My son didn’t make many requests for the time he spent with us during a recent visit. He wanted to eat good churrasco, see some of our local town, and spend some time at a few good beaches.
Good beaches you say? We know just the place.
This is Praia do Forno in Arraial do Cabo. It’s located just about an hour south of the famous Armação dos Búzios, and just two hours drive from Rio de Janeiro.
The town of Arrail do Cabo is a small and tangled town which happens to have some of what we believe are the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. The southern currents which make their way around this peninsula are really quite cold, but they bring crystal clear water. It is an excellent place for snorkeling and scuba diving. It is estimated that there are up to eighty eight shipwrecks located in these waters, thanks to an active smuggling industry back in days gone by.
This beach in particular is our favorite of ours.
If you come by car, find parking at the marina at the end of Rua Vera Cruz. As you leave your car and walk back towards town, take a look at the trail to your right, just outside the marina gates. It’s paved with flat stones (part of it anyway) and curves to the right up through the trees and over the hill.
You’ll walk about a hundred yards or so. Make sure to stop at the top and take in the view. It’s incredible.
Down on the other side of the hill is Praia do Forno (oven beach). The white sands and clear bluish-green waters are a sight to see.
We were there during a Saturday in September. The weather was nicely warm, the water chilly but swimable, and there were no crowds. We shared the beach with maybe twenty other people total, including a few small children. The crowds get a little bigger during the summer season (December through February), but never get as bad as the more easily reached beaches.
This beach is home to a couple of kiosks which serve good food and cold drinks at completely reasonable prices. There are plastic beach chairs with umbrellas for your use, and you can rent snorkeling gear by the hour. No need to lug all your gear over the hill with you. All we bring with us is sunscreen, a thin beach wrap to cover up with, and to wipe the sand off with later, and our hats. The rest is already there waiting for us.
This is a sheltered cove, so there are no big waves at all. The tallest we saw were about 20″, and only when a boat happened to throw a wake our way. There are loads of fish to see, especially towards the sides of the cove near the rocks. We saw small rays, puffer fish, and many others.
If you’re a scuba diver, it would be well worth it to spend a whole week in the area. There are boats available for trips by the day or the hour which can be found near the marina, and some incredible scenery around here. We’re looking forward to coming back to this town and taking a boat ride to the Gruta Azul (Blue Grotto).
For actual beach relaxation time, with our feet in the sand and beautiful water to swim in, this is a favorite of ours.
On the map: Click here to see this location on our Google Map.
There are more photos in the gallery below. Enjoy!