Itacoatiara Beach

Niterói (476,000 inhabitants) is a city in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nicknamed "The Smile City" (Cidade Sorriso), it is just a short ferry ride from downtown Rio across Guanabara Bay. In fact you may encounter plenty of reasons to smile about: many beautiful beaches (within the bay or facing the open ocean), historic forts and a world-class museum. Besides, Niteroi is schedule to become in a near future the place with the largest number of works from renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer - second only to the entire Brazilian capital, Brasilia.

Get in

Sunset in Camboinhas Beach.
Sossego, due to its hard access it is one of the most secluded beaches in Niterói.

By boat

The ferry between Rio and Niteroi is a pleasant and affordable trip. It takes between 10 and 20 minutes to cross the bay, depending on the fare for a slow or fast boat from adjoining terminals at Praça XV.

By car or bus

From Rio you just drive through the longest bridge in Brazil, the Ponte Rio-Niterói; just like the name says it connects both cities. It´s 13 km (8 mi) in length and there is a toll of R$ 3,20 (you pay 1 way only, coming from Rio).

If you are coming from Búzios or Cabo Frio you take the highway called "Via-lagos".

Get around

On Saturdays and Sundays the "Linha Turismo" (Tourism Line) operates on schedule leaving the Arariboia Square (@ the Fery Station) at 10AM, 12:30PM and 2:30PM and making 7 different stops along Niteroi's main attractions from downtown to the Fortress (R$10 for a round-trip all day hop in and out ticket). To get to the Oceanic Area you'd better have a car, otherwise take a municipal bus at the Bus Terminal next to the Ferry Station. Look for the specific Beach name sign on the bus(30~40~50 minutes ride from downtown to Piratininga/Camboinhas ~ Itacoatiara ~ Itaipu respectively ).


Itapuca Rock, Museum and Corcovado Mountain across the bay


Niterói has a wonderful unique view of Rio and one of the state's most beautiful beaches, Itacoatiara, which can be reached by bus number 38. It is considered a surfer's paradise (actually it takes part of a world circuit of Surfer's Competition). Expect a young and beautiful crowd, have a snack at one of the healthy cabana-bars along the shore or yet, take trails to climb the mountains and watch a uniquely crazy sport: "Rock Surfing". Not further from here you can find the "lost in time" Itaipu Beach, a fishermen's colony surrounded by sand dunes, a lagoon, a canal, a white church on a hill and some colonial era ruins. It is probably one of the best sunsets you can see over Rio's shoreline (Copacabana, Ipanema & Barra on the horizon). Also worthwhile is a visit to next door Camboinhas Beach (it's easier and faster to hire a fisherman's boat to cross the canal than driving around the lagoon to get there). Other beaches include: Piratininga, Prainha (cliff diving from the Whale Rock) and Sossego, all on the Atlantic side. Boa Viagem, Inga, Icarai, São Francisco, Charitas, Jurujuba (fishermen village, not proper for bathing)and Adao & Eva, all along the Bay starting at downtown and ending at the Fortress.


View from the Parque da Cidade (City Park) in Niterói, start off point to the hang-gliding jump that lands on the beach sand down bellow.

Meanwhile in Downtown (Centro), the Plaza Shopping is the largest shopping mall in town and is conveniently located across from the ferry Station (Estacao das barcas). Here you will find basically all the stores that you would find in any mall in nearby Rio de Janeiro. Niteroi Shopping is also a mall in downtown (Rua da Conceicao). Even though this is not at the same level of Plaza Shopping is a landmark, very easy to find, since it is the tallest round building you can see.


Souvenirs from Niteroi, like T-shirts and magnets, can be bought at the Tourist Information Office. There's a cabin located right at the ferry station exit. Here you can get brochures, maps and tourist tram schedule also. If you go to São Francisco neighborhood the main office is located to your left right after the tunnel and before you reach the beach.


All restaurants are reasonable priced compared to American and European standards, all are highly recommended.


Try the Brazilian Caipirinha made with Kiwi, Passion Fruit or some exotic tropical fruit at Familia Paludo, a restaurant (painted Red) located in São Francisco Beach. Have a Coconut Water at any beach-stand and enjoy a cold Brazilian Beer or Chopp (Draft) anywhere with a view. Relax and Smile! This is Niteroi !


Although this is a small city there are several options when thinking about staying overnight.

Go next

Routes through Niterói

Angra dos Reis Rio de Janeiro  S  N  São Gonçalo Cariacica

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, August 17, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.