Rio de Janiero, Brazil, is known for many things: the Christ the Reedemer statue atop Corcovado Mountain, the breathtaking panoramas from Sugar Loaf Mountain, the sights and sounds of Rio Carnival, the Plataforma Samba Shows, and exciting nightlife. But quite possibly the most famous thing of all are the Rio Brazil Beaches.
There are 40 kilometers of beaches on the Rio coastline where you can sink your toes in the sand and enjoy the strong Brazilian sunshine. Here you will learn about the 4 main beaches: Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana and Leme.
Rio Brazil Beach: Leblon
Leblon is an exclusive beach frequented by the wealthy and dotted with high-end bars, restaurants and shopping. This beautiful Rio Brazil beach is a great area for families because there tends to be fewer crowds and most importantly, the Baixo Baby area. This is an enclosed area toys and games for young children, and also hosts a baby changing station. For adults there are organized sports activities, wide sidewalks for walking, and interesting shops to peruse.
Rio Brazil Beach: Ipanema
Next to Leblon, separated by a small channel, is Ipanema. Ipanema is one of the trendiest areas of Rio and is a center for many activities. This area, like Leblon, is very wealthy and the restaurants, shopping and activities cater to the higher-end of society. If you want to spot celebrities enjoying the sunshine, this is the place to stay! There is a mixture of young and old beachgoers here and this Rio Brazil beach has something for everyone. The calm waters allow younger swimmers to enjoy the water and there are roped off sections for mothers and children. You will see quite a number of body surfers and sail boats in the distance. In the winter, this is where the surfers go, enjoying waves up to 9 feet high! Near the beach, the famous “Hippy Fair” takes place on Sundays and you can find locals selling their high quality handicrafts, art, photography, clothing, leather goods and more.
Rio Brazil Beach: Copacabana
By far the most famous and frequented of the beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana is the hotspot for nightlife, restaurants and beach activities. This Rio Brazil beach is a melting pot for all sorts of people: the wealthy and non-wealthy, young and old, locals and non-locals. For the more active, there are large sidewalks for walking and running, and organized sports activities: volleyball, soccer, and Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts). The less active beachgoer can enjoy the sunshine and the views of Sugar Loaf Mountain. Small restaurants and bars line up near the beach to serve the famous Brazilian alcoholic drink, the Caipirinha, as well as traditional snacks. There are public lockers, showers and bathrooms along the walkways for a small fee.
Rio Brazil Beach: Leme
Leme is the farthest east of the popular Rio Brazil beaches, making it the closest to Sugar Loaf mountain. This beach is in more of a residential area and has far fewer crowds. On the weekends, you can visit Forte Duque de Caxia, a cultural center with a historical museum and a lookout at the top of the Fort with amazing views of Sugar Loaf, the Christ the Redeemer statue, and Guanabara Bay. Don’t miss the Leme rock (Pedra do Leme), a large rock formation that serves as a sightseeing point (the locals say this is one of the best areas to watch the sunset!), a restaurant area where you can sample the best of Brazilian dishes, and also a fisherman’s area. At the end of the beach is Morro de Leme, a wilderness area that is home to the Sagui monkey, as well as 90+ animal species and 10,000 varieties of plants.
Beyond the Rio Brazil Beaches: Buzios, Ilha Grande, and Paraty
Just outside of Rio de Janeiro is a peninsula by the name of Buzios, which harbors several idyllic Brazil beaches. Many of the Buzios beaches are much quieter than those of Rio de Janeiro’s, offering a respite from the busyness of the larger city. An even more remote getaway is that of Ilha Grande, called “Big Island” in Portuguese. This tropical island also has great beaches, cobblestone streets, and beautiful Atlantic Rainforest jungle. Lastly, Paraty is an excellent option for those who want to go beyond the Rio Brazil beaches. Paraty is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was an important port city during the colonia gold rush era. Here you’ll find more beaches, cobblestone streets, and beautiful scenery.
Interested in traveling to Rio de Janeiro to experience the amazing Rio Brazil beaches first-hand? We offer a Rio, Illha Grande, & Paraty tour that includes Rio de Janerio as well as nearby tropical beaches of Illa Grande and Paraty. We also have a tour of Rio & the beaches of Buzios.