Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro
Great Surfing & Views From the Rocks!
Arpoador Beach is a small section of sand and rock at the upper end of Ipanema Beach, that comes to a point with hiking trails and large rocks that afford spectacular views down to Leblon Beach and Sao Conrado.
Arpoador Beach borders the neighborhood of the same name, and is one of the more popular beaches in Rio de Janeiro. Make sure to check out this amazing beach. On the beach near the Posto 8 lifeguard station there's a well established weight lifting and exercise area. Here you will find athletes and muscle men working out daily.
You will find some of Rio de Janeiro's best surfing in Arpoador Beach, with waves constantly breaking and crashing at the point.
Surfistas (Portuguese for "surfers") jockey for position in the waves from dusk to dawn, and draw a crowd of onlookers who take in the best vantage point from the large rocky outcrop overlooking the best surf areas. You can rent surfboards and take inexpensive surfing lessons from a few vendors along this beach.
But the biggest draw by far are the spectacular sunsets seen on any clear day at Arpoador Beach!
The rocks at Arpoador Beach have small trails that are great for walking about especially in the morning and early evening when the light makes for wonderful views up and down the coast. All sorts of people visit the rocks including couples enjoying romantic moments, groups of kids smoking pot and watching the surfers, families with small children climbing about, and others watching the fishermen.
Good walking or running shoes are all that's needed to climb the rocks and hike the trails, but you will also see many people treking about in their Havaianas (flip flops).
Insider's Tip - Take a walk up Ipanema Beach to Arpoador Point in the late afternoon to take postcard perfect photos from the rocks at sunset. Then walk a short distance to one of the ocean front indoor/outdoor restaurants. Have an early evening meal or pestiscos (appetizers)and chopp (draft beer). Later head back to your lodgings to prepare for a night on the town!
Arpoador means 'fisherman who harpoons'. Although you may not see anyone spearing fish, you will find fisherman whose long poles are outfitted with multiple hooked lines. Watch them reel in small orange fish by the dozens. These fish hide and feed under the surf that crashes into the large rocks facing the Atlantic Ocean. It's quite a sight to watch the fishermen cast their lines a short distance into the rocky surf and then pull in a few fish at the same time. Families come here to buy fish straight off the hook or out of the ice chest!
At the base of the rocks are very large lights that illuminate the beach at night. It's fairly safe to venture out here at night, but it's recommended to go in larger groups and not after midnight.
The favela (slum) of Cantagalo is nearby, so families and kids from that area use this beach. The favela kids are known for committing petty theft up and down the beach. There's usually a cop or two walking the sidewalk on the beach and up on the rocks, but they tend to spend more time looking at the girls or out at the ocean, then they do keeping an eye on the favela kids.
To the left of the rocks is the almost hidden small Praia do Diabo (Devil's Beach). The water is calmer on this side and this beach is favored by families for the better swimming. From this vantage point you can see Ponte Copacabana where the Copacabana Fort is located, and Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) that juts out at the upper end of Copacabana Beach. You won't be able to see Copacabana Beach from here due to it's crescent shape and being hidden behind the point.
There are a number of nice restaurants on the ocean front, and a few hotels including the new luxury Fasano Hotel. Arpoador Beach is a favored Rio neighborhood to stay, given it's proximity to both Copacabana and Ipanema neighborhoods.
Insiders Tip - you will find many rental apartments here, with prices comparable to Copacabana, yet with the benefit of being closer to upscale and more expensive Ipanema.
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