Are there Topless Beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil? (Aug 2011)
by Anonymous Guy
Photo by Paellaking (Pedro Lopez) Creative Common License
I've heard that there are topless beaches in Rio, but I couldn't find any information (or pictures) on the web. Can you clear this up for your male readers?
Sorry guys - topless sunbathing is not permitted on the city beaches of Rio de Janeiro. This urban myth was probably perpetuated by the 1984 film "Blame it on Rio", starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore. (No, it wasn't Demi who went topless on Ipanema Beach, it was the young actress who played the daughter of Caine's character.)
Recently however, there were some women noticeably sunbathing topless on Copacabana Beach. It was an unofficial protest against the nudity law, which ended in a few arrests, and created a bit of a media circus and countless debates in the local
bars and kiosks along the beaches.
Consider however, that the tiny size of the Brazilian bikini doesn't leave much to any young man's imagination. The Brazilian bikini is called a "Tanga", and the slang expression for it is "Fio Dental" (dental floss...). A Brazilian man's bathing suit is called a "sunga" and is just slightly larger, and more fashionable, than America swimmer Michael Phelp's Speedo.
Most Brazilians consider topless or nude sunbathing to be rather crass and unsophisticated. Rio de Janeiro is the fashion capital of Brazil, and is known as the Paris of South America. Parading around naked on the beach would take away the opportunity for the "tall and tanned and young and lovely girls from Ipanema", to show off the latest and hottest swim wear fashions.
There is a nude beach down the coast about an hour, called "Abrica", which is located on the upper end of the very pristine Grumari Beach. You'll need to get there and back by car or taxi, as buses aren't allowed to reach this ecological area. The last time we visited Abrica Beach, it was full of middle age nature lovers, and there wasn't a Brazilian supermodel to be seen.
More more information about Brazilian beach etiquette, visit our Rio de Janeiro Beach Tips page.
Boa viagem from,
The Editors of Rio de Janeiro Travel Information