When it comes to urban beach destinations, there are few places in the world that match the appeal of Rio de Janeiro. Some of the best beaches in the world for socializing can be found here, making Rio an extrovert’s paradise.
While you should refer to a Rio de Janeiro travel book for more details when you arrive, this post will get you started in your quest to relax as quickly as possible after getting settled in Brazil’s liveliest city. With that in mind, here are three of the best beaches in Rio de Janeiro for those looking to tap into this destination’s world famous seaside social culture…
Made famous by the Brazilian song “The Girl from Ipanema”, the sands of Ipanema Beach have long been made famous by the upscale neighborhoods that face it and the clientele that frequents it. Whoever staked this area out for the upper classes knew what they were doing, as the clarity of the water here is more pristine, and generally speaking, the beach itself is better maintained than other in Rio, making it far more appealing to lay out a towel here.
After a long day of playing beach soccer, doing battles with the breakers (watch out for the currents though) or simply bronzing your body under the strong Brazilian sun, enjoy the best parts of Rio for shopping, dining and clubbing, all located within a short walk from the beach.
Located within a short stroll of Ipanema is Copacabana Beach, its far busier cousin. Possessing a far more laid back and down to earth vibe, those that don’t like the pressure of keeping up with the beautiful people of Ipanema will feel more at home here.
Being ground zero for day time socializing for many of the sun-loving locals of Rio, the carnival-like atmosphere is palpable here on almost any day when the weather is fine. Those looking for one heck of a party will do well to come here on New Year’s Eve, at Carnival, or during the upcoming 2016 Olympics, where it will be one of four “Olympic Zones” situated throughout the city.
Like its cousin up the coast, surfing, soccer and sun tanning are popular activities, but take special care to secure your belongings, as theft is something of a problem at Copacabana.
Barra da Tijuca Beach
If you consider yourself a hardcore surfer and the crowded waters of Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches are giving you fits, then you need to cart your board to Barra da Tijuca. Consisting of 11 straight kilometers of sand, it is a place where one can find an uncrowded surf break with ease, allowing you to carve up the swells to your heart’s content.
Those of a more novice skill level can sign up for classes here, while practitioners of other water sports like kite and wind surfing will also find people just like them here, along with equipment for rent that will allow them to get in a good rip on the water if they forgot their gear at home.