Arraial do Cabo Brazil

Arraial do Cabo is a coastal town in the state of Rio de Janeiro in southeastern Brazil. It’s known for white-sand beaches like Grande, Forno and Pontal do Atalaia. Offshore are shipwreck dive sites and the Gruta Azul (Blue Grotto) cave. On nearby Cabo Frio Island, the ruins of Cabo Frio Lighthouse date to 1836. Gentle green mountains frame white-sand beaches and clear water in Arraial do Cabo, whose fishing village roots help set the sleepy pace of life. Find locals dining on fresh-caught seafood by the beach, or strolling winding streets that all seem to lead to the shore. Arraial do Cabo is surrounded by gleaming white sand dunes and offers breathtaking beaches without half the touristy fuss of neighboring Búzios.

Some of the best beaches – pristine swaths of gorgeous sand and bright-green waters – are within an easy 15-minute stroll of the downtown bus station, while others are just a short boat ride away. Arraial is a renowned diving destination, and it’s also a good place to observe humpback whales, whose migration routes pass directly offshore. Find all of your beach essentials here for your Arraial do Cabo Brazil vacation.

Arraial do Cabo Weather – When to Visit

Strictly speaking, there is no ‘best’ time of the year to visit Arraial do Cabo. It really depends on what you want out of your trip. The temperature stays fairly warm all year round and the days are mostly sunny. Because the country is in the southern hemisphere, summer falls between December and January while winter runs from June through August.

Summer is the busiest time of year. Things start to heat up in October and by December, temperatures can reach 104 F. Usually it rains in the afternoons after a really hot day. Only a strong sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat will protect fair skin from the sun’s rays. The humidity is also quite uncomfortable. The spring is considered the most enjoyable time of year Spring temperatures range from 70-90 F. The humidity is quite low but the days are very sunny.

Anytime is perfect to come to Arraial do Cabo. If you like hot weather, visit in the summer, or if sweating is not your favorite sport then try a winter vacation.

Best Arraial do Cabo Beaches

Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia, Arraial do Cabo Brazil, Top 20 Beach Destinations 2020, World's best beaches
Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia

The staircase that gives access to Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia seems to lead to paradise. From the top of the hill, what you see is a paradisiacal setting. It is difficult not to be mesmerized by the view at the top of the stairs, from where you can see the white sand, the colorful sea and the green still preserved in the neighboring Ilha do Farol. The descent is steep and there are many steps. Nothing that a stop for photos does not help.

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Farol Beach, Arraial do Cabo Brazil, Top 20 Beach Destinations 2020, World's best beaches
Farol Beach

There is no sand strip in the beach because of the stones but you can find a complete infrastructure which includes car park and restaurants from where you can enjoy the sunset and see the waves clashing against the rocks that form a kind of dam, stopping the advance of the waters. The waterfront is a perfect place to watch the view and relax during the day and at night enjoy the busy nightlife in the bars.

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Forno Beach, Arraial do Cabo Brazil, Top 20 Beach Destinations 2020, World's best beaches
Forno Beach

On the site, there are several kiosks with tables and chairs available, as well as kayak, SUP boards and snorkel rental. The Beach also has a floating restaurant specializing in seafood. The sea is calm, with few low waves. Of all the beaches of Arraial, this is the one with the most pleasant water temperature, as the others are cooler.

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Brava Beach, Arraial do Cabo Brazil, Top 20 Beach Destinations 2020, World's best beaches
Brava Beach

Due to sea level this beach has almost no sand stripe left, and to reach it you'll have to go down a long stair and climb some rocks, but in the end you'll see that all effort was totally worth it. If you like adventure, nature, and beautiful sights that is a place you should go to.

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Praia Grande, Arraial do Cabo Brazil, Top 20 Beach Destinations 2020, World's best beaches
Praia Grande

The biggest beach of Arraial do Cabo, its geographical position makes it perfect for surfers, and the whiter than white sand is simply mesmerizing. It’s a beautiful beach that is not crowded and the sand is like a powder , so white and soft.

Arraial do Cabo Tours & Activities by Viator

Super Flor Boat Tour – Arraial do Cabo – Brazilian Caribbean

Included in this boat tour is the Ilha do Lighthouse Beach, Crack of Our Lady, Gorilla Stone, Meteorite Cove, Blue Cove, Pontal do Atalaia Prainhas, and Praia do Forno Cove. Visit here for more information on this Super Flor Boat Tour.

Boat Trip in Arraial do Cabo by Arraial Viagens

On this tour you will go to the meeting point in Arraial do Cabo and depart on a panoramic route of about 4 hours on board a boat. You will stop at Praia do Farol, Pratal do Atalaia and at Praia do Forno, where there is no landing, only time to swim around the boat. The boat has a bar and snacks and drinks, bathroom, recreation equipment and snorkel mask rentals. Visit here for more information on this Boat Trip in Arraial do Cabo.

Boat Trip – Brazilian Caribbean – Valentyna Boat – Arraial do Cabo

The company Embarcação Valentyna is concerned with offering a pleasant experience to its customers, always aiming at the well-being, safety and comfort of all passengers. Visit here for more information on this Boat Trip.

Scuba Diving in Arraial do Cabo by Acqua World

The baptism dive lasts approximately 30 minutes (total time of up to 4 hours on the boat). It can be done by anyone in good health, from 10 years of age. No need to know how to swim, the person will be guided by an instructor who will drive and operate the equipment. Visit here for more information on Scuba Diving in Arraial do Cabo by Acqua World.

Arraial do Cabo: Brazilian Caribbean Without Boat

Arraial do Cabo is known as the “Brazilian Caribbean” because its landscape is an Atlantic paradise surrounded by beaches that enchant the locals and tourists who visit the place. The city gathers some of the most beautiful views of the Brazilian coast, such as dunes, restingas, lagoons, beaches and shores. It is also chosen by divers, who find the best spots in the country to practice the sport. Visit here for more information on this Brazilian Caribbean Tour.

Best Arraial do Cabo Restaurants

Astral Beach Food $11 – 30

Just superb. Delicious, fresh, inventive food, at prices far below what you pay for the average fare on the seafront. And the staff are great fun, from front of house to the chefs. They also have local craft beer. Telephone: 55 22 99982 6331 Web: Astral Beach Food

Pimenta Rosa Gastronomia $11 – 30

Excellent food and cozy atmosphere. Try the pasta with shrimp for two, which is delicious! Excellent options at reasonable prices. Friendly and very polite crew. The service is excellent and they have a nice Blues playlist playing. Telephone: 55 22 2622 3073 Web: Pimenta Rosa Gastronomia

Sol na Cozinha $11 – 30

Romantic and cozy setting and an incredible meal! World class. The starters are amazing. Try the ceviche and salmon tartare. They have a great variety of options, and awesome service. Telephone: 55 22 2622 1347 Web: Sol na Cozinha

Armazém do Camarão $11 – 30

Amazing restaurant with delicious food right on the beach of Praia Grande.
Try the Estrogonofe de Camarao 🙂 Excellent service and delicious cocktails.
Staff is very welcoming and friendly.

Bacalhau do Tuga $11 – 30

Good location with a romantic atmosphere.. Sit out on the terrace where you will have a nice view of the marina. The food is delicious and the prices are really reasonable. Telephone: 55 22 2622 1108 Web: Bacalhau do Tuga

Best Arraial do Cabo Bars

El Farol Bar

Excellent place to have a cold drink and special drinks for those who come to Arraial. They offer great drinks and live music with excellent service. Telephone: 55 22 99617 0119 Web: El Farol Bar

Chopperia Zero Grau

Great place! The draft beer is very cold and has delicious snacks at a fair price. Large portions per price. Telephone: 55 22 99833 9145 Web: Chopperia Zero Grau

Scotch Bar E Restaurante

Super cool and cozy place with delicious food, good variety, and a great selection of drinks. Great service and prices. TripAdvisor: Scotch Bar E Restaurante

Best Arraial do Cabo Hotels

28 Comments

  1. edahnewton1

    Hey, great website and wonderful information on Arraial do Cabo. I was actually doing some research aboutArraial do Cabo and beaches in this location, to explore for this summer, I am really glad I found your Arraial do Cabo guide. Having gone through all the information you have provided and the beaches highlighted in this guide, I feel a little overwhelmed lol. However, I am looking forward to spending time at Grande beach really looks good and cool to have some memorable moments at!  

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Sounds like know where you are going in Arraial do Cabo.  Please let me know if you need any additional information.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  2. evansese

    hello dear,

    What an insightful review you’ve got on Arraial do Cabo Brazil.  There are so many wonderful places to relax along the beaches, with good sounding food and interesting sights to see.  Being in a different environment is such a good way to relax.  Listen to the waves, people watch and in general enjoy your vacation.  Having some special time is important, and even if I can’t go right now, maybe soon when this virus is over.

    thanks for sharing such an insightful article have a great day…

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      You are very welcome!  Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave me comments.

      Reply
  3. Steviejohn41

    Wow! This is an amazing article that you have got here. Over the years I haven’t really had the opportunity to visit places like this so beautiful with such pretty blue water. Of course I am a photographer and so I know this location would be great for taking quality pics. I would like to experience the boat tour and have good time in one of those bars.  Sounds great!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Sounds like a visit to Arraial do Cabo is what you need for great photos, relaxation and enjoying a nice cold drink on the beach 🙂  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  4. Nicole Kalsbeek

    Oh wow that looks amazing, I never heard of this place before but damn it looks amazing. Enough places to get great food I see, including a floating restaurant and enough water fun…what about the surrounding areas of Arraial do Cabo Brazil, is there enough to do like sight seeing and shopping ?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      It is amazing Nicole!  You could take a trip to Rio de Janeiro which is a couple hours to the West.  You would have so much to do and shopping galore!

      Reply
  5. Bobbi

    Arraial do Cabo Brazil, looks amazing and I really enjoyed reading this post.  I am looking forward to visiting Brazil next summer.  Now I know exactly where to go. I found it interesting about the caves, like Gruta Azul, and they date back to 1836. Amazing.

    My favorite beach is Forno Beach with the floating restaurants, I have never been and as soon as I get my taxes back in April I I will be planning my trip. Just amazing and I will definitely put post in my favorites for when I want to review before my vacation next May.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Great Bobbi.  I am glad you enjoyed my Arraial do Cabo Brazil post.  Thanks for taking the time to leave me comments as well.

      Reply
  6. Christine

    Arraial do Cabo looks like the perfect place to be right now, just stay there and hide away. I would not even visit Rio anymore if I was there. I would be happy just to remain in Arrraial do Cabo. Such pristine beaches and azure waters! Beautiful, romantic coves. I love it!

    I have never been to Brazil, and it is definitely on my bucket list; Arraial do Cabo just got added to it 🙂

    Such a lovely place!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Great Christine.  I believe that you would like it a LOT more than Rio.  I have family that lived in Rio, and well it is just a big crowded place.  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  7. JRandZen

    Thank you for this very informative article.  The coastal town of Arraial do Cabo appears to be a great destination for a holiday.  One can surely enjoy its white-sand beaches and offshore dive sites. It would be great spending a few days and immersing in the local day-to-day life and enjoy freshly-caught seafood.  We will surely include this in our bucket list.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Great and yes it is a great vacation destination!  Thanks for visiting my Arraial do Cabo Brazil guide!

      Reply
  8. Solomon Maoba

    Hey there

    My wife and I are planning to start travelling next year should everything go as planned. It will be the time we do this so we are learning about different places to visit. We already have our favourite to visit first.

    Arraial do Cabo sounds and seems like an amazing place to visit. Brazil is obviously on our bucket list but not too sure where to go exactly. Arraial do Cabo seems like a logical sense now. It has similar features to our favourite such as white beautiful beaches and clear blue waters, warm year-round temperatures making it ideal to visit whenever, although we prefer the summer months. Truly sounds like heaven to us.

    Solomon & Selina

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      I think it would be heaven for you and your wife 🙂  I hope you can vacation to Arraial do Cabo Brazil soon.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  9. Maria

    How beautiful! I’ve wanted to visit Brazil for a few years now. The environment there is so diverse and interesting. I love the forests where I live, but truly I think I would thrive more in a tropical climate. The plants in the tropics are unmatched! I’d love to stop by the beach when I go, and Arraial do Cabo sounds wonderful. Of all those mentioned in the article, I’m most interested in Forno Beach. The floating restaurant sounds extremely luxurious, and as someone afraid of large waves, the calm, warm waters sound so relaxing. I can’t wait to visit!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Sounds like the perfect vacation destination for you Maria!  Thanks for taking the time to leave me comments.

      Reply
  10. Derek.

    Thank you for your amazing post on holidaying in Arraial do Cabo.  Your review had me captivated from the get go!  The sands looked like a dream.  There wasn’t anything left from your review, which shows me that you know it very well.  I’d even think that you’re a native of the country!  Great review that made it seem so real and very desirable.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      I wish I were a native of the country!  LOL  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations and taking the time to leave me comments.

      Reply
  11. Karin Nauber

    I just love your site. Not only have you shared tons of reviews on my favorite place—Greece—but now you have more information on my second favorite place, beaches near Rio de Janeiro.

    Oddly enough, I fell in love with the area when I saw Breaking Dawn Part One (part of the Twilight series) when Edward and Bella were first married and took their honeymoon on a secluded island off Rio.They called it Isle Esme in the movie, but in real life it is a privately owned island and not by the Cullen family!

    Anyway, your descriptions leave me wanting to visit one or all of the beaches. Preferably, a less popular one!

    I would love to explore Cabo Frio Island and see the ruins of Cabo Frio Lighthouse. As a person who loves history, I think this would be amazing. Plus, I love lighthouses! Double bonus for me.

    When I traveled to Montana a couple of years ago, I fell in love with the mountains and so the beautiful mountains surrounding the pristine beaches and clear water will be of great significance for me, too. Not to mention the beaches! I love to swim and this will be amazing!

    Thanks for helping me decide on my two years from now vacation plans (I am visiting Greece first!).

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      You are very welcome Karin!  I am glad have enjoyed visiting beach travel destinations.  I appreciate you taking the time to leave me your comments. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  12. Erika

    This looks like a beautiful place to visit. I’m in the market for a honeymoon destination. Your thorough research on the area helps make the process easier. This is definitely somewhere I would like to visit in the future. I’m always adding destinations to my travel bucket list. This is definitely going towards the top. 

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Great Erika!  I hope you have a great honeymoon where every you end up going 🙂  Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  13. Sami

    Thank you for your Beach tour article.  With world pandemic conditions as they are, these lovely descriptions may be as close to travel this year as we may get.  They surely make the area in Brazil sound wonderful.  The beautiful beaches and blue of the ocean is surely mesmerising.  

    There are so many wonderful places to relax along the beaches, with good sounding food and interesting sights to see,  Being in a different environment is such a good way to relax.  Listen to the waves, people watch and in general enjoy your vacation.  Having some special time is important, and even if I can’t go right now, maybe soon.  Thanks for the opportunity to read and view such lovely pictures.  I also appreciate the maps. They are most interesting as well.  It makes one feel that they are there for a short while.  

    While the beaches are great entertainment are there any day trips that would be fun and convenient as well?  Our party would include young adults who love the water and sand, but also some other points of interest without a great deal of travel?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Yes, this is our digital vacation for now during this pandemic.  I did list some tours and activities on the Arraial do Cabo Guide.  I guess it really depends on what you want to do.   Arraial do Cabo is characterized by its sea-view landscapes and marine life reserves. Its coasts are home to hundreds of tropical species unique in the world. The most popular attractions is the Fish Mergulho-Dive Center, where you can swim in reefs and be part of the underwater geography.  

      If you are looking for more relaxing activities, we invite you to get to know the historical side. Nossa Senhora dos Remedios Church is the city’s most emblematic architectural showcase. However, other places of interest are Estátua da atriz Flávia Alessandra in Vila Praia Grande, Cultural Center of Cabo Frio or the Américo Vespúcio Obelisk.

      Hope this helps 🙂  Please let me know if you need any additional information.  Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  14. osei kwame

    Hi,
    I am yet to experience vacation at the beech. I love the atmosphere I see when I observe it in a video but at the same time very skeptical because bad experience I have heard people sharing with respect to sharks attacking swimmers.
    From the view of the photograph shared, there are a lot of fun to enjoy apart from just swimming.
    I would love to visit this place in my life

    Reply
    1. Leahrae

      Oh boy!  I could not live without the beach!  I am a beach bum and I have been to many beaches, and I have never encountered a shark.  I did see one out in the deep water once but never close to shore.  I guess it depends on where you are going for sure.  I think you should give it a try.  You don’t know what you are missing!

      Reply

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