Praia das Conchas - Cabo Frio

Praia das Conchas. Photo by Renata Souza.

Cabo Frio is the biggest town in the lake district with a population around 165.000. It mainly attracts Brazilian families on holiday, there are practically no gringos here. One of the reasons is that you need a car to be able to reach most of the beaches and attractions, something most foreign tourists don’t rent. It’s real easy to rent a car both in Rio and in Cabo Frio, check out Rio de Janeiro Car Rental to find out how. The car would give you access to some pristine beaches with crystal clear water as well as some other beach towns like Arraial do Cabo and Búzios.

Getting There

The easiest way is just to catch a bus from the bus station in Rio. It takes about three hours and they leave from around 5 in the morning until late in the evening. Go to 1001 to find the timetable. If you want to have information about where you can buy your bus tickets in advance (a good idea Fridays, holidays and Dec-Feb) just click Buses From Rio. How to get to and from the bus station you find out on the page Getting To and From The Bus Station in Rio.

Praia do Forte in Cabo Frio

Praia do Forte in Cabo Frio


Finding a place to stay is easy, the exception is over holidays and during high season (Dec-Feb). Arranging it before arriving is recommendable since no one will approach you at the bus station that is located pretty far away from any good places to stay.

The Beaches and Surfing

Praia do Forte is located in the town Cabo Frio. You can surf here but the main thing is the beauty of the beach and it´s big lively crowd. Further towards Arraial do Cabo it changes name to Praia do Foguete where there are good conditions for kite surfing (no schools or places to rent gear though). Another good beach is Praia das Conchas that has absolutely clean water, you need a car to get here.Praia do Peró is also only available if you have a car, it has more buildings but it’s still very clean. There is pretty good surf sometimes. At low tide you can walk to Praia das Conchas from here.

Praia Brava - Cabo Frio

Praia Brava is located about 30 minutes by car from the centre of Cabo Frio.

Shopping in Cabo Frio

There are many stores with brand clothes and others more in the budget bracket, many times a lot cheaper than Rio. The biggest attraction is the so called Rua dos Biquinis located just on the other side of the bridge close to the city center. It’s a whole shopping area with only beach wear. There are some stores with a good selection of more upscale surf fashion in the center. The best and cheapest store for board and proper surf gear is Surf City located on Avenida de Contorno about 1000 meters from Praia do Forte, the prices are excellent, the owner is a really nice guy too.

Nightlife in Cabo Frio

There are two areas worth to mention. One is over at Praia do Forte where you have many restaurants and bars – at night there is a good crowd. The other one is Boulevard Canal where you have bars, restaurants and some nightclubs located on a street facing the canal.