Best Beaches searching takes us South of the Border! Wow, what can we say that hasn’t been sung about Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil? Back in the 60’s Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Morais penned the famous lyrics and music to “The Girl from Ipanema” about a girl they saw on this very beach. Though both have passed, the girl and beach still live on.
It’s Ipanema Beach in Rio, the starting place for the Brazilian bikini, or “tanga” as it’s called, along with the G-string bathing suit for men. And who could forget the dental-floss bikini? You’ll still see many of all these right here on Ipanema.
Where else on the planet do you have mountains cascading down to the sea, interspersed with golden white sand beaches and tropical flora showcasing every vista? Come to Ipanema Beach to grab a bit of samba, a bit of the Brazilian flavor, and to relax among the sweeping Atlantic ocean views.
When you go, what can you expect? Beautiful weather, miles and miles of pure white sand and yes, people. The locals flock to Ipanema Beach from the suburb of Ipanema (and surrounding burbs). But you’ll be able to enjoy the sound of the surf, the sun, and don’t forget, “people watching”. Ipanema Beach has it all – with street vendors stopping by with local favorite snacks, seafood and coconuts – so you can drink the milk right from the coconut with a straw. Don’t worry, they open the coconut right in front of you.
In case you’d rather have more “space”, don’t think every day brings a crowd. The locals come mainly on holidays and weekends. The beach is quiet from sunrise until about 10:30 AM. For a real treat, take your camera to take pictures of the sun rising over the Atlantic. It is spectacular.
There are two sports played on Ipanema Beach in Brazil. The main one is soccer. Where there is a ball, you’ll find guys and even some gals now and then, playing their hearts out at the national pastime. See if you can picture a few above.
The second sport, (not counting people watching), is beach volleyball. Remember the past Summer Olympic Games; Brazil was in its element. You will find many soccer and volleyball games going on right on the beach. Join in, or simply watch the beauty.
Now, when When you need to take a break, simply cross the Avenida Atlantica to the upscale shops, awesome eateries and nightspots. If you’re into a little history, make sure you visit Rue Vinícius de Morais, and the Velloso Bar where the two greats wrote the memorable song.
On Saturday, try the local Feijoada, a spicy bean stew at the local restaurants. Plan to be in the area on a Sunday where the Hippie Fair offers the very best from local artists. This thing started back in the days of hippies and hasn’t slowed. Favorite finds are Brazilian musical instruments and the Brazilian Naif paintings (primitive art). The colors are spectacular. If you buy one, the beautiful frame which costs hundreds at home, is a bargain. If at all possible, have them dismount the frame and bring it back as well. Take some of Brazil home with you. At night you’ll want to visit the many cafés and bars to get a real taste of Brazil.
Then you’ll know why the Girl from Ipanema still lives here.
- Sand – white powder, medium grain
- Facilities – various along the crescent
- Shade – none, but inexpensive umbrella rentals abound. You face east, so remember that mid-morning to early afternoon are ideal for tanning.
- Sports – none, bring beach games if you like. Soccer and volleyball games abound.
- Notes – swim, surf, tan, people watch
December to March is warmest – 77 to 95F (25 to 35C). Their winter is June through August – 55 to 64F (13 to 18C). New Year’s Eve and Carnival are the busiest times – book well in advance.
There are two cables; one to the first mountain, then another to the top of Sugarloaf.
As you ascend, look for rock wall climbers making their way to the summit.
Go on a clear day to avoid disappointment. Cloudy/foggy days will leave you nothing much to see.
Ipanema Beach is the beach to the left. Copacabana Beach is to the right.
Check out other Best Beaches of Brazil.