The British scientist Charles Darwin visited Saquarema in 1832. He was absolutely thrilled with nature's beauty here. On April 9, 1832, Charles Darwin wrote about his first encounter with the rain forest:
"A few days after arriving, I began an expedition of 150 miles to Rio Macaé .... There I saw for the first time, a tropical forest in all its sublime grandeur - nothing but the reality can give an idea of how wonderful and magnificent this landscape is.... I have never experienced such intense delight."
From Saquarema, Charles Darwin wrote quite excitedly about the Saquarema lagoon:
"A beautiful view of the forest and the distant mountains reflected in the perfectly calm waters of a large pond was very invigorating. Since the tavern here was very good and as I had the rare and pleasant memory of an excellent meal, I am grateful and will describe that as a typical example."
The Maasai Hotel has served as starting point and a base for groups following Charles Darwin's footsteps in Saquarema and the region.