The Best Beaches in Rio de Janeiro

A strip of beach gets progressively more crowded with the sand full of colorful umbrellas.

Beach culture is a huge part of life in Rio. Photo © Mike Vondran, licensed Creative Commons Attribution

Life in Rio is inseparable from the city’s many beaches, and you’ll find strips of sand to suit your every whim. Here is a list of 10 beaches that you can count on to correspond with your mood and fulfill your desires — whatever they may be.

    • If you feel like watching amazing pick-up soccer…head to Praia do Flamengo, where local teams play all day and all night in front of the iconic hump of Pão de Açúcar.
    • For a more sedate scene…head to Praia do Leme, whose tranquil strip of sand is traditionally frequented by an older crowd as well as local families.
    • If you feel like eating and drinking and watching the world go by…head to a kiosk bar on Copacabana, easily the most diverse and democratic of all Rio’s beaches.
    • If you’re feeling sporty…head to Praia do Pepê, at the beginning of Praia da Barra, where you can surf, windsurf, and kitesurf on the waves or play volleyball, futebol, or futevôlei (a hybrid of both) in the sand.
    • If you’d like to discover a secret hideaway… head to Praia do Joá, an exquisite and out-of-the-way little beach that is a favorite beach of Cariocas in the know.
    • If you’re feeling flirtatious (and you’re straight)…head to “Coquierão,” the strip of Ipanema beach surrounding Posto 9 that is a magnet for artists, hipsters, and beautiful folk in general.
    • If you’re feeling flirtatious (and you’re gay)…head to the strip of Ipanema beach surrounding Posto 8 that is a magnet for gay men.
    • For a nice family-friendly beach…head to Leblon. The area around Posto 12, known as “Baixo Bebê,” has changing facilities as well as a playground for tots.
    • For a non-touristy beach…head to Urca’s bucolic and oft-overlooked Praia Vermelha, a lovely crescent of a beach in the shadow of Pão de Açúcar.
    • If you want to get away from it all…head to the beautifully untamed beaches of Prainha and Praia de Grumari (although keep in mind that even these get crowded on summer.)

Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Rio de Janeiro.


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