Perhaps no city in the world is as picture-perfect as Rio de Janeiro. From mountains to natural parks to picturesque lagoons, the "Wonderful City" has it all. But, of course, Brazil's most touristic city is best-known for its beaches.
For Rio's residents, the beach is their backyard. That's where they go to meet friends for a chat, to work out, to enjoy a beer after a day of work - or simply to enjoy the sun, sea and sand. When it comes to Rio de Janeiro's beaches, it's hard to go wrong: just pick your spot and settle in. The city's national wonders are a fundamental part of life in Rio - shaping the personalities of the locals, who are known as cariocas, and are famous for their laidback, live-in-the-moment demeanor.
But don't be fooled: Rio's beaches are not only good for sunbathing. They are the perfect place for nearly any outdoor activity: beach soccer, beach volleyball, swimming, paddle boarding, or surfing. If you're more contemplative, the seaside is also for you. Rio's breathtaking sceneries are a perfect mix of white sand and clear waters. Not surprisingly, most cariocas wouldn't exchange Rio for anywhere in the world.
Copacabana, Ipanema, Arpoador
In Copacabana, you'll find the famous wave-shaped sidewalk mosaics and a vibrant urban beach. Just walking along the sand and watching people come and go is a pleasurable experience. Ipanema is the place to be sociable. Families, young people, university students and sports fans all mix together with the sight of the Two Brothers Hill in the background. Arpoador is one of Rio's favorite surf spots and a must-go to watch the sunset or simply enjoy an evening walk.
At Barra da Tijuca, you get family-friendly fun, windsurfers, and regular surfers. If you are looking for a break from the rush of the city, you're going to have a blast here.
As if Rio weren't breathtaking enough, the neighboring towns are also worth a visit. Búzios is the perfect place to take it easy and have a good time - located a mere 2-hour drive from Rio's city center.
On Azeda and Azedinha beaches you can relax and seize the day. Manguinhos is the perfect spot for windsurfing. Lagoinha holds concerts and has beautiful scenery. At Brava Beach, you can sit back and watch the surfers riding impressive waves.
Angra dos Reis
Angra dos Reis (which translates as "the Bay of Kings") has 365 islands, one for each day of the year. Many of them have small beaches that can be reached by boat. It is like having your own small paradise, with clear waters, gorgeous forestry and white sand. Snorkelers, this is your place. The calmness of the sea is an invitation for those who enjoy watching underwater sea life. The still waters are perfect if all you want is just to have a swim.
It doesn't matter which mood you're in, Rio (and its neighboring cities) will offer you a perfect beach experience.