BBC — Búzios, beaches and Caipirinhas
I arrived at Lagoon Backpackers in Búzios just over three weeks ago not knowing anything about the peninsula and town other than it was famous for its beaches.
I soon came to realise however that this was not any old resort. The beaches of Buzios are some of the best in South America while the area has a bit of an exclusive Saint-Tropez or Marbella feel to it with its designer shops, bars and high prices.
Despite this, the town centre has a lot of character particularly the main “Rua das Pedras” street which is buzzing with people in the evenings and even more so during events such as the food festival on the second weekend I was there.
Búzios is probably to Argentina what the Costa del Sol is to the UK. In fact probably 90% of tourists as well as many of the people working in shops, bars and selling empanadas on the beach are Argentines!
The closest beach on the south of peninsula, Geribá, is the largest and also has the biggest waves, making it ideal for surfing and beach sports. The nearby smaller Praia of Ferradurinha might not be the ideal place for a game of beach volleyball but is perfectly sheltered from the wind and a great place to spot turtles or engage in some gentle paddle boarding.
João Fernandes is always popular with its calm waves, snorkling and kayaking opportunities. While you can watch the sun set at the pier of Porto Barra.
I was working at Lagoon Backpackers, located on Lake Geriba and about 5km from the town centre. A bit far you might think for a hostel which are usually located near to the town/city centre with all its amenities bars etc. However, Lagoons proximity to two of the best beaches (Ferradurinha and Geriba), combined with the excellent “Van” services which run through the night at the very reasonable price of R$2,80 mean it’s location is no negative really at all.
The hostel was opened a few years ago and is run by a really well travelled Brazilian Renan. He has created a big hostel with capacity for up to 90 guests but with really cool and friendly aatmosphere. With its large communal area and terrace it is perfect for meeting fellow travellers and sipping Caipirinhas which are given out for free every evening at 8pm.
I had to learn art of making these and if there is one thing I picked up it is that everyone has their own method and think they know best. In other words there are no precise ratios of Limón to Sugar to Cachaça to ice that you should aim for!
From my short time at the hostel I have many great memories of asados, a pizza night, groups trips to the beach and much much more (such as an excursion to the nearby Arrial do Cabo and it’s beautifully white beaches)
It was great to work alongside such a cool group of other volunteers from Argentina and Turkey! I’m gonna miss them all as well as some of the longer term guests such as Mauro who in his 40s had come on holiday outside of Argentina for the first time!
Now for my new mini adventure in Rio…