Praia do Leblon
A peaceful and family friendly beach situated in an area which is home to some of South America’s most expensive real estate. It runs from Ipanema up to the rocky cliffs pierced by Avenida Niemeyer. At the southern tip, the Dois Irmãos mountains provide a glorious backdrop to Zona Sul’s beaches. The nearest transport is the Metrô Bus to Bartholomew Mitre.
Address: Avenida Delfim Moreiea, Leblon
Praia do Leme
Leme is one of Rio’s smallest neighbourhoods and its tranquil beach curves sinuously along elegant Avenida Atlântica. Leme’s rocks really are a sight to behold, especially when a full moon rises behind them. The nearest transport is Metrô Cardeal Arcoverde and the connecting bus 590.
Address: Avenida Atlântica between Avenida Princesa Isabel and Praça Almirante Julio de Noronha, Leme
Praia de Copacabana
Copacabana beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world due to its iconic and striking landscape. With little kiosks sprinkled every few hundred metres, there is no shortage of places to grab a beer or snack. The ideal place to settle on the beach is around lifeguard tower 6. Here the waters are calmer and so more conducive to swimming and moreover, the view back along the beach is outstanding. The nearest transport is Metrô Cantagalo.
Address: Avenida Atlântica between Avenida Princesa Isabel and Rua Francisco Otaviano, Copacabana
Praia de Ipanema
Ipanema beach is a 2km stretch between Arpoador and Jardim de Alah. It is renowned for the hit tune “Girl from Ipanema”. The nearest transport is Metrô General Osório.
Address: Avenida Vieira Souto between Avenida Rainha Elizabeth and Avenida Epitácio Pessoa, Ipanema
Praia do Pepino
This beach is located at the end of the São Conrado beach and is the landing spot for hang-gliders and paragliders taking off from Pedra Bonita.
Praia do São Conrado
The hills of São Conrado are home to one of the biggest favelas in Latin America, Rocinha. They are also home to the luxurious homes of the well-to-do. This combination provides a dramatic backdrop to the beautiful beach. Its official name is Praia da Gavea, and it starts at the end of Avenida Niemeyer and runs as far as the São Conrado tunnel. At one end of the beach, the rougher eastern end, surfers from Rocinha occupy the water, whilst at the other end, clear blue water makes for excellent swimming. The nearest transport is the Metrô Bus to São Conrado.
Address: Avenida Prefeito Mendes de Morais, São Conrado
Praia do Flamengo
Flamengo beach is probably the beach with the cleanest sand. It is framed by Sugarloaf to the right and Niteroi in the distance. The nearest transport is Metrô Flamengo.
Address: Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Flamengo
Praia do Pepê
This beach is usually dominated by younger people and is a great spot for windsurfing, kitesurfing and body boarding.
Praia do Arpoador
Arpoador beach runs 800km between Copacabana Fort and Francisco Otaviano street. This beach offers the best surfing in Rio. It is here that the most thriving evening action can be found, with the floodlights keeping things well-illuminated long after dark. On a summer evening, you will find hundreds of people celebrating the sun as it sets into the ocean. The nearest transport is Metrô General Osório.
Address: Avenida Francisco Bering, Arpoador
Prainha is a secluded 700m long sandy strip at the end of Recreio. It is a rough area of sea, ideal for surfing. Although the cove makes for excellent surfing conditions, be aware that strong currents can make swimming more than a few metres out extremely dangerous. The best transport to Prainha is the Surf Bus (surfbus.com.br) and will cost you R$5. It is a convenient and inexpensive alternative to a taxi, leaving Largo do Machado every three hours from 7am until 4pm and taking the beach road all the way to Prainha, picking up passengers along the way.
Address: Avenida Estado da Guaratiba, Prainha
This little beach is surrounded by palm trees and is located just to the left of Arpoador Rock, facing the open ocean.
This is a nudist beach situated in the Environmentally Protected Area of Grumari, stretching out approximately 1.5km. To get there just follow the road that leads to Prainha and Grumari.
The Vermelha Beach is 243m of rather course yellowish sand, located in a fascinating area overshadowed by the Urca hills and Sugarloaf. It is without a doubt the most dramatic of all of Rio’s beaches, with Sugarloaf towering high overhead and the surrounding colonial architecture of the nearby buildings. The nearest transport is the Bus 512 to Urca.
Address: Praça General Tibúrcio, Urca