I spent the last year living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and have had the opportunity to experience many beautiful beaches in and around the city.
The beach culture in Rio is awesome and it is transparent in all facets of life here, especially on Sundays! That is the day that many locals head down to their favorites beaches to meet friends and enjoy a relaxing day in the sun.
Thanks to the Barracas (beachside shops), you don’t need to bring anything with you besides a little cash and some sun screen. You can rent chairs and umbrellas right there as well as buy beers, coconut water and Brazilian food from the vendors along the beach.
Check out my Brazilian Beach Etiquette Guide for more information.
With all the time I spent discovering and enjoying the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, I decided to put together a list of my favorite spots…
Here are my Top 5 Best Beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
5.) Flamengo Beach (Praia do Flamengo)
Right next to Botafogo Beach, is one of the Best Beaches in Rio for exercise and fitness.
From Flamengo Beach, you can get a great view across the bay at Niteroi and Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar).
It’s much more of a local spot for sunbathers and fishermen, but it’s great for sports and activities (especially after the sun goes down) like soccer, volleyball and futevolei.
4.) Red Beach (Praia Vermelha)
Tucked into the quiet neighborhood of Urca, below Sugarloaf Mountain, Praia Vermelha is a great place to unwind and escape the crowds at some of the other beaches in Rio.
3.) Copacabana Beach (Praia de Copacabana)
Copacabana beach is one of the most famous stretches of sand in the world and for very good reason. It’s the most popular spot for tourists in Rio and is a great place to enjoy the sun and do some people watching.
2.) Joatinga Beach (Praia da Joatinga)
It’s a bit of a journey to go to Barra de Tujica, but there you will find some of the best beaches in all of Brazil. Usually there are a lot less tourists and a different vibe than what you’ll find in Copa or Ipanema.
From all the beaches of “Barra (Baha),” my selection is the secluded local favorite, Joatinga beach.
1.) Ipanema Beach (Praia de Ipanema)
My absolute favorite place in all of Rio de Janeiro, the incredible, bustling beauty that is Ipanema Beach.
Ipanema has the size of Copacabana with the most beautiful crowd. It’s big and busy and awesome! With views of Morro Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Mountain), tiny bikinis and refreshing water. To me, Ipanema Beach is the absolute best beach in Rio de Janeiro.
For the best view of sunset in Rio de Janeiro, head down to the end of Ipanema Beach to the rocks of Arpoador where you can join the crowd in applauding when the sun drops into the sea.
Which one would you choose?
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