How to travel from São Paulo to Búzios and Arraial do Cabo (direct or with stops)

How to travel from São Paulo to Búzios and Arraial do Cabo (direct or with stops)

International tourism

Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia, Arraial do Cabo

Sao Paulo to Búzios and Arraial do Cabo by car

Avoiding flying? Take the car. The charm of Buzios and the stunning sea of Cable camp are 8 hours by road from São Paulo. See how to make the trip from São Paulo to Búzios or Arraial do Cabo the safest way, and how to organize stops in the River, at Rio-Santos and on Saw with the greatest possible advantage:

  • Sao Paulo to Buzios or Arraial do Cabo direct
    • The path, step by step
    • How to avoid the Red Line?
    • How many days in Búzios and Arraial do Cabo?
    • Buzios + Arraial do Cabo Tours
    • Where to stay in Buzios
    • Where to stay in Arraial do Cabo
  • With a stop in Rio de Janeiro (on the way or back)
  • With return by Rio-Santos
  • With stop at Serra (on the way or on the way back)
  • Is it worth renting a car to travel?

São Paulo to Buzios and Arraial do Cabo direct

The path, step by step

São Paulo is 600 km from Búzios and 590 km from Arraial do Cabo.

There are 8 hours of travel. Making three little steps to stretch your legs, it takes just over 9 hours of travel. If you leave São Paulo early, you arrive in Búzios or Arraial do Cabo in the middle of the afternoon.

The road is completely duplicated until São Pedro da Aldeia. There will be tolls at Ayrton Senna, Carvalho Pinto, Dutra, Rio-Niterói Bridge and Via Lagos.

1. Leave São Paulo on SP 070 (Ayrton Senna + Carvalho Pinto) and follow until BR 116 (Dutra)

2. Follow Dutra until the exit for Linha Vermelha in the city of Rio de Janeiro

3. Continue on the Red Line and continue on the Rio-Niterói Bridge

4. Follow Niterói-Manilha (BR 101). Exit at Rio Bonito to take Via Lagos

5. At the end of Via Lagos, in São Pedro da Aldeia:

  • Continue on RJ 140 to Cabo Frio and Arraial do Cabo
  • Take the RJ 106 exit to the Búzios exit

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How many days in Búzios and Arraial do Cabo?

From São Paulo to Búzios by car: Ferradurinha beach, Búzios

Ferradurinha Beach, Buzios

If you settle for a stroll along all the beaches, 1 day in each city it may be enough. (But hope for sunshine on that one day, otherwise it will be bad on Instagram.)

We recommend 4 nights as an ideal minimum stay. In this case, set up a base in Búzios and take a day out for a boat trip in Arraial do Cabo (see details here).

To explore the beaches with some calm, stay 3 to 5 nights in Buzios, complementing with 2 nights in Arraial do Cabo in the middle of the week (see details here).

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Buzios + Arraial do Cabo Tours

3 days (4 nights)

Set up base in Búzios. Sleep 4 nights to have 3 days free to stroll.

On the day of arrival, check in at the hotel and then go for a walk on the Orla Bardot.

  • Day 1: use the water taxi to enjoy the beaches of Azeda + Azedinha and João Fernandes + João Fernandinho. Have lunch at João Fernandes. Watch the sunset at Praia da Tartaruga.
  • Day 2: enjoy the beaches of Ferradurinha and Geribá. Have lunch and stay until sunset in Porto da Barra.
  • Day 3: take a full boat trip in Arraial do Cabo (including Praia do Forno and Pontal do Atalaia). Leave with the tour already purchased from Búzios, to pass the health barrier of Arraial.

More days

  • Reserve 2 nights in Arraial do Cabo – midweek, off holidays. One day take the boat trip. The next day, enjoy your favorite beach from the previous day (Praia do Forno or Prainhas do Pontal da Atalaia).
  • Spend the remaining days in Búzios, exploring the beaches. If you interrupt your stay to sleep in the middle of the week in Arraial do Cabo, when you return choose a hostel in a different location than the first.

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Where to stay in Buzios

Sao Paulo to Búzios by car: hotel Vila da Santa

Hotel Vila da Santa, Praia dos Ossos

  • See the pandemic numbers in Buzios
  • Find out what’s open in Buzios
  • Check out our Buzios Guide

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Where to stay in Arraial do Cabo

From São Paulo to Arraial do Cabo by car: Pousada da Prainha

Pousada da Prainha

  • See the pandemic numbers in Cabo Frio and Arraial do Cabo
  • Find out what’s open in Arraial do Cabo
  • Check out our Arraial do Cabo Guide

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Stopping in Rio (on the way or on the way back)

Stop in Rio de Janeiro between São Paulo and Búzios by car - Boulevard Olímpico

Mural Ethnicities on Olympic Boulevard

Distances (Center)
  • From Sao Paulo: 435 km (5:30 am)
  • To Arraial do Cabo: 170 km (2h50)
  • To Búzios: 180 km (3h)
  • Angra dos Reis (center) 160 km (2h30):
  • To Paraty: 190 km (4h10)
Minimum stay:

Prainha Rio de Janeiro

West Zone beaches: to enjoy on the way back, on the way to Rio-Santos

As a technical stop, 1 night. Leaving São Paulo early, you can even do some tourism. See the script The most profitable 1-day stop in Rio.

Staying 2 nights you will have a free day to stroll around Cristo Redentor and Pão de Açúcar or explore the new attractions of Boulevard Olímpico.

With 3 to 4 nights, you can also combine visits to attractions with a little beach.

If you want to stop at return to continue traveling through Rio-Santos, it is worth stopping 2 or 3 nights in the Barra da Tijuca region. See the Parada na Barra route, on the way to Rio-Santos.

Hotels in Rio with easy parking:

Prodigy Santos Dumont

Breakfast at the Prodigy Santos Dumont hotel

center

Prodigy Santos Dumont: in a mall next to Santos Dumont airport,
overlooking the Guanabara Bay and access to the VLT, which leads to the attractions of the Center. Parking in the mall pocket: R $ 72 per day.

→ Novotel Santos Dumont: another option not to deviate from the route. For dinner, call an Uber. Parking in the building: R $ 39 per day.

Largo do Machado

Petit Rio: great cost x benefit. Relatively central, two blocks from Largo do Machado (subway and boarding point for the official vans to Cristo Redentor). Parking in front: R $ 30 per day.

Botafogo

Ibis Styles Botafogo: good cost x benefit. In the bohemian area and in front of the subway. Underground parking: R $ 25 per day.

Copacabana

Windsor Martinique: excellent cost-benefit ratio at Posto 5 in Copacabana, half a block from the beach. Big card but with great service. Underground parking: R $ 25 per day.

Ipanema

Own Ipanema Visconti: 1 block from the beach and Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz (subway), in the best spot in Ipanema. Parking in the building: R $ 30 per day.

Leblon

Promenade Palladium: comfortable, two blocks from the beach and Rua Dias Ferreira. Parking in the building: R $ 45 per day.

  • See the pandemic numbers in Rio de Janeiro
  • Find out what’s open in Rio de Janeiro
  • Check out our Rio de Janeiro Guide

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With return by Rio-Santos

Do you have time? Return to São Paulo by the coast.

Leave Rio de Janeiro via Av. Brazil. Be patient, because traffic jams are constant. Rio-Santos starts at the end of the avenue.

(There is a clearer path, through Dutra and Arco Metropolitano, via Seropédica. But the Arco Metropolitano is a deserted and dangerous road, it is not worth taking the risk.)

Choice of two to three bases to stay for a few days. See the difference between each of them, the recommended minimum stay and where to stay:

  • Angra dos Reis
  • Big Island
  • Paraty
  • Ubatuba
  • Beautiful island
  • San Sebastian

Angra dos Reis

Coronavirus and tourism in Brazil: Praia do Dentista, Angra dos Reis

Dentist Beach, Gipóia Island

Distances:

Angra dos Reis is an extensive municipality. In addition, part of what we usually call ‘Angra’ (like the location of Club Med Rio das Pedras) is in Mangaratiba. The chosen accommodation location will shorten or lengthen your travel.

To Club Med Rio das Pedras (north of the center):

  • From Buzios: 280 km (4h)
  • From Arraial do Cabo: 270 km (3h50)
  • From Rio de Janeiro (Ipanema): 120 km (1h50)

To Fasano Angra (south of the center):

  • From Buzios: 360 km (5h30)
  • From Arraial do Cabo: 350 km (5h20)
  • From Rio de Janeiro (Ipanema): 200 km (3h20)
Minimum stay:

Stay at a minimum 2 nights in Angra, to have a day to take a boat trip (if São Pedro allows).

But the ideal is to stay at least 3 nights at a resort, resting and / or enjoying the hotel’s activities.

Where to stay in the Angra dos Reis region:

Club Med Rio das Pedras – all-inclusive (the closest to Rio and with the best structure)

Vila Galé Eco Resort Angra dos Reis – all-inclusive (calm beach, great pool, the most affordable resort in the region)

Fasano Angra (total luxury in Frade’s condo)

  • See the pandemic numbers in Angra dos Reis
  • Find out what’s open in Buzios

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Big Island

Lopes Mendes beach, llha Grande

Lopes Mendes Beach, Ilha Grande

Distances:

Because of the pandemic, it is forbidden to embark at Conceição do Jacareí pier, which is the closest to Ilha Grande. You will need to go to the Santa Luzia pier, in the center of Angra dos Reis. There are parking lots by the pier that charge R $ 30 per day.

The Angra-Abraão ferry departs at 3:30 pm (Saturday and Sunday, 1:30 pm) and costs R $ 17. Other boats (schooners and flex-boats) depart hourly, with prices between R $ 45 and R $ 60.

  • From Buzios: 320 km (4h40)
  • From Arraial do Cabo: 310 km (4h30)
  • From Rio de Janeiro (Ipanema): 160 km (2h30)
Minimum stay:

Stay at least 3 nights, to have two free days to do two tours (for example: Lopes Mendes on one day, Meia volta à ilha on the other).

With more days, you can do more focused trails and boat trips.

Where to stay in Ilha Grande:

Pousada Naturalia (charming surroundings, foot in the sand in the right corner of the beach, split air)

Ruby Lodge (old Mara & Claude, foot in the sand, renovated, split air)

Asalem (luxury islet, on Abraãozinho beach)

Pousada Casablanca (near the arrival pier, cute environment)

Pousada Tagomago (with panoramic sea views – but uphill to reach)

Pousada Casa Grande (small farm in the middle of the village)

  • See the pandemic numbers in Angra dos Reis
  • Find out what’s open in Buzios

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Paraty

Paraty requires contract to adhere to protocols

Paraty view from the pier

Distances:
  • From Buzios: 420 km (6h20)
  • From Arraial do Cabo: 410 km (6h10)
  • From Rio de Janeiro (Ipanema): 260 km (4h10)
  • From Angra dos Reis (center): 100 km (1h40)
  • To São Paulo: 300 km (4h)
Minimum stay:

With 2 nights you have a free day to go boating.

With more days, you can also enjoy the beaches of Trindade and make the Caminho do Ouro circuit of stills and waterfalls.

Where to stay in Paraty:

Literary Inn (the most comfortable in the historic center)

Pousada Pardieiro (independent colonial houses in the middle of a tropical garden)

Urquijo Art (tiny, cozy)

Turquoise House (very charming, next to the pier)

Maris Paraty (clean environments, praised service, close to the historic center)

Selina Paraty (large rooms, space for co-work, close to the historic center)

See too:

→ Our full selection of where to stay in Paraty

  • See the pandemic numbers in Paraty
  • Find out what’s open in Paraty
  • Check out our Paraty Guide

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Ubatuba

Uncrowded beaches: Puruba, Ubatuba

Puruba Beach, Ubatuba

Distances:

Ubatuba-center:

  • From Angra dos Reis (center): 170 km (2h30)
  • From Paraty: 70 km (1h)
  • To São Paulo: 230 km (3h20)
Minimum stay:

Staying 2 nights you will have, if the weather permits, two days to stroll.

In the coming you can enter the beautiful beach of Puruba (which belongs to a state park) and then go back down the road for lunch in the fishing village of Picinguaba.

On the second day, go to Praia do Prumirim and take a boat trip to Prumirim Island.

With more days, visit more beaches, like the tripe Praia do Félix + Praia das Conchas, the trail to Bonete Beach (stretch to the Cedro Beach) or the boat trip Anchieta Island.

Where to stay in Ubatuba:

Lui Guest House (caprice a block and a half from Itamambuca beach)

Pousada Todas as Luas (the most structured in Itamambuca)

Pousada Bawa (in the condominium of Praia do Félix, 50 meters from the sand)

Nook Tangara (apartments with kitchenettes, in the condominium of Praia do Prumirim)

Trakai Suites (brand new in Itamambuca; the structure is of containers)

  • See the pandemic numbers in Ubatuba
  • Find out what’s open in Ubatuba

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Beautiful island

Feiticeira Beach, Ilhabela

Feiticeira Beach, Ilhabela

Distances:

Ferries to Ilhabela depart from downtown São Sebastião. From the center of Ubatuba, Rio-Santos is very slow, with many urban stretches (and electronic bumps).

It is recommended to buy the crossing by appointment on the Dersa. The crossing takes 20 minutes.

Distances when boarding the ferry in São Sebastião:

  • From Angra dos Reis (center): 240 km (4h30)
  • From Paraty: 140 km (3h)
  • From Ubatuba (center): 75 km (1h50)
  • To São Paulo: 200 km (3h)
Minimum stay:

Stay at least 2 nights. You will have a day and a half to stroll.

On the day of arrival, spend the afternoon at a beach club until sunset: Prainha do Julião (south), Balena Club (Siriúba, north), Tangará (Jabaquara, north), Comandante Adriano (Curral beach, south).

The next day, take a walk to the wild beach of Castelhanos, on the east coast of the island, or enjoy other small beaches facing the canal.

Where to stay in Ilhabela:

Ilhabela Pousada (swimming pool with view, large outdoor areas, close to Siriúba beach)

Porto Pacuíba (one of the most traditional on the island, you can walk to the beaches of Viana and Siriúba)

Vila Kebaya (in the village, close to restaurants; some suites with hydro)

Vellin Ponta do Pequeah (good cost x benefit, between the ferry and the village)

Barra do Piúva (near the ferry, you can dive from the hotel deck)

Villa Galiileu (charming, close to Feiticeira beach)

Fort Rock (airy, close to Feiticeira beach)

DPNY (the most popular, walk in the sand at Curral beach – recommended only from Monday to Thursday)

  • See the pandemic numbers in Ilhabela
  • Find out what’s open in Ilhabela

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San Sebastian

Camburi Beach, Rio-Santos, São Sebastião

Camburi Beach

Distances:

The most desired beaches are south of the center.

Maresias

  • From Angra dos Reis (center): 270 km (5h10)
  • From Paraty: 170 km (3h30)
  • From Ubatuba (center): 100 km (2h30)
  • From the arrival of Ilhabela ferries: 27 km (40 min.)
  • To São Paulo: 170 km (3h10)

Camburi

  • From Angra dos Reis (center): 285 km (5:30 am)
  • From Paraty: 185 km (3h50)
  • From Ubatuba (center): 115 km (2h10)
  • From the arrival of the Ilhabela ferries: 52 km (1h)
  • To São Paulo: 155 km (2h50)

Barra do Saí

  • From Angra dos Reis (center): 290 km (5h35)
  • From Paraty: 190 km (3h50)
  • From Ubatuba (center): 120 km (2h15)
  • From the arrival of the Ilhabela ferries: 57 km (1h05)
  • To São Paulo: 155 km (2h50)

Juqueí

  • From Angra dos Reis (center): 300 km (5:45 am)
  • From Paraty: 200 km (4h05)
  • From Ubatuba (center): 125 km (2h25)
  • From the arrival of the Ilhabela ferries: 62 km (1h15)
  • To São Paulo: 145 km (2h40)
Minimum stay:

If you come from close by (Ubatuba or Ilhabela), you can even pass just 1 night and already enjoy the chosen beach even before check-in time at the inn.

With more days you can visit the nearby beaches (they are all very close!) and decide which one you will choose for your next trip.

Where to stay in São Sebastião:

Pousada Canto do Camburi (charming and cozy in Camburi)

Royal ship (luxury foot in the sand in Camburi)

Juquehy La Plage (large rooms, pool facing the sea in Juqueí)

Amora Boutique Hotel (great pool, extensive beachfront in Maresias)

Pousada Tiê Sahy (nice pool and restaurant in Barra do Saí)

Sahy village (chalets with equipped kitchen in Barra do Saí)

Tap-Tap Island (at the top of the hill, overlooking Toque-Toque Grande)

Blue Maria (elegant, 50 meters from Baleia beach)

→ See also houses for rent in São Sebastião

  • See the pandemic numbers in São Sebastião
  • Find out what’s open in São Sebastião

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With stop at Serra Fluminense (on the way or on the way back)

Don’t you want to go from São Paulo to the Lakes Region, or are you interested in a stop in Rio de Janeiro? Then consider making a stop at Serra Fluminense.

Choose one of these bases:

  • Penedo
  • Viscount of Mauá
  • Petropolis

Penedo

Distances:

Penedo is just 7 km from BR 116 (Via Dutra). Of the three stops suggested, it is the one that offers the least deviation from the path.

  • From Sao Paulo: 280 km (3h20)
  • To Rio de Janeiro: (Ipanema): 185 km (2h40)
  • To Arraial do Cabo: 330 km (4h40)
  • To Búzios: 340 km (4h50)
Minimum stay:

Choosing Penedo only as a technical stop, you can only stay 1 night no problem. Visit the Finnish Museum, browse the shops, dine on trout or try the Scandinavian menu at the Little Sweden restaurant.

With 2 nights you will have a day to stroll in the lower part of the Itatiaia National Park (open from Wednesday to Sunday), where are the Blue Lake and several waterfalls.

Where to stay in Penedo:

Little Sweden (most traditional hotel in the city, a self-catering village, with restaurant)

Le Garden (the most elegant in the center)

Villa Luna (country setting, good pool)

Britannia Hotel (good structure, English theme)

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Viscount of Mauá

Distances:

Visconde de Mauá is 30 km from BR 116 (Via Dutra), by a steep and tortuous road, but paved. This final stretch is covered in 45 minutes.

  • From Sao Paulo: 300 km (4h20)
  • To Rio de Janeiro: (Ipanema): 210 km (3h20)
  • To Arraial do Cabo: 350 km (5h20)
  • To Búzios: 360 km (5h30)
Minimum stay:

Don’t run by. If you choose to stop in Mauá, 2 to 3 nights. This way, you will have a whole day or two to go in search of the waterfalls.

On the first day, enjoy the Santa Clara waterfalls, Poço da Maromba and Escorrega.

If you have a second day to walk, take the 3 km trail that runs through 9 waterfalls at Sítio Cachoeiras do Alcantilado.

Where to stay in Visconde de Mauá:

Green I want to see you (cozy and sophisticated)

Realli Chalets (comfort with contemporary footprint)

Chalets Luz da Montanha (rustic setting, at Alameda Gastronômica de Maringá)

Pousada Magia da Montanha (huts with Jacuzzi on the road to the waterfalls)

  • See the pandemic numbers in Resende
  • Find out what’s open in Resende

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Petropolis

Pousada Tankamana Petrópolis

Pousada Tankamana, Petrópolis

Distances:

The safest way to Petrópolis is to follow Dutra (BR 116) and take the Red Line, as if entering Rio de Janeiro. Just before Ilha do Governador there will be an exit for BR 040 (Washington Luiz). The ascent to Petrópolis will make you deviate 50 km from the direct path to Búzios.

(Google Maps will indicate BR 493 – the Metropolitan Arch – as the best way. It is not. It is a deserted and unsafe road, where many robberies are recorded.)

  • From Sao Paulo: 460 km (6h10)
  • To Rio de Janeiro: (Ipanema): 75 km (1h10)
  • Arraial do Cabo: 220 km (3h30)
  • To Búzios: 230 km (3h40)
Minimum stay:

When the Imperial Museum reopens, Petrópolis will be an interesting technical stop for 1 night. Arriving in the early afternoon, you can visit the Museum, amend with a tour at Cervejaria Bohemia, dine well and continue your trip the next morning.

(In the meantime, see this rounded technical stop solution in Rio de Janeiro.)

In the meantime, think about stopping at least 2 nights to enjoy one of the cool inns around the city.

Where to stay in Petrópolis:

Empire Manor (the most elegant in the Center)

Monte Imperial (mountain chalet atmosphere, but close to the historic center)

Pousada da Alcobaça (charm, tranquility and the food of Dona Laura Góes, in Corrêas)

Parador Santarém (infinity pool by the lake, in Itaipava)

Pousada Arcádia (great location to wander around Itaipava stores)

Pousada Tankamana (mountain luxury in the Cuiabá Valley)

  • See the pandemic numbers in Petrópolis
  • Find out what’s open in Petrópolis
  • Check out our Petrópolis Guide

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