As you’ll come to realize very shortly after arriving in Rio de Janeiro, life and the atmosphere of this magical city revolves around its beaches.
Having a free day in Rio de Janeiro is essential to your experience of discovering the beach-culture of this magical city and enjoying some relaxing inspiration on one of Rio’s many shores.
However, Rio de Janeiro is so much more than the likes of the trendy Ipanema Beach, the vibrant Copacabana Beach and the family-filled sands of Leblon Beach. Discover the best unknown beaches of Rio de Janeiro for a unique twist to your time spent in this marvelous city.
♦ Praia da Joatinga
Sometimes the hardest places to reach are in fact the most rewarding and nestled between São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca, Joatinga Beach certainly does not falter. We would advise getting a taxi there and back as getting there is relatively difficult. You’ll need to work in order to get to the actual beach as you’ll have to walk down through some rocks but the reward for this challenge is breathtaking. A small cove with golden sands, the Joatinga Beach is surrounded by steep cliffs and during the week it is almost always deserted for your paradisaical enjoyment. If you’re thinking about going during a public holiday or on a hot weekend in Rio, you’ll need to get there early to stake your claim to a deckchair or two.
♦ Praia de Grumari
Beyond the hustle and bustle of Zona Sul and west of Leblon, the small beach of Grumari stretches for 1.5 miles. Admire Rio’s beautiful scenery on the white and red sands of Grumari which at the end of a short coastal drive is located in an environmental protection zone, buffered by mountains that fall away into the ocean. With a strong current, it is best to enjoy watching surfers practice than to go for a swim as we only want you to be swept away by the stunning views of Rio! Everyone that has been to Grumari Beach raves about its cleanliness and natural beauty and although not as close as Copacabana or Ipanema Beach, it is well worth the journey.
♦ Ilha de Paquetá
Departing from Praça XV, the main port of colonial Rio de Janeiro which is surrounded by centennial buildings, you’ll leave the Rio de Janeiro coastline behind as you head to Ilha de Paquetá in Guanabara Bay. This small island featured in pirate’s tales, literary novels and stories by Portuguese nobility stands out for its natural and historical beauty. Earning its name of ‘Love Island’ due to its charm, the island is like a step back in time to colonial Brazil and is a perfectly preserved, enchanting island. With no cars allowed on Paquetá Island, the quiet pace, cobblestone streets, spectacular views of Guanabara Bay and pristine beaches make this a perfect day trip away from the popular beaches of Rio de Janeiro.
♦ Praia do Prainha
Traveling past Barra da Tijuca and Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Prainha Beach is a secluded tropical paradise on the outer city limits of Rio de Janeiro. With stunning sandy beaches, clear waters and being backed by a verdant rainforest, Prainha Beach is heavenly. Prainha Beach is heavenly and the perfect place to soak up the peace and serenity of a beach destination on the outer shores of Rio. Beware as this is primarily a surfer’s beach due to its great waves and you should therefore be careful if you decide to enter its strong waters. However, this fact does not take anything away from the Hawaii-type atmosphere and breath-taking landscape that surrounds you and where you can sit back and watch the professionals take to the waves.
♦ Praia Vermelha
Beneath Morro da Urca and the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain is a very special beach called Praia Vermelha. Often forgotten due to the popularity of Copacabana and other Rio beaches, this narrow beach offers superb views of the rocky coastline of Rio de Janeiro and protected by the headland means the water is usually calm. The reddish sands and secluded setting of Praia Vermelha is a tiny oasis of quietness and beauty and is by far one of Rio’s most idyllic beaches. Providing unrestricted views of Sugarloaf Mountain rising above, the Vermelha Beach in Rio’s traditional and affluent neighborhood of Urca cannot be missed off your list of beaches to visit in Rio.