We had decided to spend our last two weekends together in Rio escaping the city and experiencing more of the beauty the state of Rio de Janeiro has to offer. It was all planned out in our heads, Buzios one weekend and a return to Ilha Grande the next. Except, at the last minute we changed our minds and headed to Arraial do Cabo instead of Buzios. And my I am so glad we changed our minds at the last minute.
There were a few factors that lead to this: Arraial do Cabo was around 40 minutes closer to the city of Rio, it had more availability for accommodation and it wasn’t described as a resort destination. Oh and the fact that I had Googled Arraial do Cabo and fallen in love with the amazing turquoise waters and white beaches.
As we drove into the peninsular of Arraial do Cabo we didn’t know where to look. To both the left and right of us were gorgeous beaches and the prettiest of towns. You could say first impressions of Arraial do Cabo were good. As we picked our way through the small, twisting roads towards our pousada we instantly saw the raw attraction to this town. It certainly wasn’t touristy and it genuinely felt like we were some of the only foreigners there. We took the final turn to the pousada and as we reached the top of the road we saw it. That is the view not the pousada. The view that was in front of us was gorgeous but what made it even more special was the unexpectedness of it. It seemed to come out of no where and looked just like those pictures on Google.
Visiting Arraial do Cabo for the weekend
That view was the view we had from our pousada, we went to sleep looking at that view and we woke looking at that view. In the twenty four hours we were there I didn’t once get used to it. And that was kind of the motto to the weekend, we were greeted with surprise after surprise and never once did I get use to it.
This gorgeous town is packed full of colourful buildings, much like the favelas of Rio except this didn’t seem like a favela. This felt like a typical seaside town of Brazil, where all the houses faced the water and the colourful terracotta roofs made me question if we were in Europe. The locals were friendly and wanted to make sure you enjoyed your stay while they continued going about their business. Even if that included some kind of protest with shouting, flares and firework like bangs. Still this didn’t dampen our weekend and only fuelled our curiosity for this town.
Caminho do Sol
It is hard to pick what was the best part of the weekend but the accommodation was certainly up there. I had only booked it a few days prior to our visit and felt like I got the best deal in the world. Booking.com gave the pousada a fabulous 8.9 rating and the pictures made it look fantastic. But as always with Booking I held my breath a little until we arrived. Why? I don’t know. It was one of the best places I have ever stayed. The interior was not what I expected from outside, the pousada seemed like Narnia once we entered. The rooms were nestled among the trees with a wooden stair cases leading up the three levels of rooms. The rest of the pousada carried around this theme with little nooks and crannies that had sofas to relax on, a swimming pool, bar and restaurant.
From our room you could see right across the town, taking in all of those gorgeous colours. While from our balcony, yes we had a balcony, you could see picturesque views of the beach. And the room itself was fit for a king. I swear it was bigger than the flat we lived in for a year in London. See the video above to appreciate just how amazing it was and why the accommodation was one of the brilliant surprises of the weekend.
The second best part of the weekend was the drop dead gorgeous sunset that went straight into the ocean. I love sunsets over the ocean, the way the colours reflect off the water and how you can clearly see the sun dip below the horizon. I’ll let the photos do the talking on this one.
The third brilliant surprise of the trip was our Sunday adventure. The wind was crazy during our stay and this meant all boat trips were cancelled while we were here. This left us at a little bit of a loss for what we would do for the day. I’d read about a beautiful beach which we could walk to and along with half of the town we decided to give it a go. The first surprise came as we ascended the hill we had to walk over and looked back across the town. Cue more beautiful views. But then as we made our way over the hill the views of the beach we were walking to appeared. I had to pinch myself to check that the view was real, that that was really where we were going. This view was better than anything I’d seen on Google.
Forno beach was our choice for the day and my am I glad we bothered with the 20 minute hike to get there. Not only was it gorgeous but the wind was significantly less here and we enjoyed the perfect Brazilian beach day. I say Brazilian because it wasn’t like England where you take a towel to lie on instead you picked a table and chairs at one of the many bars and set up there for the day. With the tide in, the actual beach space was reserved for those who did carry their own chairs. We sunbathed, we swam, we ate and we drank and then reluctantly we walked back over the hill towards the car for our drive back to the city. Feeling very grateful it was Arraial do Cabo we had chosen to spend our weekend at.
Things to know
I’ve already raved about the accommodation but here is the link to it. We also ate in the restaurant there and the food was incredible.
Accommodation: Pousada Caminho do Sol R$290
We hired a car through Movida who have a store in the heart of Copacabana. They were recommend to us and I can see why. Easy to use, cheap prices and multi-language speaking staff. I booked online a few days before and we had no hassles picking up, with the car or returning.
Car Hire: Movida R$200
Have you been to Arraial do Cabo? What did you think?