Rio. Just the name sounds enchanting enough. Three letters that stand for beauty, beaches, and bikini clad Brazilians. But more than that, Rio de Janeiro holds the culture of the pleasure seeker. Now before you go off and think something crazy, know that we’re talking about vacations, holidays; a great time of beach fun, sports and laughter.
The name Rio de Janeiro comes from an explorer mistaking the port waters for the mouth of river. Not hard to do with the beautiful dark stone mountains cascading down into the heavy Atlantic surf leaving long bays that veer inland with grace.
Let’s take a look at a few of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
Of the more famous, Ipanema Beach is a kaleidoscope of eye candy. Perhaps that girl from the suburb of Ipanema will appear in a tanga. Here you’ll see young and old surfing, playing soccer, volleyball and futevoli which is a combination of soccer and volleyball. The stone laid boardwalk is home to coconut vendors who chop off the end of a juicy green coconut and hand it to you with a straw. Refreshing!
Locals jog and cycle on the walkway, too, so keep your eyes open. And yes, the locals are called “Cariocas” and they come to the beach in masses on the weekend, not only for the sports but just to hang out and chat, sunbathe and swim.
Leblon Beach which is close (connected) is known for its more sophisticated crowd who choose to hide away among the ever changing dunes. Both Ipanema and Leblon are wide beaches. Of the two, Leblon would be our choice for a family beach with a children’s park called Baixo Baby.
For surfing in Rio de Janeiro, head for the beach called Arpoador. The strong current here keeps the waves happening and the surf respectable.
A mere three blocks away – you’ve heard of Copacabana Beach known for the crescent of powdery white sand and the vistas of Rio that you often see in magazines or movies. On occasion there is some decent surf here. Check before you decide what beach to put in at.
Copacabana will have sports similar to Ipanema and is a little more touristy. In fact here you will find Capoeira demonstrations on the weekends. The best thing is to ask around because things do change and Rio is big. You can take an hour to get across town and don’t want to be disappointed.
We can’t leave out Barra Beach, short for Barra da Tijuca and close to the other beaches. You’ll soon find your favorite for your own beach reasons. There is some surfing here as well. On all the beaches or close to the beach you will find soccer being played. If you’re interested in playing, just ask.
And if you’re interested in those tiny tangas, they sell them right at the beach – all of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Oh, and we can’t leave out the food shacks around the beaches. Some are well established. You’ll also find vendors selling a few things on the beaches but in no way obnoxious. It adds to the cultury flavor of Brazil.