Life in Rio de Janeiro revolves around the beach. No matter the time of day, hundreds of locals and tourists can be found lazing on the sand or frolicking in the water, taking in the sunshine and good vibes of Brazil's water culture. With something for every type of beach dweller, here are our top five spots for family fun to secluded hideaways.
Have a family day at Leblon
Rio de Janeiro’s beaches are well known for their rowdy crowds and skimpily clad sunbathers, which may be ideal for the spring break type, but not parents. Leblon is different though. Less risqué and more family-friendly, its proximity to an upscale neighborhood tends to ward off serious partygoers. That doesn't mean there isn't adult fun to be had. As the kids kick a soccer ball around with the locals, walk up to a local bar for a cerveja or two.
Hang loose at Arpoador
Located right smack dab in the middle of two of Rio's most popular beaches — Ipanema and Copacabana — Arpoador is a haven for city surfers. But, with 10-foot waves, strong riptides, and jutting rocks, the area is best left to experienced surfers. Beginners are advised to stick to the public beaches or watch the pros from the nearby walking trails.
Get wet and wild at Ipanema Beach
Don’t be fooled by the lack of high-rise hotels. Ipanema
Beach is in one of the trendiest spots in Rio, making it perfect for the young
couple who wants a day without tons of tourists and families killing the mood. Be advised though, the people that hangout here are the movie star types, so be sure to don your best suit and shades before
heading that way.
Find a hangover cure at
At some point, every visitor in Rio will have a wild night out on the town, and when the next day hangover hits, you’ll want a quiet place to recuperate. Take the short bus ride over to Costa Verde’s pristine beaches and verdant jungles. Instead of counting sheep and fighting to block out the steady thrum of the city, you can idly count islands in the distance as the rolling waves lull you to recovery.
Take in the best views on Praia Vermelha
The views of Sugarloaf Mountain from Copacabana are some of the most photographed in the world, but there’s an even better, closer view to be had. Located right at the base of Sugarloaf, Praia Vermelha is so hush-hush, not even the locals will tell you about it. One look at the cable cars running above your head and the calm waters lapping in the distance, and you'll be convinced to keep it a prized secret too.