This is a tender port.
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The town itself, surrounded by hills and resembling a fishing village, has white dunes, sandbanks, lagoons, unspoiled beaches and beautiful headlands; from Pontal do Atalaia, one such headland, you can enjoy a wonderful coastal sunset.
Just above the Praia dos Anjos beach, look for the plaque commemorating Amerigo Vespucci’s landing here in 1503. Vespucci left 24 men behind to start a settlement, making Arraial one of the first European toeholds in the Americas.
Tour operators who organize dives in these waters abound – the tourist office keeps a complete list.
At Grande beach, stretching as far as the horizon in the direction of Saquarema beach, there is drift-net and you can indulge in a late-afternoon drink and a bite to eat in one of the bars and kiosks. For the more energetic travelers, there is scuba diving and a number of trails to explore, such as the one that leads to the old lighthouse. The boat trips are also unforgettable, especially the one to the Azul grotto, which stops at the Pontal do Atalaia.
Arraial is a good place to observe humpback whales.
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