Rio de Janeiro
Marvel at Rio de Janeiro's Beaches
The beaches in Rio are the best place to experience the true carioca spirit.
Rio beaches are known to spark one’s imagination. However, it would be most unfair to say that Rio’s beaches are famous because of the beautiful bodies that haunt the beaches. Pristine clear waters, plenty of sunshine and beautiful natural surroundings, are what lure many visitors to the beaches. Ipanema and Copacabana are among the most well known beaches in the world. No one would ever skip a visit to these places when on a visit to Rio de Janeiro. Besides, it is the best place to experience the true carioca spirit.
Copacabana Beach – Brazil’s hottest spot
The famous Copacabana Beach stretches over 2.5 miles along Rio’s southern coastline with the imposing Sugar Loaf Mountain in the background. For many, Copacabana is the place to be seen, where age, caste, creed, or sex know no boundaries. The beach comes alive at night with barracas or beach bars that focus on entertainment, which spreads through the neighborhood known to have the most colorful and vibrant nightlife, like Ipanema. You can chose to surf, soak in the sun, watch the locals play soccer or practice Capoeira, while you sink down a few caipirinhas, a local alcoholic beverage.
Leme Beach – A quiet place to relax
Apart from the most spectacular sunsets, Leme Beach offers a magnificent view of Sugar Loaf. The beach is ideal for families with lots of activities for the kids as well. Leme is only a short walk from Copacabana beach, while a number of buses also ply along Avenida Princesa Isabel. On Sundays, the main road along the beach is closed to traffic, which brings out the young and old on bicycles, skateboards, and roller blades. There are a number of beach bars and restaurants, which make Leme Beach a great place to spend a day.
Ipanema – Garotas and tangas
Antonio Carlos Jobim’s ‘Girl from Ipanema’ still draws the crowds to Ipanema Beach. However, you can be sure that the beach isn’t only about the garotas bonitas, a term used for beautiful women, and their tangas, or tiny bikinis. The beach is one of the neighborhood’s hotspots with plenty of beach sports and water sports for everyone. Go to Posto 9 or Lifeguard Tower 9, and you can join the cariocas partying through the night. Ipanema is one beach to live life carioca style.
Leblon – Just like ‘Seventh Heaven’
One of the safest Rio beaches is Leblon, with a quieter atmosphere that only turns vibrant on the weekends. The rich and famous that live in the neighborhood also frequent the beach. There are plenty of activities for the kids. Don’t miss a trip to ‘Seventh Heaven’, a gigantic granite rock along the beach that is a photographer’s delight.
Barra – surfer’s paradise
Barra is a one of the largest beaches in Rio and a surfer’s paradise. If you want some lessons in surfing, Barra has a few surfing schools with experts to guide you tackle the refreshing waves. The beach hosts national and international surfing championships every year. The beach also has its share of restaurants and bars to whet your appetite.
Recreio – Great waves and sunshine
Surfers from all over the world never miss the chance to head to Recreio Beach, 12 kilometers from Barra. Posto 10 and Canto do Recreio are the two most famous surf spots. However, Recreio is also a great place to relax and unwind and simply soak in the sun. Thanks to limited construction, sunbathers have a field day all the way until sunset. It doesn’t matter whether you are the sporty kind or looking for some peace and quiet, Recreio is the beach to visit. Naturists can head further down to Praia do Abrico, the only official beach for nudists in the Grumari Area of Environmental Preservation.
Prainha Beach – Little beach for the brave hearts
One of the most spectacular beaches along Rio’s coastline is Prainha Beach. The breathtaking scenery of Prainha sets the perfect tone for a vacation, with white sands and the green Atlantic Forest in the background. Experienced surfers have waves over 3 meters to enjoy their day out on their surfboards. Beginners on the other hand ought to have a skilled surfer with them.
Angra Beach – Tropical paradise
The archipelago of Angra dos Reis is a tropical hotspot blessed with over 2000 beaches and 365 islands with Ilha Grande being the largest island. A number of private islands are owned by the rich and famous, who spend a great deal of their vacation at their hideouts. The islands present opportunity for a spot of fishing and diving. Surfers head to Aventureiro, which is one of the most famous surfing beaches in Brazil.
Mangaratiba – a charming getaway
The small port of Mangaratiba is one of the most charming places and a quiet getaway. There are several beaches along the boroughs of Uriqui, Ibicuí and Itacuruçá. The port is also home to a resort nestled amidst the rainforests and a few beaches that are perfect spots to get a perfect tan. You can choose to take a schooner ride around the bay and even indulge in some sailing.
Urca Beach – first step to Sugar Loaf
The peaceful neighborhood of Urca, at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain is a great place to relax and enjoy the breathtaking view of the mountains. The beach is frequented by locals who are lured by the warm waters of the Atlantic. After a cable car trip to Sugar Loaf the beach is the perfect place for a swim and a bit of sunbathing as well.
Arpoador Beach – Illuminating the skyline
The floodlights along Arpoador’s rock formations which light up the beach at night present the most spectacular sights with surfers in the background. The beach may have smaller waves but still attracts surfers from all over. Climbing the rocks will give you the best view of the beach with surfers, fishermen, kids romping about and of course, the magnificent view of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
No matter where you are in Rio, its beaches are sure to lure you, even if it is just for a stroll along the waterfront. However, the carioca spirit will soon catch up with you and it won’t be long before you begin to surf, sunbathe, and party all night long, just like the locals do.