Life is better at the beach.
Last September I visited Rio de Janeiro as a supporter for the Paralympic Games. After multiple warnings about how dangerous it is, and reading article after article about Zika, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only were my safety and mosquitos not an issue, but it has topped my list as one of my favourite places that I’ve ever travelled to.
I could go on and on about this captivating city. The food was delicious, the people were kind and welcoming, and the scenery, be it the views from Sugarloaf Mountain, or the vintage architecture in Centro, were breathtaking.
Then there were the beaches. Oh, the beaches. Copacabana is one of the most renowned beaches in the world, and while it is a must-visit for anyone Rio-bound, the magic doesn’t stop there. Take a look at the 5 best beaches in Rio de Janeiro.
Take a look at the 5 best beaches in Rio de Janeiro.
Tourists’ delight, Copacabana beach stretches 4 kilometres, in front of a densely populated area filled with hotels, restaurants, and sky-high apartments. Fringed with palm trees and food huts, you can spend the day lounging in the sun without ever having to leave the sand. Vendors walk the beach offering everything from cocktails to fried shrimp to volleyballs, and you’re bound to witness some intricate sand sculptures of extravagant castles and Christ the Redeemer.
Ipanema was one of my favourite areas in Rio, and the beach left much to be desired. Colourful beach umbrellas lined white sand as smooth as brown sugar; it was dreamy, to say the least. Coined one of the chicest beaches in the world, the surrounding area is what gives it its trendsetting appeal. Hip shops and restaurants, upscale cafés, and the hippie market made it the top spot on my Rio list.
Barra da Tijuca Beach:
Staying at the Sheraton Barra, I spent most of my beach days at Barra da Tijuca beach. The sand was silky and the water clear as day. Rio’s largest beach, it spans 11 miles, and with a boardwalk for bikers and runners, it’s the perfect place to fit in your morning run. With surf schools, volleyball nets, and mini open air workout stations, the beach is a magnet for anyone athletic. For others, it’s the perfect place to soak up the sun.
Praia Vermelha Beach:
Intimate and secluded, we got a glimpse of Praia Vermelha beach going up the cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain. Rio’s smallest beach, it’s situated in a cove, with a small park and food kiosks perfect to grab a quick bite. The reddish hue sands are surrounded by scaling mountains and a paved hiking trail along the coastline.
Another beach for the athletically inclined, Leblon is home to surfers, footballers, skaters and the like. The turquoise waters are surrounded by swanky restaurants and lively bars, and accommodation that doesn’t come cheap. The wealthiest area in Rio, the beach attracts trendsetters and wealthy tourists looking for a dreamy escape.