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Rio do Fogo: An Incredibly Beautiful Place to Visit in Brazil

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Are you looking for a fun day trip from Natal? How about in an incredibly unique place in Brazil to visit? Well, Rio do Fogo is exactly the spot that you're looking for.


Located in the middle of the ocean, Rio do Fogo is an area of shallow, crystal-clear waters where boats come for the day for people to swim, snorkel, and relax in a little slice of paradise.


In this guide we're going to share everything you need to know for visiting this beautiful place in Brazil from how to get there, what to bring. and everything to expect while there.

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Where is Rio do Fogo?

Rio do Fogo is located 6 km off the coast of Rio Grande do Norte, in the north east of Brazil. It is an hour north of the city of Natal, in the eastern most part of the country.

where is Rio do Fogo, an incredible place to visit in Brazil

Rio do Fogo is located in the north east corner of Brazil.


Rio do Fogo: How to Reach This Beautiful Place to Visit in Brazil 

The only way to reach Rio do Fogo is by boat, which is most popularly done by booking an excursion from Natal. There are several companies that offer the excursion, and it is typically an all day tour including another attraction or two.


We're going to share our experience. While every tour company may not have an identical itinerary, this will give you a general idea of what your day will look like visiting Rio do Fogo in Brazil.


The company that we used was Hiago Passeios, and the ticket was 150 Real/person (about $30 USD).


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Rio do Fogo: A Place to Visit in Brazil by Tour- What to Expect

Rio de Fogo was an all day excursion! We're going to break down step by step what the day looked like for us.


Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

Rio do Fogo, a beautiful place in Brazil pin
Rio do Fogo, a beautiful place in Brazil pin
Rio do Fogo, a beautiful place in Brazil pin

Meeting Up for the Excursion

Tours begin at 8 am, and meet in the middle of Natal. As we didn't have a car, we arranged for them to pick us up from where we were staying. The pickups start at around 7 am, and they will let you know the night before the approximate time that they will arrive to get you. We ended u walking outside two minutes late and they left without us, so it's important that you are on time!


Luckily after calling a ton of times they agreed to turn around and get us, but it was a bit stressful, so we suggest being outside your accommodation at least 5 minutes before they tell you.


The Bus Ride to Rio do Fogo

At 8:00 everyone was finishing boarding the bus, and the excursion was about to start. We ended up leaving 15 minutes late, but that's pretty typical in South America in general.


The bus ride to Rio do Fogo from Natal took around an hour and 15 minutes, and the guide spent the beginning and the end of the ride explaining what the day was going to look like. He only spoke in Portuguese, but some guides do speak English so if you don't understand you may be able to ask afterwards for them to translate for you.


The Restaurant at Rio do Fogo Beach

The bus will bring you to Rio do Fogo Beach, a tiny beach where the boats leave from to visit the sand bar of Rio do Fogo.


Our tour went to Restaurante Oceano, which is a local restaurant on the from end of the beach. Here you'll be able to use the bathroom, put your belongings in lockers, or grab a snack for the boat ride. This is also where you'll be having lunch, and everyone orders their meals beforehand so that it is ready once you come back from Rio do Fogo.


The place was definitely a bit pricy, and it wasn't our favorite that they pretty much force you to get lunch there (otherwise you won't be able to have a real meal). However, the food was good and we got to eat right away (we'll explain more about this after).

menu at the Rio do Fogo restaurant

The Boat Ride to Rio do Fogo

Once everyone is ready they do roll call to make sure everyone is there, and they divide you into groups. This is because everyone goes on speedboats, in small groups of 8-10.

Rio do Fogo boat ride

Everyone gets in small groups to go on speed boats.

The boat ride is around 20 minutes, and go straight out into the middle of the ocean, even passing a small lighthouse. The ride was very rocky, and we got soaking wet. If you want to be drier we suggest sitting on the inside, and asking the captain to put your bag away for you.


If you happen to get sea sick, then we suggest being prepared in advance. 

Rio do Fogo light house, beautiful place to visit in Brazil
Rio do Fogo light house, beautiful place to visit in Brazil
Rio do Fogo light house, beautiful place to visit in Brazil
Rio do Fogo boat ride

An Amazing Place to Visit in Brazil: Welcome to Rio do Fogo

After a quick boat ride all of the sudden you'll start to see the water getting clearer and clearer, with large circles in the water that look like massive stones. Words can't even describe of this stunning place to visit in Brazil. It's simply unlike the rest of the waters you'll find throughout the country.

Rio do Fogo, a beautiful place to visit in Brazil

You'll have around an hour and a half to enjoy the waters at your leisure. Unlike many excursions we've done, this one really didn't feel rushed, and you had plenty of time to soak up the beauty of the place. 

Rio do Fogo, a beautiful place to visit in Brazil
Rio do Fogo, a beautiful place to visit in Brazil
Rio do Fogo, a beautiful place to visit in Brazil
Rio do Fogo, a beautiful place to visit in Brazil

One of the most fun things to do in Paraty is to visit a Cachacaria.

You'll find waiters walking around the water offering snacks and drinks. They simply take your name, and deliver whatever you want wherever you are. Drink a beer or a cocktail made inside a pineapple, or get some local foods to pick on before you go for lunch.

boats at Rio do Fogo, a beautiful place to visit in Brazil

There are boats with food and drinks at Rio do Fogo.

Photography Packages at Rio do Fogo

You'll find a ton of fish in Rio do Fogo, and one of the highlights of the excursion is getting a photo of all of the fish swarming around your body while you sit or stand in the crystal clear waters.


They capture these photos with a GoPro Dome, which allows you to get a shot both over and under the water at the same time. We actually had one with us, so decided to do it on our own! Honestly, we regretted it a bit afterwards because we have the GoPro 5, and it was much more challenging for us to get the shots we wanted.

Rio do Fogo fish, a beautiful place to visit in Brazil

The GoPro Dome allows you to capture both over and under the water in one picture.

The locals are pros, and bring food to attract the fish, and then snap away. You can certainly do it on your own if you have the equipment, or you can pay something like $15-20  USD to get the pictures taken by them.


Lunch

You'll end up getting back to the beach for about 12 pm, and they'll start serving all of the dishes. All dishes come with a buffet as an appetizer which includes salads, rice, pasta, vegetables,  and other side dishes.


You'll have an hour and a half to eat, change, and shower if you wish before going to the next place. You'll also have to settle up your bill, so we suggest doing this earlier rather than later. 


lunch at Rio do Fogo, Brazil
lunch at Rio do Fogo, Brazil

After lunch you'll then have the choice to either go to the second location, or to go on ATVS. Truthfully the ATV tour seemed like a lot of fun, but we had just gone on one the day before so we skipped this part (it's also an extra charge). The ride to the next location was around 30 minutes.


Another Epic Place to Visit in Brazil: Coca Cola Lake

If you don't want to do the ATV portion, the bus will drop the other part of the group at a small resort on a lake. What is unique about this spot is that it looks like a river of Coca Cola!


The resort has a trail of palm trees on the side, a restaurant, and souvenir shop. They also has a small slide next to the lake, but we didn't see anyone actually do it. We dipped into the lake, took some pictures, and had a few beers. This portion of the tour was around 3 hours, which we thought was a bit much to be hanging out in that one location.


If you're the adventurous type, we'd opt for the ATV option, and if you are the type that would rather relax, then you'll probably be happy to chill at the lake for the rest of the day.


Coca Cola Lake, unique place to visit in Brazil
Coca Cola Lake, unique place to visit in Brazil
Coca Cola Lake, unique place to visit in Brazil

Coca Cola Lake is a super unique place to visit in Brazil.


The Ride Back to Natal

The ride back from the Coca Cola Lake was around 1 hour, getting us back to Natal around 6pm. From the center we branched off into smaller vans again where they dropped us at our designated locations.


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Amenities

Rio de Fogo is located in the middle of the ocean, so of course there are no bathrooms, nor are there any on the boats. For this reason it's important to use the bathroom at the restaurant before getting on the boat.


You won't be having lunch for quite a few hours. However, the restaurant has snacks that you can purchase beforehand, and there are plenty of people serving drinks and snacks in the water too! Additionally, you can bring your own snacks if you want something specific for the bus ride or boat ride.


The Coca Cola Lake has a bar, souvenir shop, and bathrooms on site. There is plenty of seating both in the shade and sun.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting this Beautiful Place in Brazil: Timeline

Now that you know exactly how the day looked like to this incredible place to visit in Brazil, here is a bit of a breakdown of the day:


7:00-8:00 Window of pick up for the excursion

8:00 Bus departs from Natal

9:15 Bus arrives at Rio do Fogo Beach

9:15- 9:30 Bathroom break/ lunch orders

9:40-10:00 Boat ride to Rio do Fogo

10:00- 11:30 Enjoy Rio do Fogo

11:30-11:40 Gather the group

11:40-12:00 Boat ride back to the beach

12:00-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:00 Bus ride to Coca Cola Lake

2:00-5:00 Coca Cola Lake

5:00-6:00 Bus ride back to Natal

6:00-6:30 Hotel drop off

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Tips for Visiting Rio do Fogo

Now that you know what the excursion to Rio do Fogo looks like, here are a few tips for visiting.

  • Make sure to be ready outside before the meet time.
  • Bring plenty of cash, as there are extra charges associated with using credit cards.
  • Have bread or something light to feed the fish.
  • Use the bathroom before the bus ride, as well as before the boat ride.
  • Take Dramamine before the boat ride, in case the waves rock the boat a lot.
  • Don't wear a hat on the boat ride, and secure your belongings so they don't fly away.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen, as the sun is very strong in the north of Brazil.
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Other Things to Know About Rio do Fogo

Now you know almost everything you need for a great excursion to Rio do Fogo! Here are a few last things to keep in mind.


Weather in Northern Brazil

The north of Brazil has year round warmth and sunshine, similar to the Caribbean. This area has two seasons- the dry season and the rainy season. (scattered showers) The driest months are from September to January, and the months with more rain are from March to August.

Rio do Fogo boat ride

The north of Brazil has tropical weather.

The Best Time to Visit Rio do Fogo 

The best time to visit Rio do Fogo is on a bright, sunny day., so that you can really appreciate the beautiful waters. Excursions always go out in the morning, so you just need to choose whichever day during your stay looks the sunniest.


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Packing For a Trip to this Beautiful Place to Visit in Brazil

Wondering what exactly to bring on your excursion? Here is a list of things to bring to Rio do Fogo:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bathing Suit
  • Towel
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Flip Flops (we personally always get Havaiana flip flops, as they are comfy and long lasting)
  • Water Shoes
  • Zippered Bag or Backpack (preferably a waterproof one) - take a look at these backpacks for travelers!
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are super long lasting and sturdy)
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Action Camera (we use the Insta 360 X3 because it's small & waterproof)
  • GoPro Dome to capture shots with the fish on your own
  • Waterproof Phone Pouch (we use the Cafago Waterproof Phone Pouch)
  • Dry Bag (for the boat ride or for the water)
  • Cash
  • Dramamine (if you happen to get sea sick)

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So are you ready to experience this beautiful place in Brazil? Rio de Fogo is a true slice of paradise, and we're sure you're going to be just as impressed by it as we were!


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