Búzios & Cabo Frio

10 – 29 January

Just a few hours east of Rio de Janeiro is the most exclusive holiday resort in the continent (next to Punta del Este in Uruguay). Búzios features blue and turquoise waters, fine white sandy beaches, boutique shopping, high-end restaurants, fancy bars, expensive nightclubs and countless of hotels. After an extensive search we eventually find a place to stay that has exactly two beds left and that is not quite as overpriced as the rest of the accommodation we check out. While I have been traveling off season almost my entire trip we are now facing the high season full on, including masses of holiday makers, rediculous prices (three times as expensive as the rest of the year), hostels that are fully booked and beaches packed with people.

The small but extremely lively city center of Búzios with its long promenade along the water lined with plenty of bars and restaurants is nice whereas the first few beaches we check out, that are supposed to be the prettiest ones, are a bit of a nightmare for me. I have never experienced beaches that are so incredibly busy and crowded, anywhere. Actually, I cannot even give a statement wether those beaches are nice since it is literally impossible to see them, thanks to all the parasols and sun-worshippers.

More and more often it seems to be smart to avoid the best or most beautiful places (mentioned in every tourist guide) and to focus on less popular/known spots instead, as amazing places quickly turn into ugly, unpleasant and dirty ones with the help of large crowds. Sadly, this is something I realized various times in the past years, not only during this trip but on previous ones as well. I have a great passion for traveling but I deeply love our planet as well and it hurts me to see how tourism can destroy our lovely home and playground Earth. Thanks to my professional background in tourism though, I also learned that there are ways to make tourism less destructive but more sustainable and environmentally friendly (from a natural as well as a cultural perspective). After this year on the road, my urge to focus on sustainable tourism and to maintain the beauty of our planet is even stronger and I hope to find a way to contribute and to play my part in the positive development of the tourism industry, personally and professionally.

We end up discovering some less popular and more beautiful beaches in Búzios, as well as in Cabo Frio and Arraial do Cabo (just a few kilometers further south) and enjoy some very relaxing days in paradise…

The only times this paradise feeling is interrupted are some nights in Arraial do Cabo as we decide to stay on a campground in order to break even with our investment in a tent. Compared to all the other tents ours looks like a very sad joke and clearly results in some pitiful smiles on people’s faces. After some nights, we get kind of used to sleeping on the hard ground though and start appreciating our little mobile home without wifi, far away from the next city, pollution and large crowds of people…

 

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