In addition to the Wonderful City’s most famous and popular attractions, such as Christ the Redeemer and the Copacabana beachfront, the State of Rio offers a host of other destinations for tourists to relax and soak in its natural beauty, both along the coastline and in the hilly, inland regions.
To help make your stay even more unforgettable, here is a list of interesting locations within an hour’s drive from the City of Rio, put together by Guichê Virtual:
Located on the South coast of the State and accessible via the Rio-Santos 101 highway, the historic little city of Paraty has roughly 39 thousand inhabitants, and is known for its colonial architecture and literary heritage. In addition to its cultural features, Paraty has plenty of natural beauty, including Trindade – a ‘hippy’ beach – and the Saco do Mamanguá, Brazil’s only fiord.
2- Angra dos Reis
This municipality on Rio’s coast has no less than 365 heavenly islands – that’s right, one for every day of the year! Accessible by car or by bus (leaving the Novo Rio Bus Station), the best thing to do once you arrive is to catch a boat to one of its famous beaches, most of which are dotted around the many islands. Take your pick from Lopes Mendes, on Ilha Grande (white sands and clear blue waters); Lagoa Azul (great for a dip); Praia do Dentista and Cachadaço (a rocky beach with turquoise water).
The city of Armação de Búzios (normally just called ‘Búzios’), is a peninsula resort town. A reasonably short bus ride from Rio, once there it’s easy to see why Brigitte Bardot fell in love with this charming little fishing town in the 60s, propelling the place to international popularity. Búzios boasts over 20 beaches, hotels and B&Bs, for all sorts of tastes.
4- Arraial do Cabo
One hundred and sixty kilometres from the capital, and not far from Búzios, this little piece of coastal paradise is perfect for those who enjoy a swim in crystalline waters, or boating and kayaking trips around some of Brazil’s most beautiful beaches. Particular highlights are the Praia do Farol and the Prainhas of Pontal and Atalaia.
Of all these options, this one is the nearest to the City of Rio. A mere 65 kilometres separate the two municipalities. One can easily make a day-trip of Petrópolis, and enjoy walking around its lush, peaceful streets before heading back to the capital. High up in the mountains, the ‘Imperial City’ has a much fresher, more agreeable climate than its neighbour, and offers interesting tours around its old buildings, such as palaces and the Imperial Museum, which tells an intriguing tale of Brazilian history.
With all these attractions, it makes it difficult not to want to return to Brazil, and Rio, again and again and again!
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