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The Beaches of Rio

aerial photography on city near body of water

White Sand, Sun, Waves, Surf Boards and Bikinis

At night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the city sparkles with light and life. During the daytime, on the white-sand beaches of this city, the beaches sparkle in the sun and attract people of all ages.

Copacabana Beach

man carrying hats on rod

The chic first choice to come to. Life is hopping here with hotels and night clubs and all the world’s sunbathers, who seem to have been deposited here from the sky. The water is said to be less than inviting to swimmers, as the pollution level can be off-putting.

Running parallel to Copacabana beach is the colourful, bustling-with-life Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, the area’s main commercial street.

Ipanema Beach

people on beach during daytime

A factional beach, in that this beach is divided into areas frequented by certain kinds of crowds. For example, if you have leftist-type leanings, then the place for you to go is the Ipanema sub-beach for artists and old hippies.

When night falls, Ipanema is the “in” place for those who have youth and beauty.

Ipanema was immortalised through the classic song “The Girl From Ipanema,” by Tom Jobim. The song features Stan Getz on guitar and João Gilberto and his wife Astrud, as a last-minute addition, on vocals.

The song conveys well the spirit of the beach as well as unrequited love. It begins,

Tall and tan and young and lovely,

The girl from Ipanema goes walking,

And when she passes each one she passes goes “A-a-ah!”

When she walks she’s like a samba that,

Swings so cool and sways so gentle,

That when she passes

each one she passes goes “A-a-ah!”

Pepino Beach

Pepino beach

This is a beautiful beach with the notable advantage of there being fewer people than Ipanema. There are two big resort hotels along the beach, and is the beach of choice for hang-gliders in particular.

Flamengo Beach

Aerial View of Flamengo Beach and Disrict with Rio de Janeiro City Downtown and Center.

One of the most popular of Rio’s beaches, Flamengo is within a beach-pebble’s throw of the lower-priced hotels. The beach is rather narrow but offers a fine view of the bay.

Barra da Tijuca Beach

Barra da Tijuca

This bikini-rich beach is blessed with 12 kilometers of clean, green water. There are a multitude of bars and seafood restaurants for some kilometers, before they give way to barracas, which are food-and-drink stalls. This beach is relatively quiet on weekdays, but a combination of good weather and the weekend will result in everyone and their sister putting in an appearance.

Arpoador Beach


Located between the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, the Arpoador beach is the place to bring your surf board to, as it is known as Rio’s best surfing-dude spot.

For your night-time surfing convenience, the beach is lit at night.