Arraial do Cabo, 45km east of Saquarema, is surrounded by gleaming white sand dunes and offers all the beauty of Buzios with half the fuss. The sign at the town entrance proclaims that this is where the sun spends the winter, ' and indeed, it's easy to feel that this little town at the end of the peninsula is a charmed world unto itself.
Arraial is home to a working fishing port, Porto do Forno, which lends it a welcoming working-class demeanor. Funny little lighthouse statues at intersections around town also add a touch of charm. 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 good place to observe humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and several other marine mammal species. Since 1999, scientists at the Projeto Baleias e Golfinhos de Arraial (Arraial Whale and Dolphin Project) have been studying the local whales and their migration routes, which pass ¬directly offshore
The climate in Arraial do Cabo is hot and wet, with average annual temperatures of 25ºC in summer from December through to March, and ranging from 17ºC to 23ºC in winter (from June to September).
How to get there
Roads: from the City of Rio de Janeiro, take BR-101 to the City of Rio Bonito; and from there take RJ-124, known as Via Lagos, to São Pedro da Aldeia (stretch with tolls in both directions). When arriving at the roundabout in São Cristóvão, take RJ-140, and soon the signs will indicate the access to Arraial do Cabo.