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The Best Beaches in Rio de Janeiro

The Best Beaches in Rio de Janeiro

From Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain to Maracana Stadium and its collection of excellent museums - Rio de Janeiro has some amazing sites to see. There is, however one particular attraction that draws in thousands of international and domestic tourists every year… the beaches! Rio de Janeiro’s beaches are constantly ranked among the world’s best for their landscapes, attractions and all-in-all amazing atmosphere. If you’re planning to visit Rio, you simply cannot miss this top attraction. What are the best beaches in Rio de Janeiro? Here’s a list of our favorites:


Copacabana Beach

Talk about beaches in Rio de Janeiro, and this is the one that first that comes to mind. 2.5 miles of Atlantic Ocean beachfront comprise this internationally renowned shoreline, with a stunning coastal promenade, beautiful mountain views on the horizon and endless high rises lining the rear. Swim, sunbathe, drink, eat, stroll- basically do whatever you please on this mega-popular Rio beachfront. Get here early for a sliver of your own sand, but remember to pack it all up when the sun goes down, as Rio’s beach crime rate skyrockets come nighttime.

Ipanema Beach

Ipanema BeachAnother of Rio de Janeiro’s most popular beach locations is the 2-mile strip of shoreline called Ipanema Beach. Considered to be the more upscale of the ‘popular beaches’, Ipanema is where you will find all the extreme beach personalities (males and females strutting their stuff). Beach games are a big hit on this bustling shoreline (volleyball, football, water sports, etc.), and vendors comb the area selling whatever it is you forgot to bring. Between Copacabana and Ipanema, these two are the area’s must visit beach destinations.

Barra da Tijuca

Barra da Tijuca Beach

Boasting 9 more miles of beachfront than Copacabana and Ipanema, Barra da Tijuca is a bit further out in the city, though equally as crowded as the rest. The main attraction of this beach locale is sports. Whether you’re looking for a pickup game of beach football/volleyball or trying to find a nice surf spot in Rio- this is the destination to visit. Also home to towel, chair, food, beverage and party-favor slinging vendors, whatever it is you’re looking for you’ll be able to find it here. For the ultimate beach experience, find a local Rio de Janeiro guide to show you around all the coolest spots of Barra da Tijuca.

Prainha Beach

Prainha Beach

Further down the coastline, this beautiful Rio beach is attractive for a number of different reasons. From its clean, white sands and blissful waters to surrounding lush, green mountains and high cliffs, Prainha is a breath of fresh air from Rio’s other beach choices. One of the better surf spots in the area, this lesser visited beach is not as easy to access as the others (hire a car or taxi to get there), but is well worth the trek out.

Local Tip: Beware of Prainha’s undertow- it’s extremely strong and can catch even the most seasoned swimmers by surprise.

Other Favorite Rio Beaches

Sao Conrado is a quieter Rio beach option, known specifically for its beautiful mountains, secluded atmosphere, and occasional sighting of hand gliders coasting off the surrounding rock faces. The surrounding neighborhood is one of Rio’s most affluent areas, home to some excellent shopping, golf courses, nightclubs and top-notch restaurants.

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Praia do Arpoador is located in southern Rio de Janeiro (between Ipanema and Copacabana), and is best known as being one of the top in-city surfing spots. Due to its city location, actually surfing in the area is quite difficult as the competition can be rather intense. For non-surfers, Praia do Aropoador is an excellent beach to walk along and take in the gorgeous scenery.

Praia do Arpoador Beach

Rio is truly a beach lover’s paradise city. Go ahead and explore for yourself, the most popular, and most picturesque and hidden-local beaches in this beautiful coastal destination.

Credits and License Details: Roger Wollstadt), Xavier Donat), Lu Lacerda, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Fernandes, CC BY 2.0), dany13, CC BY 2.0), Digo_Souza) ( User: Rafael Borges)

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