Brazil Travel

Rio de Janeiro
Side-trips Overview

A beach in Buzios, near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil There are many exciting excursions not far from Rio that would make great day or weekend side trips. Because of Brazil's strong tradition of culture and art and its 7,000 miles of beautiful coastline, the options of places to explore are plentiful. From the charming historic towns of Minas Gerais to the palm fringed waters of Angra dos Reis, each region and town has its own unique natural beauty and cultural offerings that will make your trip to Brazil memorable for a lifetime.

Armacao de Buzios is a great road trip from Rio. It is a 112-mile drive along the Bonito-Araruama freeway from Rio that leads to 16 beautiful beaches on the peninsula. Here you may find Brazilian celebrities relaxing on the beach and locals hanging out at the beachside bars and pousadas.

Because of its unique combination of natural beauty and colonial architecture, the town of Paraty is one of the highlights of the Costa Verde region. Enjoy long stretches of untouched beaches and nearby hillsides covered by the lush Atlantic rainforest as well as the beautifully preserved beachside town.

Angra dos Reis
This small fishing village is known as the starting off point to an island paradise surrounded by 365 islands and over 2,000 beaches. You could easily spend a week or more exploring the nearby waterfalls, tropical forests, mountains and coastline.

The beautiful baroque village of Tiradentes, the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil
The state of Minas Gerais
Because of the vast mineral wealth brought by the mining boom of the 18th century, this region was transformed into a rich baroque gem filled with beautifully preserved cathedrals and colonial mansions. Minas Gerais is an excellent place to view fine masterworks of Brazil's Golden Age.
Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais, is a bustling city with layers of history found in its architecture. A mix of modern skyscrapers, colonial mansions and baroque cathedrals make up the third largest city in Brazil.

Nearby is Ouro Preto, one of the loveliest of the historic cities. The 18th century baroque and colonial architecture is so beautifully preserved you'll feel as if you've traveled back in time to the glorious mining days. There are also several small historic towns that house world-renowned baroque masterworks, including Tiradentes, Diamantina, Congohnas, Sao Joao del Rei, and Mariana.
Belo Horizonte Further Information
Ouro Preto Further Information
Tiradentes Further Information
Diamantina Further Information
Congonhas Further Information
San Joao del Rei Further Information
Mariano Further Information

Just on the other side of Rio's Guanabara Bay is Niteroi, a popular day excursion because of Niemeyer's famous Museu de Art Contemporanea and the nearby beaches and colonial forts.

Located in the mountains about two hours east of Rio is Petropolis, a beautiful Imperial city that will give you a glimpse of what life was like in the 19th century, especially for the Royal Family. The journey is one of the highlights, with the drive taking you through the lush forest of Serra de Orgoas.

Cabo Frio
This lovely beach town is located 84 miles from Rio and is a popular escape for people looking for a calm refuge from the bustling cities nearby. Just three hours by car from Rio this relaxed coastal town has great beaches that are surrounded by mountains and beachfront homes.

Each region in Brazil has its own unique atmosphere and legacy that can be felt in its natural beauty, architecture, and historic landmarks. Not far from Rio you'll find everything from remote, virgin beaches to lively urban hot spots and storybook palaces left behind from the prosperity of the colonial era.

Map of Rio Nearby Sights
Map of Rio de Janeiro Nearby Sights

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