Sunday, June 5, 2016

All You Need Is A Dose of Vitamin Sea

There are some pretty bangin' beaches just a few hours east of Rio de Janeiro. Don't get me wrong, Copacabana and Ipanema are pretty great, but sometimes you just want to get away and see something new. Last semester we spent a weekend in Cabo Frio and none of us could stop talking about how lovely it was, but every person here in Rio told me that Arraial do Cabo is even more beautiful. So as soon as we realized that, with a carefully planned schedule, we could rent a car and drive to Arraial do Cabo for the weekend, we knew where we were headed. 

We stayed in an AirBnB located in Pontal do Atalaia. Sometimes choosing an AirBnB (or hotel or hostel) can be a little touch and go because you don't know where the "hip" part of town is and you don't know if public transportation is reliable. Honestly, staying in Pontal do Atalaia would have sucked a little bit if we hadn't had a rented car. It wasn't within walking distance to any restaurants or beaches and we waited a solid minutes for a taxi when we were going out to dinner oner night. Luckily, we had a car, so being in Pontal do Atalaia was no problem for us this time around, but I wouldn't choose it if I were to go by bus. 

We spent the our first day laying on the Prainhas do Pontal do Atalaia. The Cariocas were right-- Arraial do Cabo has some beautiful freakin' beaches. Our schedule consisted of swimming, sunning, and snacking. All. Day.

Prainha do Pontal do Atalaia

On our second day, we took a boat tour all around Arraial do Cabo. I really, really, really wanted to see the Gruta Azul, so I specifically looked for a tour that took us there. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that the tours only took us past Gruta Azul and no one actually stopped there. Which I guess I could have figured out if I had actually looked through Google Images more carefully, but I hadn't. 

Our tour did take us to many other lovely places and we were even lucky enough to see some sea turtles. Yassss. We also did some beach gymnastics which earned us many stares, and laughs, from those on the beach-- as if that doesn't happen enough. 

After our tour was over, we had to race back to our car in order to make it back to Rio in time to return the car without incurring any late fees. We returned the car one minute early-- how is that for planning?

So, do the gringos agree with the cariocas? Is Arraial do Cabo actually more beautiful than Cabo Frio? I can't speak for all of Cabo Frio because I only saw one small part. But I can compare what I experienced. I would have to say yes, this gringa does agree. Arraial do Cabo gets my stamp of approval, hands down, and bragging rights that it is more beautiful than Cabo Frio.

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