Beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

So Many Choices!

There are probably more wonderful beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil than in any other city in the world.

The two most famous beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach, and we have pages dedicated to each of them. These two beaches are located in the most popular tourist areas, and are adjacent to neighborhoods of the same name.

However, there are a few other fantastic city beaches nearby that are well worth visiting. And there are also several beaches further down the coast that are definitely worth a half day trip.

Below, we provide the highlights of the other popular beaches in Rio de Janeiro. For more detailed information, click on the link and go to the page for each beach.

Share your beach story Insider's Tip - Also, before you pack your clothes or hit the beaches in Rio de Janeiro, find out what to take and what to leave behind, by visiting our Insider's BeachTips Page.

Arpoador Beach

Fisherman Arpoador Beach

This is the next beach down from Copacabana, and is at the upper end of Ipanema Beach.

The waves can be huge and it's a great place for surfing. On any given day you will see a large number of "surfistas" jockeying for position to ride the waves.

At the upper end of Arpoador Beach, you will find a large rocky outcrop that affords commanding views of Ipanema and Leblon beaches.

It's great to watch the sun set from up on the rocks at Arpoador Beach.

Link to photos and information on Arpoador Beach.

Leblon Beach

Leblon Beach Sunset

This beach sits at the lower end of Ipanema Beach and is the most tranquil of all the beaches in Rio.

It's very popular with families who reside in the upscale neighborhoods behind it. You will find a number of luxury hotels favored by more affluent foreign tourists, as well as apartments owned rich and famous Brazilians.

Dois Irmãos (2 Brothers Mountain) provides the backdrop for this lovely beach.

Link to photos and information on Leblon Beach

Praia Vermelha

Praia Vermelha

This beautiful beach may just be Rio's best kept secret. It's a short taxi or bus ride from Ipanema or Copacabana, and is next to the cable car station that takes people up to Urca and Sugar Loaf.

This quiet little beach has all the amenities you need for a relaxing afternoon.

Monkeys at Praia Vermelha

Next to Praia Vermelha is a 1 mile paved walking trail that goes through a lush and protected forest. Along the way you have an excellent chance of seeing families of small monkeys!

Link to photos and information about Praia Vermelha.

Leme Beach

Leme Beach with Morro do Leme backdrop

This is one of the smaller beaches in Rio de Janeiro, and forms the upper end of Copacabana Beach, where it sits below a small mountain - Moro do Leme.

There is less activity here than on its well known neighbor, and you'll find upscale restaurants, hotels, and rental apartments on this end of the beach. Leme is very popular with vacationing couples.

Insider's Tip - On the upper end of Leme and Copacabana Beach stands 700 ft Morro do Leme with it's 18th century fort on top. Take the short nature hike up to the fort, admire the 288 mm Howitzer cannons, and enjoy panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro.

The Beaches Southwest of Rio

There are several excellent beaches in Rio de Janeiro, that are located just outside the city. A visit to these beaches makes for an excellent day trip, and is a good a reason as any to rent a car and head out of the city for a day!

These beaches are between 30 - 60 minutes outside of Rio proper. It's a pretty easy drive for foreigners, or you can take a round trip on the Surf Bus, that makes stops to pick up and drop off people at the hotels along Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches.

Joatinga Beach

Surfer at Joatinga Beach near Rio de Janeiro

On the far side of Sao Conrado, you will find small and rocky Praia do Joatinga, hidden away from view. It must be reached by car up the windy road named Estrada do Joa. Park your car and hike down a short trail to Joatinga Beach.

It's a wild little surfer beach with great waves. Hugging the cliffs you will see expensive house, including one owned by soccer legend Pele. Pack a lunch, as there are no services at Joatinga Beach.
Link to Joatinga Beach Photos page

Barra da Tijuca

Barra da Tijuca Beach

"Barra" is a long thin stretch of sandy white sandy beach, protected by a marsh beyond it, and is adjacent to the large suburb Barra da Tijuca. The upper part of the Barra Beach has several Barracas (beach bars) and Kiosks serving seafood.

This part of the beach is great for surfing or windsurfing, with both lessons and equipment available for rent. The water and surf is quite rough here.

Barraca do Pepê, is a real hot spot on the beach in Barra da Tijuca. The chic and beautiful Cariocas flock to this popular beach kiosk for lunch, or to have drinks and people watch.

Barra gets crowded on the weekends as Cariocas descend on it from the suburbs, but the further west you go, the more deserted it becomes.

Recreio de Bandeirantes

Recreio de Bandeirantes Beach

"Recreio" Beach is down at the far southwest end of Barra, and here you will find calmer waters and good swimming. Housing developments have reached this area, but overall it's a low key place with food and drink available.

Prainha Beach

Prainha - a Beach outside Rio de Janeiro

When you reach Prainha (meaning "little beach"), you are now officially out of the city, and you begin to get a feel for what it's like at the more remote beaches in Brazil. Prainha is less than 1km long and it's one of the best beaches in Rio de Janeiro state at which to surf.

There are a few Barracas and Kiosks that serve food and drink, and it's mostly the surfistas who hang out here. This is a great place for any tourist to spend a few hours watching the surfers and the waves.

Link to our page of Information and great photos of Prainha Beach


Bombeiro (lifeguard) tent at Grumari Beach

Grumari Beach is the last and most remote beach southwest of Rio and it's a real paradise. The backdrop of marshes and hillside vegetation is simply stunning. The place is really deserted during the week, and because of very little development, it's an excellent place to find some peace and solitude.

The upper part of the beach is host to Abrica Beach, the only nudist beach in the area. Abrica is somewhat sheltered by some large rocks and banana trees, enabling naked sun worshipers to sunbathe and look out at the ocean in relative privacy. The freak crowd hangs out (literally) at this upper section of Grumari Beach.

See more information & photos of Grumari Beach

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