What are the beaches like in Rio?
Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen! Rio de Janeiro is known for its its beautiful people, sunny days, white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and expansive beaches. Much of the action in Rio starts on the beach. Beautiful tanned people meet and socialize there first then head to the local restaurants and bars and Rio nightlife and this adds to the fun and excitement of the Rio beaches and meeting people at the Rio Beaches.
What should I expect to find on the Rio beaches?
Everything you need to enjoy your day you can find on the beach in Rio de Janeiro. So with that said, bring a towel, beachwear, and a little bit of cash for snacks and beverages and anything else you may need as there are many vendors on the beach. Tip:All prices are negotiable.
Cariocas love and are extremely passionate about the beach, sports and a good party -- and it's not uncommon to see them combining all three at the same time! A large gathering of Cariocas will hit the beaches with a soccer ball and a bottles of beer. Cariocas are notoriously friendly people, so don't be afraid to join in on the fun: a Cariocas mentality would say, "the more the merrier". Other favorite beach activities are foot volley, beach tennis, surfing and Capeoira.
Where are the best beaches?
Brazil has many famous beaches. The beaches of Rio de Janeiro that of you are most likely to explore during your stay are Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach , and Leblon Beach which are very popular, especially during Rio Carnival, and are the beaches most frequented by tourists staying in the South Zone. Then there is Pepe Beach in Barra da Tijuca, and Flamingo Beach in Gloria these are quieter beaches that are more common among families, But that's just to name a few: there are many other beaches you might consider, such as Buzios, Illa de Grande, and Florianopolis.
Located in Zona Sul (the south zone) of Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Beach is perhaps the most famous beach in the world, stretching from Posto 2 (lifeguard watchtower Two) to Posto 6 (lifeguard watchtower Six). There's a lot to do at on this 4 kilometer stretch of white sand. During the day, activities at Copacabana Beach include swimming, surfing, volleyball and football (American soccer), or just laying and soaking up some rays to get that perfect Brazilian bronze tan. There is also a boat load of fun to be had in the neighborhoods surrounding the beach. On a cloudy day, you might head over to Avenida Atlantica for some of the most fashionable of Rio de Janeiro's beachwear boutiques. Or you can go just one street over for more a more diverse selection of affordable stores and shops. If you want to relax, pull up a chair at any of the countless beachside kiosks, grab a chilled coconut or a beer (cerveja), and spend some time appreciating the picturesque view. The new kiosks at Copacabana Beach offer modern, sanitary bathrooms at a cost of R$1).
If you are looking for some history and culture, there are also old Portuguese forts at both ends of the beach. When the sun sets on Copacabana Beach, the lights light up as the restaurants, bars and nightclubs are always hopping. A great restaurant with reasonable prices is Restaurant Shirley, located on Rua Gustavo Sampaio. It has great seafood and is a favorite among Cariocas. One of the more upscale bars near Copacabana Beach is the Piano Bar at the Copacabana Palace Hotel. With a cozy, romantic atmosphere, this is the perfect spot to take a date and kick off your romantic evening with the right vibes.
Ipanema Beach is located in Rio de Janeiro's Zona Sul (the south zone) and became famous around the world after Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes released their hit song, "The Girl from Ipanema" ("Garota de Ipanema"). Though adjacent to Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach has a character of its own. Known for its elegance and social qualities, the area around the beach is easy to navigate because the streets are organized according to a grid. You can go to Ipanema Beach to enjoy the water, or you can stay away from the crowds by booking a cruise on one of the Jangadas or sailboats, or by trying your hand at para sailing. There are also bicycles for rent and a bike path that runs the length of the beach.
Leblon Beach, located right next to Ipanema Beach, is a favorite of many locals. Leblon beach has a nice shopping area along Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva and Rua Dias Ferreira. You'll find small boutiques perfect for buying souvenirs, a few bookstores and quaint cafes. After some surfing or body boarding grab a great steak.
Brazil Beach etiquette
Keep in mind that the beaches of Rio play a special role in the social lives of many Cariocas; therefore, there is a well defined culture with certain unwritten rules. By all means you are free to do as you please -- it's your vacation -- but remember the phrase, "When in Rome"?
Here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind while at the beach:
Dress like you're going to the beach. For men that means bathing suites or surf shorts. For the ladies that's typically a two piece Brazilian bikini. Don't worry about your figure: in Brazil, nobody cares. Everybody and their grandmother wears a bikini. Not wearing one is like shouting "I'm a gringo" at the top of your lungs. Women are strictly forbidden from going topless and can get arrested for doing so.
Bring a bag or a small backpack to carry your things. Bring a sarong to sit on -- a chair is acceptable.
It's possible buy your food and beverage at the beach.
Where's are the best Beaches for surfing in Rio de Janeiro?
For surfing, head down the beach from Copacabana to Praia do Arpoador. The waves are ideal for surfing, but can be challenging. Most of the people you'll find on the water will be locals (Cariocas) or professional surfers. There's a surf school at Praia do Arpoador that provides lessons to the children of the nearby favelas (shanty-towns). If you're not a surfer, Praia do Arpoador is a great spot to watch the locals hit the waves.
Further away from the city is a beach at Barra da Tijuca that is considered the best surfing in Rio. You'll find surfers meeting up at Barraca de Pepê (Pepê's Shack). Even though it's further away from where you're likely to stay, the beach can get pretty crowded.
Where is the best gay beach in Rio?
Ipanema Beach. Walk slightly east of Rua Farme de Amoedo until you see the rainbow flags at a place called Farme Beach, right next to the Ipanema Plaza Hotel. Aside from the bars and nightclubs, this is a great place to meet people and is a favorite among the Carioca locals. With promoters passing out flyers, this is a great spot to make your nightlife plans -- but some of the best gay nightclubs and bars are not located far from Ipanema Beach. On Sundays, Farme Beach at Ipanema is packed with buff gay locals (called Barbies) and pretty vacationers playing games of all-queer volleyball and dodge-ball.
The crowd is friendly, but if you're still intimidated by the sea of six packs at Farme Beach, head over to Copacabana beach. The bear and drag queen crowds prefer the gay beach right outside of the Copacabana Palace hotel in an area called the Bolsa (near Lido). While men dominate Rio de Janeiro's gay scene, there is a very strong lesbian presence as well. The scene is very mixed, so you shouldn't feel like you have to find an all female crowd; in Rio the focus is more on enjoying the night -- gender is less important.
Where do I rent a chair and umbrella on the beach?
You can rent a chair and umbrella through braccas. These are the tents you will find located all over the beach. After you find the right spot and secure your chair, the people who work at the braccas will come around and serve you drinks and food (for a price, of course).
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