Cabo Frio

Beach excitement on the Costa do Sol
Sand dunes and holiday fun
The fort of São Mateus

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Cabo Frio

The charm of the sea breeze

Home to nine of Brazil’s best beaches. Stop by in Cabo Frio on your South America cruise holiday to Brazil, and pick up a stylish new outfit for the beach.

Situated on the coast of southern Brazil, the port of Cabo Frio is a recent addition to the cruise destinations offered by MSC Cruises. Offering a classic taste of Brazilian life, Cabo Frio is a place full of history, great shopping facilities – especially beachwear – and truly iconic beaches, full of fashionable sun worshippers.

Originally named Santa Helena de Cabo Frio (‘Cape Cold’) by the Portuguese who founded it in 1615, it owes its name to the chilly submarine currents feeding into the coastal waters from the Antarctic. As a tourist destination, the port is certainly one of the best cruise stopovers you’re likely to find.

Next to a wealth of local history and places of archaeological interest, Cabo Frio is also home to nine of Brazil’s best beaches, of which the seemingly endless Forte Beach (named after its ancient defensive fort) is probably the best known. So you’ll want to look your best, and a trip to pick up a little something in the fashionable boutiques on Gamboa Street (known as the ‘beachwear nirvana’), is a must before you hit the beach.

Then later, after you’ve had a thoroughly delicious lounge about in the sun, topping up your tan in your stylish new beachwear, you can head over to one of the colourful beachfront restaurants to try the local speciality, the thoroughly delicious and widely renowned shrimp pasta.

Must see places in Cabo Frio

  • Forte beach

    Forte beach

  • Cabo Frio beach

    Cabo Frio beach

  • A typical boat

    A typical boat

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South Brazil

Past Christ the Redeemer
Past Christ the Redeemer

In Brazil’s south-east, the three largest cities – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte – form a triangle around which the economy pivots.

All are worth visiting, but the must-sees during your cruise to Brazil are Rio, which really is as beautiful as it seems in the pictures, and the ravishing colonial relic of Paraty which lies between here and booming São Paulo. North of here, the city of Belo Horizonte sits at the heart of Minas Gerais, where the old Portuguese towns of Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and Diamantina drip with colonial history.

The south, encompassing the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, boasts the spectacular Iguaçu Falls on the border with Argentina – one of the great natural wonders of South America. From Curitiba the scenic Serra Verde Express snakes down to the coast, where you can chill out on Ilha do Mel or beach-hop around Florianópolis.

Despite its proximity to the city, São Paulo’s 400km coast has sometimes been overlooked in favour of more glamorous Rio. North-east, towards the border with Rio state, the area is developing rapidly, but still offers great contrasts, ranging from long, wide stretches of sand at the edge of a coastal plain to idyllic-looking coves beneath a mountainous backdrop.