. Here you’ll find a lovely view of the beach below you and the beautiful blues of the waters curve gently alongside its golden sands. With a few small cafes and drink stands dotted about you can happily spend the whole day here sipping on caipirinhas.

Praia Grande is another fantastic beach to visit and it stretches off into the distance for a remarkable twenty-three kilometres! Wandering along the beach you will almost certainly be by yourself and it’s a very peaceful place to amble along contentedly. The slice nearest to town has some great seafood restaurants for you to check out and the welcoming locals are more than happy for you to join in with their games of fresco ball, petequa and futevolei.

While numerous amazing beaches are accessible by foot, boat tours to some of the surrounding beaches are a popular thing to do and everyday tour companies drop people off at the sparkling white sands of Praia da Ilha do Farol among others. A protected beach, its dazzlingly bright sands contrast spectacularly with the vivid turquoise waters that border it and it’s a lovely place to spend some time.

After that, the boat takes you on a short trip before it’s time for another stunning and untouched beach where you can soak up the sun or snorkel in the pristine waters. On board, there’s a festive atmosphere as popular Brazilian music plays and crew members pass around with shrimp skewers and freshly made caipirinhas.

Away from the boat tours and beaches there are some lovely trails for visitors to explore in the hills and dunes surrounding Arraial do Cabo and within ten minutes you can find yourself in a deserted and pristine landscape.

On top of all this, Arraial do Cabo’s secluded bays and inlets mean that it is a haven to a plethora of marine species and the scuba diving here is ranked among the best in Brazil.

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SEE – Photos & Videos

WSE Travel - The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil - Praia do Forno has some small cafes and stands for you to buy caipirinhas at

Praia do Forno has some small cafes and stands for you to buy caipirinhas at

WSE Travel - The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil - Praia Grande stretches away almost endlessly into the distance (1)

Praia Grande stretches away almost endlessly into the distance

WSE Travel - The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil - Stretching for twenty-three kilometres, Praia Grande in Arraial do Cabo is deserted for large parts of the beach (1)

Stretching for twenty-three kilometres, Praia Grande in Arraial do Cabo is deserted for large parts of the beach

WSE Travel - The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil - The pearly sandy are the perfect place to kick back and relax

The pearly sandy are the perfect place to kick back and relax

WSE Travel - The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil - The pristine turquoise waters are lovely to swim and relax in (1)

The pristine turquoise waters are lovely to swim and relax in

WSE Travel - The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil - A protected beach, Praia da Ihla do Farol is rated one of the best beaches in Brazil

A protected beach, Praia da Ihla do Farol is rated one of the best beaches in Brazil

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GO – Getting There

From Rio de Janeiro there are a number of ways that you can get to Arraial do Cabo. While there is a small airport nearby, buses in Brazil are so comfortable that it is a cheaper and indeed more relaxing experience to go with the bus. Depending on what time of day you go, tickets range from 50 to 75 Brazilian Reais (so 12 – 19 dollars). The journey takes around 2.5/3 hours.
Another option is to rent a car so that you can stop off at some of the other small towns that you’ll find scattered along the coast.

WSE Travel - The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil - Map

The Beautiful Beaches of Arraial do Cabo, Brazil – Map

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Do – Activities & Attractions

A laidback beach town with a relaxed and unpretentious vibe to it, Arraial do Cabo is a quiet place that has some great restaurants though not much in the way of nightlife.
Despite its small stature, the town has a lot going for it although its fantastic beaches are its undoubted highlight and, with so many to choose from; you’ll have your time cut out trying to fit them all in.

Taking the boat tour to some of the beaches on the nearby islands is a great way to see a few of them in one go and the boat trip around the bay and nearby islands really show off the picturesque nature of the place.

With a number of fantastic dive sites just off the shore, Arraial do Cabo attracts a lot of divers to the area and it is well worth taking a two-day course to get your dive credentials if you have the time.

The surrounding hills and dunes have lots of great trails for outdoor lovers to explore and surfers will also find a couple of nice spots to take to the waves.

If you’re looking for a more lively time in the evening then head to nearby Cabo Frio which has a lot more nightlife to it. Buzios is around an hour away by bus and is much more touristy and lively in comparison. A very popular tourist destination, Buzios has some brilliant beaches but is a lot busier and more expensive.

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Stay – Accommodation

There are lots of cheap but decent accommodation options available to you in Arraial do Cabo. Expect to pay around 150-200 Reais for a nice double room with breakfast included. Most pousadas will be pretty quiet and laidback.

Have a look around beforehand and you’ll definitely find cheaper options such as the Queen Hostel which has beds for around 40 Reais a night.

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Eat – Restaurants

As it’s so close to the beach Arraial do Cabo has loads of great ice cream shops for you to dig into and the Acai is particularly refreshing here. Brazilian ice cream shops have loads of different flavours on offer and you top them off with any assortment of candy which makes it doubly delicious!

Along the beachfront, at Praia Grande, there are some great restaurants that serve up some lovely seafood dishes. Just one street back from the ocean you’ll find lots of cheaper options that serve up the usual array of traditional Brazilian meals.

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Time – Seasonality & Schedules

While Arraial do Cabo generally has great weather, it is better to go in the summer months if possible as you are then almost certainly guaranteed resplendent sunshine. This does mean however that it might be a bit more crowded in comparison with other times of the year.
The Brazilian winter which runs from June to August sees temperatures dip a bit and that means you may miss out on the optimum beach weather of the rest of the year. Temperatures still range between 17 and 23 degrees however so it may still be worth visiting if you’re in the area.

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Safety – Possible risks

A very safe place to visit, just make sure that you keep an eye on your belongings at the beach and everything should be fine.

Please Note: Travel inherently comes with an element of risk (just like crossing the road does). You are putting yourself in elements that are unfamiliar and foreign to your usual lifestyle and with that, become more susceptible to fall victim those who try to play off those unfamiliar to their local scams. There are also potential dangers in the environments to which you may not be accustomed to.

Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.

Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk, and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).

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Pay – How much does it cost?

Very cheap to visit in comparison with other more touristy destinations in Brazil, Arraial do Cabo has lots of stunning beaches which are free to visit and the transport to the town and the accommodation and dining options are cheaper than in Buzios and Ihla Grande for example.

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Responsible Travel – Best Practices

Brazilians are usually very interested in meeting foreigners and are very keen to help out if you ever run into any trouble. Just be polite, try and learn a few words of Portuguese and you should be fine!

And it should go without saying, please remember to take your rubbish/trash with you when leaving the beaches. There’s nothing worse than a disrespectful tourist leaving empty food packets and drink containers on the sand.

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Reality Check – Be Aware

The beaches are absolutely incredible in the sunshine but unsurprisingly don’t look like much when the sun isn’t shining – try and judge the weather as best as possible when you visit! While they are heavenly to visit there isn’t much shade so make sure you bring sun cream.
Have a great time – they’re well worth the effort!

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JOIN US! WSE Travel Packages

This sounds like quite the adventure, right? We thought so too! Though we realize it can be pretty intimidating to get out there into the world on your own, especially when travelling to some of these off the beaten path locations. We love it when our readers give it a shot and try it for themselves! In fact, please leave us feedback if you do!! If trying something ‘this’ adventurous on your own is just a bit outside of your comfort zone, WSE Travel is here to help!

Follow this link for our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Tours – packages that are highly personalized and tailored at your request.

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Have you ever been to a city that had a really unique historical or cultural feature? Where was it and what made it so unique?

Please feel free to share your stories and thoughts in the comment section below!

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About the Author:

Currently living in Brussels, Alex´s life revolves around travel and he is constantly on the lookout for new experiences. Having studied nine languages to date, he really cares about getting to know new people, their cultures and customs. With a background in education and NGO work, Alex aims to help people develop themselves and experience new places through his travel writing for companies such as Finding Beyond.

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