Cabo Frio is a Brazilian municipality in Rio de Janeiro state, founded by the Portuguese in the early 1600’s. The town is about 2 hours from the city of Rio de Janeiro (The Uber ride was about $80 US) It is a laid back and a slower paced area in comparison to Rio de Janeiro. In our opinion, this makes it a great alternative to Rio de Janeiro city for couples and sunbathers. Some of the tourist attractions in the city are the Feliciano Sodré bridge, the church of São Benedito, and the Passagem neighborhood. One side of the city has a beautiful canal where boats leave from regularly. Many boats along the canal offer day tours that sail around the city and out to sea. The canal has many restaurant choices as well as beautiful views from the Nossa Senhora da Guia chapel at Morro da Guia.
On the other side of the city, there is Praia da Forte (or Forte Beach) which has pristine water and clean sandy beaches that you can walk barefooted on. The waves are calm but the water is a little cold. Being that we went during the winter off-season, this was expected. The upside of this was that we missed all the peak season crowds; which made the beach more enjoyable. (Peak season is Nov-Feb) This beach combines the infrastructure of a city beach (like restaurants, shops, banks, toilets, showers) with the quality of a more remote one and has a Caribbean feel to it. We never experienced cheating, rip offs, rudeness, or unpleasant surprises while there. This area is still frequented mostly by Brazilians and other South Americans, so it is a good place to visit if you are an off the beaten path traveler. This urban beach city is a place for you to relax and explore at the same time. The night life is relaxing and the city caters more to those that would like to enjoy live music and small crowds. Again we went during off-peak season so it may be different during the Brazilian summer months. Many locals suggested the neighboring Buzios area for upscale night life.
In our opinion this is a place for couples and people wanting to relax in a low-key environment. The atmosphere is amazing and is one of the better Brazilian beaches we have been to for those seeking a tranquil vacation.