Popular with vacationing cariocas (residents of Rio de Janeiro), surfers, and divers, Cabo Frio, Brazil, may not be as glamorous as neighboring Búzios, but long stretches of sand, lagoons, and traditional Brazilian restaurants make it a worthwhile stop. Visitors can snorkel or surf at Praia das Dunas or head over to the idyllic Ilha do Japonês, a short trip from the mainland. Nearby Barrio Passagem features colonial architecture and an old church (circa 1700); and Arraial do Cabo offers stunning beaches and a cobalt-blue lake. Naerby Forte de São Mateus offers an excellent view of the Praia do Forte beach.
Like many seaside towns in Brazil, Cabo Frio has a fascinating mix of history as well as natural beauty. One of the most popular districts is the Barrio Passagem (Passagem neighborhood), where the city of Cabo Frio started to develop after the town of Passagem was officially founded by Portuguese settlers in 1615. Portuguese architecture is predominant throughout this quaint district, which gives it that “colonial feeling”. There are several churches and forts from the 17th century.
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