Rio de Janeiro Beaches
Playground for the World

I have been to Rio de Janeiro Beaches and can tell you that they are a great place to visit.

Some of them are not the typical white sand beaches like you may encounter in the South Pacific or the Caribbean.

But Rio the “Cidade Maravilhosa” has the most world renowned beaches when you want action, swimming, surfing, nightlife and much more...

Copacabana Beach Rio one of the World's Top Beaches

Copacabana Beach Rio one of the World's Top Beaches

Copacabana Beach Rio

This beach is, I think, one of the most famous beaches in the Planet. Who hasn’t heard of Copacabana? It is the first thing that comes to mind when we say Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

It is located on the southern end of the famous 700 foot Pão de Açucar or in English the Sugarloaf Mountain. It is more than 3 km long. If you like to see and be seen this is the place to go. It is lined by hotels for all budgets, fine indoor and outdoor restaurants, bars and nightclubs

“Copa” attracts thousands of people daily day and night. During night it is well illuminated but it is not recommended to walk the beach at night at all. It is better to stay on the other side of the road where the hotels and restaurants are.

The boardwalk has been photographed and seen all over the world. It was finished in the early 1970’s and is 4 km long. It is a long wave of black and white pavement designed by Roberto Burle Marx.

Ipanema Beach in Rio famous for the

Ipanema Beach in Rio famous for the "Girl of Ipanema"

Ipanema Beach

The beach of Ipanema is located next to Copacabana, I mean, further down. In general Ipanema is a trend setter for ages. Here was born the “tangas” or mini-mini-bikinis. Here was seen for the first time a pregnant woman in bikinis. But what made Ipanema famous was the song “The Girl from Ipanema”

Ipanema is a beautiful stretch of about 2 km of sand beach always full with beach goers from all over the world. This is the place in Rio where you want to go to see and be seen.

Ipanema, beside a famous beach is a neighborhood lined with bars, restaurants upscale shops along Rua Vincius de Morais street and others.

Rio de Janeiro Beaches

Great Surfing in Arpoador Beach Rio de Janeiro

Great Surfing in Arpoador Beach Rio de Janeiro


This is a smaller and quieter beach located exactly on the divide between Copacabana and Ipanema between tow large formations of rocks.

This is a family oriented beach without the huge crowds of Copa. Surfing here is great since the waves break into the rocks from morning to evening making it the dream for all surfers.

would rather not participate. The beach has become so popular for surfers that large floodlights have been set up for night surfing.  It is well illuminated during the night to allow for night surfing.

I’d rather go to one of the rock and enjoy the sunset which is unique in Ipanema.

Leblon is one of the upscale Rio de Janeiro Beaches

Leblon is one of the upscale Rio de Janeiro Beaches

Leblon Beach

Located west of Ipanema, this strip of beach is lined with many hotels bars and restaurants. It is also a place for high-class boutiques and shopping malls.

The local residents of Leblon consider this beach their own private beach, so it attracts a more exclusive crowd, more relaxed than the previous mentioned neighbors

Close to the Posto # 12 there is a large cove with calm waters ideal for families with small children. There are some children games on spot and it helps the adults enjoy the beach and at the same time take care of the children.

The Red Sands of Praia Vermelha on Rio de Janeiro Beaches

The Red Sands of Praia Vermelha on Rio de Janeiro Beaches

Praia Vermelha

The name means in English Red Beach and it is by all means an elegant and glamorous beach surrounded by palm and bamboo trees besides many other plants that help make this an oasis in the bustling Rio de Janeiro Beaches.

The beach is also famous among surfers that concentrate in the area called Saquinho and enjoy the soft waves. Here is a good place for beginners.

From Praia Vermelha you may take the cable car to visit the famous Pão de Açucar or Sugar loaf that rises majestically to 400 meters above sea level. Once on top the view of Guanabara Bay to the other side is out of this world. I did it with my wife and can tell you that you’ll never forget the experience.

Map of Rio de Janeiro Beaches

Map of Rio de Janeiro Beaches

Leme Beach

This is the beach closest to the Pão de Açucar. Next to Copacabana it is totally different in style. Leme Beach is a family oriented one. Just sitting on the beach, watching the views and waiting for the sunset is by itself an experience.

They have arranged a pier for fishermen on Lewme Rock on the other end of the beach. Many come here to relax and try to catch some fish.

Great Beach of Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro

Great Beach of Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro

Barra da Tijuca

This golden sands beach is often referred as just “Barra” and has great surf for the lovers of surfing.  The beach is clean and organized and has facilities for volleyball and other beach games. It also features many restaurants and bars. And for the ladies, it features a mall called Barra Shopping Mall featuring about 500 stores.

I must make a remark, that this beach has strong currents and it is recommended to stay within reach of lifesavers. For those insisting on surfing there are schools providing the necessary skills for that sport.

For more information visit Brazil Tourism Website

Prainha Beach is a National Park in Rio de Janeiro

Prainha Beach is a National Park in Rio de Janeiro

Prainha Beach

The beach is located almost at the city limits. For this reson many go there to get away from the noise and enjoy a day in a beautiful beach and much peace.

Prainha should be enjoyed during week days when it is less crowded. The beach has no hotels, but people stay in Barra da Tijuca and go just to enjoy this beach.

Rio de Janeiro Beaches are plenty. I gave you a summary of those I have visited and enjoyed. But Rio is much more than beaches. This second largest city of Brazil is one of the places one should see at some point in life. Going up to the Christ the Redeemer Statue at Mount Corcovado or the Sugar Loaf is worth the whole visit to Rio.

images credits for rio de janeiro beaches

barra da tijuca    andrevruas
copacabana    chensyuan
ipanema    n/a
praia vermelha    n/a

all courtesy of wikimedia commons

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