Rio Beaches

Rio Beaches #1: Copacabana Beach - A Rio vacation should include spending time at Copacabana Beach, the prime beach in Rio de Janeiro. It attracts the rich, famous and beautiful from around the world. Copacabana Beach is a 2.5 mile long outdoor playground of sand, sunshine and surf. Everything you could want for a Rio de Janeiro beach vacation idea is here. The beach is lined with luxury hotels including the world famous Copacabana Palace.

Past the beach hotels there is a full range of accommodations to fit all vacation budgets. The Copacabana Beach and the shoreline Copacabana Promenade offer a lively array of things to see and do. People watching, sunbathing, beach soccer & volleyball, street musicians & performers, shops & restaurants.

As the sun goes down the partying and music kicks into high gear in the bars and clubs up and down the Copacabana Promenade. If you prefer a Rio beach with lots of people, lots of activity and lots of nightlife then Copacabana Beach is a great choice.


#2: Ipanema Beach tends to be quite crowded, especially in peak season which is in February. That’s when the Rio Carnival is held and many people plane their Rio vacations around this famous carnival.

Expect higher air fare and more tourists. Ipanema Beach is located just west of Copacabana Beach and offers a trendier and upscale atmosphere.

Many of Rio’s wealthy residents reside here and the beach provides a place for the young, beautiful and tan to show off. Designer boutiques, nightclubs, art galleries blend in with the more standard beachside cafes, bars and food stands.

Two high end jewelers in Ipanema are Amsterdam Sauer and Antonio Bernardo.

Every Sunday the popular Hippie Fair is held in the public square at Praca General Osorio at the east end of the beach. Also, the east end of Ipanema Beach is a half mile section called Aproador.

Here is where you will find the best surfing. For accommodations, if you are on a budget, try the popular hostel Che Lagarto Ipanema. On the higher end of the scale, try Caesar Park a more luxury hotel.


#3: Leblon Beach is right next door to Ipanema Beach. They are very similar and are separated by a canal running out into the sea. Leblon Beach is more popular with families and doesn’t draw quite the large crowds as Ipanema. There is one area of the beach that is nicknamed “Baixo Baby” where you can find various play toys and activities for the kids.

But despite the family visitors, Leblon Beach is still very popular with the trendsetters. Leblon is a very wealthy neighborhood with many bars and clubs that cater to that crowd. One of Rio’s premier resorts, Sheraton Rio Hotel and Towers is located on the western end of the beach and has its own private beach area. Another top Leblon beachfront hotel is the Marina All Suites with signature suites created by leading designers.


#4: Botafogo Beach is a small beach in the heart of Rio. It sits along the edge of Botafogo Bay and commands a wonderful view of the city, the bay and Sugarloaf Mountain. This is probably the quietest of the Rio beach spots as it is not considered a see-and-be-seen beach destination. The surf is negligible as the bay waters are much calmer than the other Rio beaches along the ocean.

A main road edges along beside the beach separating it from the city and eliminating all the beachside stands, bars, hotels and such. This can be a positive or a negative depending on what you are looking for in your Rio beach experience. If you want less crowds and just want to relax in relative quiet, than try Botafogo Beach on Botafogo Bay.


Rio Beaches #5: Sao Conrado Beach Sao Conrado Beach is just a few minutes west from Leblon Beach. One of the features of this beach that sets it apart from other Rio beaches it attracts more adventurous people rather than the fashion and body conscious sun-tanning crowd. The strong 3-6 foot waves, while not advantageous for the casual swimmer, are popular with the surfing crowd.

Paragliders also love Sao Conrado Beach because of the access to hilltop launching spots and the spectacular views of Rio. Paragliding services have setup shop here and every year thousands of adventurers come to enjoy the thrills that paragliding offers.

Hikers also love to come here so they can combine a beach outing with their activity of choice – hiking. Pedra da Gavea and Pedra Bonita are nearby hiking spots that offer a challenge to novices as well as experienced hikers.

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