I know, it’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy traveling! So, without further ado, here is my most recent journey. Top 3 side trips from Rio De Janeiro:

1. Buzios.

Dubbed as “the hamptons of Brasil”, Buzios was by far my favorite city in Brasil. It’s a small, charming fishing village, filled with lovely boutiques and has an incredibly nightlife. Only a 2.5 hour bus ride from Rio, Buzios is easy to get to, and definitely worth the trip. I highly recommend staying at Pousada Abracadabra or Casa Brancas (they are sister hotels and you can use the facilities at both hotels). Rent a buggy for the day and visit the 25 beaches in the area.

1. Buzios sunset.

2. View from pool deck at Hotel Casa Brancas.

3. Our buggy from the 1970s for R$150/day.

2. Ilha Grande.

If you’re the nature loving type, Ilha Grande (prounced Ill-la granja) is the perfect getaway for you. Ilha Grande is a 1 hour boat ride from Angra Dos Reis, which is a 2.5 hour bus ride from Rio. The island is beautiful and has no cars or ATMS, so make sure you bring enough cash. Best thing we did on the trip was to rent a speed boat for a day (~$100 pp) with 3 other couples to tour the entire island. You can only see the entire island with a speed boat, so don’t bother with a slowboat. We went swimming, snorkeling and had a delicious lunch. If you visit Brasil, you MUST order Muqueca (fish or seafood stew w/ coconut milk), which I tried for the first time on this island.

4. The entire island was pretty much a tropical rainforest!

5. Saw a turtle snorkeling at this beach

6. Pousada Sankay, our mini-resort.

3. Florianopolis.

If you’re sick of secluded relaxation, head on over to Florianopolis (locals call it Floripa). An easy 2 hour flight from Rio, Floripa is known as “the St. Tropez of Brasil”. It is a well developed island that has over 40 beaches. If you’re looking to “ball out”, rent one of the mansions in Jurere Internacionale, where all the rich Brasilians and international celebrities stay. The day and nightlife in Floripa is incredible, however, you have to pay a hefty price to party. Some clubs cost $300 cover for men. But hey, you’re only in Floripa once!

7. Club P-12 was well worth the hefty price.

8. Rent a bed for the day and relax!