Straddling a spit of sand between a gorgeous lagoon and the open Atlantic, and crowned by a beautiful white church, Saquarema is a laid-back little town 100km east of Rio. Polluting industries are forbidden in the municipality; the waters are clean, and fish and shrimp are abundant.
Touted as the surfing capital of Brazil, Saquarema hosts world-class competitions every year and draws a steady stream of surf devotees to its two long main beaches, Praia Itaúna and Praia da Vila. Its unmarred shoreline also attracts sport-fishing enthusiasts and sun worshippers. Even so, the town remains less touristy than neighboring coastal resorts such as Búzios, making it an agreeable, off-the-beaten-track spot to kick back for a day or two.