In March this year I was lucky enough to experience the beauty of Brazil’s Emerald coast line, visiting Buzios, Paraty and Ilhe Grande which are all in easy reach of both Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo (approx 3hrs from Rio and 4 hours from Sao Paulo by road). The Emerald coast provides travellers a chance to visit Brazil’s famous beaches, visit quaint, colonial, Portuguese towns and explore the natural beauty of the tropical rainforest which covers the island of Ilhe Grande (large island).
My first stop Buzios, is a great place to escape from the bustling city of Rio de Janeiro for some fresh sea air. In 1964 the village developed its fame following a visit from Bridgette Bardot and surrounded by no less than twenty six beaches, the area soon became known as the Brazilian equivalent to the glamorous French town of St Tropez. The town has grown over the years to include glamorous boutiques and hotels but it still manages to retain a certain quintessential charm that is emphasized by the cobbled streets, sea front pousadas (Villa D’Este, Casas Brancas) and the selection of Brazilian and international restaurants and beach front bars. The shimmering and beautiful clear waters make up a stunning coastline, ideal for scuba diving or sailing trips to discover the smaller, magical off shore islands. With approximately thirty five days of rain a year and palm fringed walkways Buzios is well worth a visit.
ParatyParaty was anther memorable stop off point on my trip. Paraty is a UNESCO world heritage site with cobblestone streets dating back to Portuguese rule. When the gold was mined in the mountains it was brought down to the port on the “Gold Trail” and shipped back to Europe. Over the centuries the buildings of Paraty have been preserved so today they look much the same as they did when Paraty was a bustling centre of trade in the 16th and 17th centuries. The town has an idyllic location overlooking the Atlantic ocean and is home to a fantastic selection of restaurants, art stores, museums and small characterful hotels and pousadas. During my stay in the area I was lucky enough to spend two nights at the charming Pousada Pincinguaba, located 30 minutes drive from Paraty town in a small quiet fishing village. The pousada overlooks a small cove and is a fantastic place for a traditional Brazilian experience.