Visitors to Búzios  can either take or leave its cosmopolitan trappings, but no one can resist its beaches. There are close to 30 of them, ranging in size from tiny isolated coves to mile-long sweeps of sand, and each flaunting its own distinctive attributes and personality.
The beaches closest to the northern part of the isthmus at Manguinhos are Praia de Manguinhos and Praia Rasa, where high winds and low waves attract windsurfers and sailboats as well as families with kids.
Going towards Armação, Praia dos Amores and Praia das Virgens are unspoiled, quite deserted, and framed by lush vegetation. Praia da Tartaruga’s limpid blue waters are the warmest on the peninsula and ideal for snorkeling.
While the beaches in Armação—Praia do Canto and Praia da Armação—are pretty to contemplate, they are too polluted for swimming. Picturesque Praia dos Ossos, with the 18th-century Igreja de Sant’Ana gazing out over its calm seas, attracts sailors and windsurfers but also isn’t recommended for bathing.
Farther north, the pristine beaches of Azeda and Azedinha are framed by exuberant foliage and famed for their unofficial topless sunbathing. The clear blue waters are good for snorkeling, as are those of neighboring João Fernandes and João Fernandinho. The beach at João Fernandes is wide and also quite trendy, with numerous beach bars (many run by Argentineans) that serve fresh lobster and seafood. João Fernandinho is smaller and less crowded, with enticing natural pools for bathing.
On the easternmost tip of the peninsula are the more isolated beaches of Praia Brava, a wide beach whose rough waves attract surfers; Praia Olho de Boi, a pretty little beach favored by nudists; and Praia do Forno, a tranquil beach with cool but calm waters and natural pools whose lack of crowds is ensured by its difficult access.
On the southern end of the peninsula, going towards the mainland, Praia da Ferradura is more built up, but its calm waters in a sheltered cove are ideal for families with young children as well as fans of sailing and windsurfing. Also pretty, and more isolated, is Praia da Ferradurinha, which is good for diving.
Closest to the mainland, Praia de Geribá is a long sweeping beach that is beautiful but also quite urbanized. It’s popular with surfer boys and partying twenty-somethings. However, if you feel like being pampered to the hilt, with everything from giant parasols to fancy drinks, this is the place to come. Much more rustic and unspoiled are Praia dos Tucuns, Praia José Gonçalves, and Praia das Caravelas .
You can get to most of Búzios ’s beaches easily by walking, or else by taking a minivan or a taxi.