The most famous and best beaches of Rio de Janeiro attracts locals and tourists looking for places to relax, admire its natural beauty, to practice sports, or just to take a drink or juice near the seaside. They are places of leisure and fun stuff for all ages and tastes.
All the beaches of Rio de Janeiro are beautiful by nature, usually being surrounded on both ends by rocks and mountains, and having beautiful views of islands and other famous mountains that can be sighted.
The most famous beaches of Rio are the ones that are ever more into focus and also full of events and activities. These beaches are Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, both famous and well known in Brazil and throughout the wourld for a long time.
It is in Copacabana District where the majority of the hotels of Rio de Janeiro City are located.
Copacabana which has its immense promaned paved with a combination of black and white stones, in a wave-shaped design, is also an worldwide icon of Rio de Janeiro. The same sidewalk alongside Copacabana beach is a very eclectic space in terms of frequency where you see people of all ages and social classes, where every time you see someone going for a walking or jogging.
Along the Copacabana promenade, there are kiosks serving everything from coconut water to fresh juice to anyone who stop by to admire and look at the sea, or before or after stepping on the sand and sunbathing.
In Copacabana, the sports that predominate along the beach is the beach soccer, the footvolley the frescobol alongwith the shuttlecock to the elderly. But this same stretch of sand which is the playing field of amateur athletes, has also housed many sporting events such as volleyball championships, tennis, extreme sports, championships beach soccer, memorable concert with national and international artists, as well as New Year's party, when a huge fireworks on the beach welcomes the new year.
This New Year's Eve party, has become a brand of longstanding tradition in Copacabana beach, and one of the best known and largest open-air events in the world.
Walking toward the Posto 6, towards the side of Ipanema, we highlight the most calm part of the beach, very sought after by fathers and mothers who take children as well as older people, due to its calm waters and waves.
Ipanema also features numerous kiosks along its promenade or beach sidewalk, and a bike lane that runs along its extension. Anyway, the biggest attractions of Ipanema is the beach itself, which became internationally known for the song Girl from Ipanema, song inspired by a girl who used to sunbath and swimming in the place.
An interesting and typical feature of Ipanema Beach is its segmented urban tribes, what means that in some places or areas there are more concentration of people and groups alike. Being you a member or not of some urban tribe, or a mere visitor, what is interesting is to walk along the beach, seeing what is going on and contemplating the nature. A nice tip, you are in Ipanema is to go to Arpoador rock some time before the dusk, to watch the spectacle sunset, which is much appreciated by local residents and anyone who are in Rio.
In the following items, you can see descriptions of the main beaches of Rio and its most striking features.
The Leme Beach is at the far left as you face the sea seen from Copacabana Beach. This is a wide beach, with large spaces and especially tranquil, mainly on weekdays. The beach is at the foot of Leme Hill, which gives it a special charm. On Atlantic Avenue, facing the beach of Leme there are excellent restaurants, such as Marius Barbecue.
Among the attractions of the place, there is a mirador and a fishing place which lies at the foot of Morro do Leme or Leme Hill. In this place there is a kiosk with many tables, where you have a beautiful and wide view from the Leme beach to the Copacabana Fort which is on the other end of Copacabana beach. The sunset seen from the site is also very beautiful. In the picture, you see on the right side, you can see Leme beach seen from the foot of Leme Hill having on the background Copacabana beach wich is in practice, a continuation of Leme beach.
Copacabana Beach is an icon of Rio de Janeiro, a place with great cultural diversity, where you see everything and people from all parts of the world. Copacabana and Leme form a single edge or continuous strip of sand, which together add up to 6 km long.
Copacabana beach begins at Avenida Princesa Isabel, the avenue that divides the huge beach into two beaches, Leme and Copacabana. The beach of Copacabana has as its other end an are called Posto 6, where there is the Copacabana Fort, an old stronghold that nowadays is a kind of cultural center open to visitation.
The beach is a long and wide stretch of sand, providing plenty of space for sports, and a promenade which is lively day and night. At daybreak, you can see people on the promenade or on the beach, going for a walking, running or jogging, even before sunrise. By the way, to see the sunrise in Copacabana is a breathtaking spectacle. In the picture you see on the left, it is a photo taken from Posto 6 having the sugar loaf in the background.
The beach has also been a place to numerous events such as concerts, featuring both national and international singers and bands. It is on the sands of Copacabana that Rio New Year´s eve fireworks takes place. Besides the beach, Copacabana has numerous attractions.
The Arpoador beach is located between the Copacabana Fort and on the corner of Francisco Otaviano St. and Vieira Souto St. in Ipanema. The place is famous for its rock formations, called Pedra do Arpoador. Many people go to the place to enjoy the sea views, to hang out with friends, or to see the sunset.
Near the Arpoador rock, there is the Devil's Beach or Praia do Diabo, which is a bit hidden. Many surfers choose Arpoador Beach and Diabo Beach because their waves are higher than other beaches and therefore better for surfing. Nexto to Arpoador, there is the Girl from Ipanema Park, one of the attractions of the place. In the photo we see on the right, there is Arpoador Beach in a day of high waves. In the background you can see the Arpoador Rock or Pedra do Arpoador.
Another icon of Rio, Ipanema beach is located between Arpoador and the Garden of Allah, which is a square that has a canal that divides a long beach into two, Leblon and Ipanema. The beach is distinguished by its white sands, light green sea water and breathtaking views of the ocean.
The beach has segmented points where various urban tribes come together, such as the point of people in shape, neo-hippies and heirs of the hippies, artists and bohemians, and there is even a gay point. But do not worry if you are not part of any of these urban tribes, be sure that in the sands of Ipanema there is room for everyone. And on weekends the beach gets crowded, with people from all sides and corners of the planet.
The Leblon beach is an extension of Ipanema Beach, beginning shortly after the Garden of Allah, and having on its opposite end the scene of the Two Brothers Mountain. It is a quiet beach, with lots of beautiful people walking the promenade or sunbathing. Next ot the end of the beach, on the foot of the Morro Dois Irmãos or Two Brothers Mount, there is the Leblon Mirador, where you have great views of the cost.
Besides the beach, the neighborhood of Leblon is one of the most tranquil neighborhood of the city and has some of the best bars and restaurants of Rio de Janeiro City, being it an attractive addition to the ones who appreciate besides the beach a fashionable place where the beautiful is accustomed to go.
Sao Conrado Beach
The São Conrado beach is at the foot of the Pedra da Gávea Mount, in São Conrado neighborhood. The neighborhood and the beach in bygone day already was called Gávea after the rocky montain.
São Conrado is one of the noblest addresses in Rio. The between extends from the end of Niemeyer Avenue to the entrance of the tunnel that leads to Barra da Tijuca. One of the attractions of the place, is to see the hang-gliders and paragliding pilots with their passengers jumping from Pedra Bonita Mount and landing on Pepino beach. The Pepino beach is the name given to a small strip of sand which is on the right end of São Conrado beach, that is, as you face the sea. In the photo on the left, you can see Pedra da Gávea Mount in the background, having the beach in the foreground along with the promenade.
Barra da Tijuca Beach
Barra da Tijuca beach is considered one of the newest trendy places for those attending beaches in Rio, although the district was already quite inhabited since the 1980´s. With the increasing number of the residents in Barra da Tijuca neighborhood and nearby regions, as well as with the construction of more hotels, the Barra beach has become increasingly busy, tending to equate with Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. In terms of sports on the sand, the foot volleyball is the sport that dominates the site. In terms of sport in the sea, the beach is very popular with surfers, and by windsurf and kiteboarding practitioners. Kiteboarding is a sport that is growing and is very much in vogue in Rio today. In the right picture, you see a photo Barra beach, having on the foreground a breaking wave, and on the background Pedra Bonita Mount and Pedra da Gávea Mount. Barra da Tijuca neighborhood is separated from São Conrado neighbourhood by those formations.
The Recreio dos Bandeirantes beach is located in front of the district that bear the same name. Recerio dos Bandeirantes still retains an air of small town, that is, it still retains an atmosphere of charm which is peculiar to little frequented or areas, cleared by the crowds, at least in the weakdays. Improvements have been made in the place, and the City Hall has renovated the whole promenade, equipping it with new kiosks, paving the roads and built a bike lane.
Kiosks and bike lane are nice, but not so much paving roads with asphalt. Still not found that permeable pavement with stones, besides giving a special charm, is more sustainable. But not everything is perfect. For anyone who wants to know this beach, it also a good choice to visit Casa do Pontal Museum, which houses a vast collection of folk art in Brazil and it is not to far, if you have a car available.
Some beaches in town are not well known and not frequented by tourists and travellers for various reasons, such as being away from hotels among others. Below some of these beaches with its descriptions.
The Vermelha beach which means "Red Beach" is located at the foot of Sugar Loaf, in the Urca neighborhood, opposite the square where it is located the cable car station, that leads you to Morro da Urca and Sugar Loaf.
The beach is more frequented by the locals, and it is not considered a touristic beach for not being next to the largest concentration of hotels in Rio. It has calm waters and is surrounded by magnificent scenery formed by the mountains slopes with stone and green areas. On the ends of the beachs, there are old forts with old cannons. In the picture we see in the foreground numerous boats and kayaks on the sand, in the center of the pic you can see the beach and in the background the Sugar Loaf Mount.
Praia do Flamengo
Flamengo Beach is more frequented by locals and is not in the spotlight of the hottest beaches for tourists. The beach faces the interior of Guanabara Bay, actually, precisely speaking, it faces the sea in front of the Flamengo Park. Most of the time, It has calm waters, and once there you have beautiful views of the mountains of Rio. As an inconvenience, it is necessary to walk a lots, crossing roads and Flamengo Park to reach the beach.
The photo on the left, was taken in a part of the beach, which is front of Largo do Machado square. Many residents of Flamengo district and surrounding neighborhoods goes to Flamengo Park and Flamengo beach that extends alongside the park for hiking, sports or merely for a quiet place to read outdoors.
However, depending on the hour during the day, it can be dangerous to walk alone at Flamengo Park. In the evening the place is desert, and even in daylight robberies have been roported on site.
The Botafogo conve and beach are one of the most beautiful postcards of Rio de Janeiro, being inside the Guanabara Bay and having the Sugar Loaf ahead to set the scene. However the beach is more frequented by locals, for sports, sun bathing and recreation, instead of swimming. Occasionally some music concerts are organized in the place.
A bike lane runs along the beach, allowing access to the Flamengo Park on one side, and on the other side towards Copacabana. The beach has suffered successive embankments since the first decade of the 20th century when it was built Beira Mar Avenue, having its strip of sand moved towards the sea. As a considerable inconvenience, is the fact that, to get to the beach you have to cross urban highways or go through a pedestrian tunnel bellow the highways. Moreover its waters are in the process of being cleaned from pollution.
Distant Beaches in West Zone
There are numerous other beaches for those who have the readiness to the rewarding adventure of travelling towards the West Zone. The pristine Prainha and Grumari beach are among the most beautiful beaches of Rio, both scenarios with immense natural beauty.
For those who like trails and hiking, there are the Perigoso beach and Meio beach, which is located in The Area of Environmental Conservation of Grumari.
What are the best beaches to surf ?
For those who like to ride on the crest of waves, there are Arpoador and Praia do do Diabo in the south zone, close to Ipanema and Copacabana beach. However, surfers also choose Grumari beach, Pepê beach, Barra da Tijuca beach, Recreio dos Bandeirantes beach and Prainha beach. An interesting fact about Prainha is that the mounts that surrounds it are covered with remains of the original Atlantic Forest.