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.
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.
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.
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.
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.