Wedged between the Atlantic Ocean and the Araruama Lagoon, Cabo Frio is a popular beachside destination east of Rio de Janeiro. It boasts beautiful beaches with a water temperature that is slightly colder than its neighbours, hence the name “Cape Cold”.
Things to do in Cabo Frio
Stroll through Cabo Frio’s historic barrio of Passagem, which is home to atmospheric colonial buildings and the whitewashed Capela de São Benedito. Soak up views across the Atlantic Ocean from the Forte São Mateus, which has protected the region’s brazilwood trade since the 17th century. Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Carlos Scliar Atelier House to learn about the life and work of this renowned local artist.
For a day at the beach, head to Praia das Dunas or Praia do Forte, which combines to form one long stretch of sand on the Atlantic Ocean side of Cabo Frio. Backed by palm trees, they provide a popular setting for swimming and sunbathing and offer good surf conditions in the winter months. Once you’ve built up an appetite, there are a cluster of food shacks at the northern end serving pizza and Brazilian dishes.
If you’re looking for a quieter beach, make the short journey north to Praia das Conchas, a picture-perfect crescent of sand that overlooks crystal clear waters. You can rent a kayak to explore the coastline at your leisure, see what’s below the water’s surface while snorkelling or do absolutely nothing beneath a beach umbrella.
Getting around Cabo Frio
Cabo Frio Airport is a 20-minute drive from the centre of Cabo Frio and has flights to destinations across Brazil. Buses connect from Rio de Janeiro to Cabo Frio and travel throughout the town itself. Renting a car is the most convenient way of exploring the surrounding coastline.