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Rio de Janeiro Beaches

Beaches around the world have different rules and on the Rio beaches, less is more! It’s called the ‘Brazilian bikini. All genders wear as little as possible from Speedo’s to a small 2-piece swim suits however going topless is not looked upon well.

If you forget your sun cream, towel or water you can be rest assured they will be available from the vendors located around the beaches. Most of the beaches are safe for swimming and offer basic amenities along with restaurants, cafes. The ideal place to relax and enjoy a rocking nightlife too.

Copacabana Neighbourhood

Copacabana Neighbourhood

The Copacabana neighbourhood (which was just a small fishing village till the 1900’s) flourished rapidly after the inauguration of the Copacabana Palace Hotel. However, Rio will never be complete without the mention of Copacabana Beach. The stimulating 4.5 km of crescent coastline never sleeps, as visitors play beach soccer, soak in the sun or swing and dance until the wee hours of the morning. One of the culturally richer neighbourhoods of Rio, the borough is filled to the brim with bars, restaurants and upscale hotels. Tourists of all ages will have some or other activity to do at the beach, be it soaking in the sun, snorkelling or water sports.

In fact, the area is divided into two beaches, Leme beach and the actual Copacabana beach. The area is constantly brimming with tourists as they hang around the attractive beach, kiosks, bars and restaurants.

What actually made this area famous are the Copacabana fort and the Palace hotel. In fact, the hotel has now been declared as part of Brazil’s natural history. The Fort which dates back to 1914, today houses the Army Historical Museum. Ammunitions dating to the early 20th century are displayed here.

Copacabna beach will be one of the hosts for the 2016 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and also is favoured by revellers who want to bring in the New Year celebrations with great enthusiasm.

Prainha Beach

Prainha Beach

Prainha Beach, a beautiful beach is located 52 minutes drive southwest from Rio de Janeiro centre. Swimmers should be careful when swimming and stay close to the shore and always visible. The undertow of the current takes no prisoners and you can find yourself quickly swept out to sea. There is always one lifeguard patrolling this beach so you can be safe in the knowledge some help is at hand if the worst happens.

Predominately a surfers beach with a small outdoor restaurant called Mirante da Prainha which is situated on one of the cliffs sides. The Mirante da Prainha is a short walk from the beach with a fantastic view and all the amenities required for a pleasant beach stay. It is a great place to take you camera to capture surfers riding tall waves or the beautiful scenic landscape.

Barra da Tijuca Beach

Barra da Tijuca Beach

Barra da Tijuca Beach is the longest beach in Brazil and stretches about 18 km from Morro do Joá to the Recreio dos Bandeirantes neighbourhood.

It’s a clear green beach and a hotspot for surfers, wind sailors, and body surfers. The beach also welcomes beginners in water sports and those who want to have some fun in the soft waves.

After enjoying the beach, there are a lot of restaurants, barracas (tents), food and drinks stalls where one can have some snacks. The beach gets crowded during the weekends and is best visited on weekdays. It is accessible by bus, but preferable one should arrange for a car.

Joatinga Beach

Joatinga Beach

Joatinga Beach, though less frequented by locals as well tourists, is also ironically the most sought after by those who want to relax and rejuvenate.

This 220m long, white sandy beach is one of the most well protected natural reserves in Rio, and features the ecological diversity of the Atlantic rainforest.

Tourists should not miss out on the mangroves and the small tribe of Caiçara. A diverse landscape of both forest and virgin beaches, this beach is a dream come true for surfers.

Ipanema Beach

Ipanema Beach

The wealthier sibling of the famous Copacabana beach, the Ipanema beach is a glitzy neighbourhood located between Leblon and Arpoador regions.

Favoured by the Rio’s locals (las cariocas), Ipanema’s beauty lies in its dusky stretch of sand dotted by greenery with cafes, bars and restaurants weaving up the place. The beach, tagged as the best urban beach in the world, is also famous for its water sports opportunities.

Leading up to the summer season, the place becomes jam packed with tourists who come to enjoy the clean waters, rough waves and the surrounding neighbourhood. All over the beach one can see people sun bathing, playing beach volleyball and swimming. Ipanema is very famous for its beach events where tourists and locals come together to play games like beach soccer, beach volleyball, foot volleyball, etc. Moreover, it is an ideal place for people who are good at surfing, body boarding, skim boarding. The waters at Ipanema are dangerous at times, so swim or surf in areas allotted by the many lifeguards.

Sunday is the best day to visit Capoeira as the lane is open only for pedestrians. Other highlights include the Street Carnival and the Hippie Fair where visitors can buy some Brazilian handicrafts or musical instruments.

Arpoador Beach

Arpoador Beach

A favourite spot with couples, this stretch of sand is worth visiting. Situated between the popular Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the Arpoador beach is famed for its gigantic rock that reaches from the shore into the sea. This beach is less crowded than its neighbours, and offers a dreamy view of the sunset during midsummer. It is noted to be one of the finest spots for surfing in Rio and also boasts several adventurous walking trails.

Leme Beach

Leme Beach

This wallet-friendly tranquil beach is visited by local families, as well as tourists from all over the world. The beach is dappled by jungle clad hills and offers a wide range of snacks at the beach kiosks. Local artisans also display their art here. This calm and quiet beach has a jazzy nightlife with several Italian, Spanish and French restaurants. It is situated at walking distance of the Copacabana beach, which makes it easily accessible for tourists.

Recommended Activities

Plataforma Samba Show

Duration: 3 to 5 hours (approx.)

Rio de Janeiro Helicopter Tour

Duration: 1 hour (approx.)

Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour

Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

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