Arraial do Cabo is a small city (population approximately 26.000), located in the Lakes Region of the state of Rio de Janeiro, near Búzios. It is recognized as the best diving spot in the state, with clear turquoise water beaches.
You can reach Arraial do Cabo from the state capital, Rio de Janeiro. Rio's the site of Galeão/Tom Jobim International Airport, which receives lots of international flights. You can rent a car in the airport and drive for about two hours to Arraial do Cabo, through the following the roads: Ponte Rio-Niterói, RJ 104, RJ 106, RJ 132 and RJ 102.
Another way of going from Rio to Arraial do Cabo is getting a bus in Rodoviária Novo Rio (Rio's tourism bus terminal). Auto Viação 1001 has several daily departures to Arraial do Cabo. The one-way ticket costs about R$ 65, as of February 2015.
Recently the Cabo Frio airport, located near Arraial do Cabo began to receive flights from Belo Horizonte's Pampulha and Rio de Janeiro's Santos Dumont airports. The flights are operated by Trip Airlines.
If you travel to Arraial do Cabo, you can use the opportunity to visit its famous neighbours Búzios and Cabo Frio and also small towns like Araruama, Saquarema, Iguaba and São Pedro da Aldeia. Most supermarkets, shops and dive schools are located on the high street Rua Leonel Mouro Brizola. The 1001 bus stops here behind a gas station.
The beaches are stunning. Praia do Grande is largest but the water can be cold compared to elsewhere in Brasil. Praia do Forno is to the north of the town. Praia dos Anjos has a marina and a couple of restaurants. Praia Brava is located on the other side of the peninsula, it is accessed via steep crumbling steps and a short cliff walk. If driving there is space to park 5 cars on the road. It is often deserted but for some surfers. The water here is cold.
There are no significant sites in the town except for two local churches: Igreja Sagrado Coração de Jesus Igreja Nossa Senhora dos Remédios
There are several dive schools located on the main street; some speak english.
- Sand' Mar, Rua Epitácio Pessoa, 21 L 02 - Praia Grande, ☏ . First and most known scuba diving operator in town.
Bacalhau do Tuga..the food is perfect...the fish if banana is very good
- Hostel Villas Boas, Rua Villas Boas, 440, ☏ . Offers free Wi-Fi, pool, breakfast. Dorms at R$50.
- Pousada do Timoneiro, Avenida Getúlio Vargas, 103 - Praia Grande. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Very nice hotel. Ask for a discount if you're a certified diver.