Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Ipanema, Copacabana or Leblon, for an out comer, are just names of successive areas of this beach (with Arpoador in the middle, standing as a geological "accident") .
We stayed in Leblon, and walking to Copacabana, along Ipanema, allowed us to see how everybody gathers in the "Calçadão", the long and large foot way along the beaches.
Ipanema Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. It does have it's detractors for it is very crowded in the summer and on weekends. However I am told that the locals tend to look down on the other beaches in Brazil, thinking that their beach in incomparable. I guess to each their own. Personally this is one of my favourite places on the planet and I did not want to leave.
The beach itself is a wide stretch of sand that extends for several miles. It is a gorgeous mountain backdrop. There are many hotels here and this is the best place to stay in Rio. The problem is that the hotels tend to be expensive. In fact this is the priciest place in Brazil. If you want to by a condo on the beach, expect to cough up millions. There are few cheap restaurants and places to drink.
The beach is lined with little kiosks that sell food (beware!) and the least expensive beer in Rio. I preferred to sit here after dark than at my hotel. At onetime it was us suppose to be very unsafe here after dark but this is no longer the case. The beach is lined with lights and many locals actually jog along the beach after hours. The surf is quite high on the eastern end of the beach and it is a good place to surf. The western end is closer to the favelas hence is frequented by Rio's most poverty stricken. It still seems safe.
Sadly many of pictures were lost during my trip. I did manage to take a few in my back up camera.
We visited this famous beach in Oct so there are no crowds, just a few tourists and some young locals practising soccar. No wonder this beach is so famous . It is a wide stretch of perfect white sand, huge waves all protected and nestled into a bay. It is spectacular. The landscape is completed bu cone shaped mountains along the coast with red roofed housed splling down the their cliffs.
This was a perfect place for us to stroll and rest. Ii helped me recover from a rotten cold and a long overnight trip
...at least in my opinion as I was amazed by the amounts of volleyball games and hybrid soccer/volleyball games that were taking place. People were working out at these crazy looking mini outdoor gyms and everyone looked to be active and fit. I immediately felt like a sloth and put my shirt back on. This seemed like the longest stretch of beach and towards the west end of the beach there were wide open spaces of sand to lay out on, unlike Copacabana which didn't seem to have any space. So if your looking for fun and games and people who are far more attractive than you than by all means come for a visit. Just don't forget your shirt, you might end up needing it.
Ipanema is the place to hang out.
Even if Copacabana has become better in recent years the Ipanema is still the coolest hangout.
Ipanema is where the better to do brazilians hang out and the beach is full of social life and sports.
It has a great volleyball scene in the late afternoon that should not be missed and several little beach bars line the avenue and invites you for a drink.
Ipanema is not just the beach.
The back streets has a lot to offer too aswell in terms of restaurants, cafes, shopping and good life in general.
Bring your sunglasses when going to a Rio beach! Ipanema Beach is usually the first encounter with abrazilian beach for tourists arriving the samba capitol. If the blinding white sand and the sun doesn't blind you, the beautiful Rio de Janeiro beach people will! Entering the Brazil beach landscape of Rio going from west to east, you'll see the wide white sand unfold before you, just crossing the Avenida Atlantica. Ipanema is located right at the south zone of the city, with just a stroll needed to get there. Brazilians have tradition for going to Rio beaches. They often go early or in the afternoon when the sun has lost some of its intensity. A popular activity among the locals is doing exercise on the beach of Rio either with training equipment, or playing some Rio beach volleyball or barefoot football. On the other side of Avenida Atlantica are tons of shops, like an outdoor mall. Get your fix of bikinis, trinkets, food, and surf gear. Also, get some liquor in a pineapple and walk around with it!
The Ipanema Hippie Fair takes place every Sunday. Here you'll find clothing, leather goods, jewellery and Brazilian arts & crafts. I enjoyed looking at the paintings that had been done by the local artists. If you are hungry there are stalls selling various local food & drink.
Like Copacabana the beach at Ipanema is set in a beautiful location. I enjoyed Ipanema more as it seemed less touristy & more for the locals. I also found the hastle of the beach sellers to be a lot less in Ipanema. Away from the beach the shops, bars & restaurants of the nearby streets are well worth exploring.
Hang Glading over Rio de Janeiro and landing in the beach is the most delicious experience.
It was incredible and not frightening at all. Beto the guide is superb, he makes you fly with total control and security. Besides you do not need to know how to guide the Alas Delta aparatus. It was an enjoyable experience that I would repeate it over and over.
check out the many pictures I took of the whole flight, since a picture is worth more than a thousand words.
during the flight you can see the whole city, hear the tucans, view the ocean, feel the breeze and just feel HEAVEN in earth.
Ipanema is the place to be while in Rio De Janeiro. Beautiful and wealthy Cariocas (residents of Rio) stroll along its incredible beach while other trendy young professionals shop in the tree lined streets. Open air cafes, restaurants and bars make this entire area the place to be seen and it is not uncommon to see Cariocas walking around with nothing but swim wear and sandals. The beach itself is broken into districts based on Life Guard Towers (each post is unofficially represented by a different strata of society with Post 9 being for the beautiful people). The citys high end shops can deplete a budget in a hurry and just about anything goes in this area of the city making Ipanema a highlight for anyone enjoying Brazil
I had a travel book with me while I was in Ipanema and I read about this Hippie Fair at the Praca General Osorio on Sundays. And it was a Sunday on that day, 10 AM...so I took a taxi to bring me to the Osorio and true enough the Fair was there (which actually starts at 8AM and ends sometime during the afternoon...stalls do close at different times, some at 2PM, some much later).
But I thought I was going to see some FLOWER PEOPLE with maybe some of those colorful shirts and wacky hairdo's and bands...but instead it was actually a "crafts" fair.
One of the things I regretted was not finalizing to buy this colorful $300 World Map on wonderful leather which until now I think would look good in my study/library! I should have bought that and I am so stupid because the owner also accepted credit cards and I did not have mine at the time...
But, I did get to buy little toys for the kids, including a Brazilian-made Hello Kitty bag for my girl and a wooden train set for my boy. I also saw some people I met at the beach going around and buying stuff with their family.
The fair also had paintings by local artists, and I wanted some of the bigger ones but did not know how to bring them back to USA.
Lots of trinkets - and those are probably the most "hippie" stuff in the area...you don't hear 1960's Beatles music or psychedelic stuff...but definitely a place to buy Brazilian art and also to observe locals and tourists alike...
Next time I'm going to Brazil, I'm buying that map! Hehehe...
Second most famous beach in Rio. This is a very unusual shot. Shot was taken on a cool late spring morning. A few hours later, the place was teaming with people.
This beach has a much more local flavor than Copacabana
First developed in 1894, Ipanema became in the 1960s one of the most famous beach communities in the world. The world took notice of Ipanema when it emerged as the centre of the bossa nova music movement. Specifically, the song A Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema) written by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, which topped music charts for weeks, made Ipanema a household name. Ipanema today is one of the high-end neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro, with expensive houses, apartments, shopping and restaurants. Many visitors seeking the beach life of Rio have to choose between Ipanema and Copacabana. Ipanema is a little smaller and a touch more exclusive, but the beaches are super crowded, yet the restaurants and shopping are a little better. Ipanema is delineated by Copacabana, Leblon, the Atlantic Ocean and Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Take a look at the travelogue: "Boy and Girl from Ipanema" for photos of Ipanema's crowd.
Going to the beach in Rio de Janeiro has a culture of its own. The city has numerous beaches to choose from and range from the polluted or deserted, to the clean(er), beautiful and packed. Copacabana and Ipanema are the two most popular, but equally beautiful and much more isolated is São Conrado (though it is officially outside the city of Rio). Not surprisingly, beaches tend to be quieter in the middle of the week, but on weekends and holidays, the whole of Rio seems to be on the beach. It is definitely worth experiencing the beach when its crowded, if at least for people watching, but relaxing it is NOT! The attached photo shows just how crazy and crowded it could be. For photos of people on the beach, take a look at the travelogue: "Boy and Girl from Ipanema."
Spend a beach day at Ipanema. You can surf too. The area is great for people watching, swimming, surfing, getting a tan. Once you have that tan, sport it along the boardwalk. This and Copacabana are wonderfully long with fabulously wide and lovely boardwalks!