Beaches of Pontal do Atalaia in Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Arraial do Cabo

Arraial do Cabo, 28 miles (45km) east of Saquarema, is surrounded by gleaming white sand dunes and offers breathtaking beaches without half the touristy fuss of neighboring Búzios. Arraial is home to a working fishing port, Porto do Forno, which lends it a welcoming working-class demeanor. Some of the best beaches – pristine swaths of gorgeous sand and bright-green waters – are within an easy 15-minute stroll of the downtown bus station, while others are just a short boat ride away. Arraial is a renowned diving destination, and it’s also a good place to observe humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), whose migration routes pass directly offshore.

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