When you first see Rio de Janeiro, you’ll be so wowed by its nature, beaches and nightlife around every corner, you’ll never think people living here ever want to leave. Well, the grass is always greener elsewhere. So, where do the Cariocas go for a break? Usually to Arraial do Cabo, a small stronghold of winding streets that all seem to end at a beach. Here are the best things to see and do in this coastal town.
Overlooking a broad white-sand beach and a vodka-clear bay where yachts rock gently, this popular cocktail bar terrace is a plum spot for a sundowner. The drinks are as good as it gets in Arraial – with a huge range of standards, from gins and martinis to mojitos and margaritas, as well as local caipirinhas made with exotic Brazilian fruits like tangy pitanga and juicy açaí. There’s food, too – from petisco bar snacks to full meals. Settle in, as you may be here some time.
This simple kerbside bar is a popular pit-stop for locals on their way to or from the beach. It’s decked out like a surfer-dude beach shack, with bamboo facing at the bar, surfboards on the walls and giant fish mobiles hanging from the ceiling. Just a few blocks from the sea, it turns out food that’s snacky but sizzlingly fresh – from prawn tempura, sushi wraps and pokes to spicy salads and a huge range of burgers made with prime cut beef.
Will Lees contributed additional reporting to this article.