When Jeff and I were in Rio the weather was pretty great – not too hot or rainy (it was just at the cusp of the dry / rainy seasons and we lucked out!), so we made the most of it and went to the beach nearly every day. Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, we visited all of the main ones.
What was interesting is that, besides all the beaches being along the same coast (one day we chose to walk from the end of Leblon allll the way back to Copacabana), there is a strong beach culture. There are stands where you can rent a beach chair and umbrella or order drinks (pictured above!), merchants walking along the beach selling everything from snacks / drinks to bikinis, sarongs to selfie sticks, and even the regulars topping up their tans, going for a dip or playing some football- Rio’s beaches have a wonderful sense of community.
This post is about some of the things I enjoyed most at the beaches in Rio.
Obviously, the beaches in Rio are gorgeous. I didn’t take any pictures of the view when we visited Copacabana (don’t ask – I don’t know what I was thinking, either!) but I can promise you it’s just as beautiful as the other beaches…
Here you can see Dois Irmãos off in the distance.
The beaches are lined with palm trees all along the coast.
Over there you can see Pão de Açúcar, as well as the coast at Copacabana.
And it all looks just as beautiful during the sunset. (Can someone please buy me a ticket back there?!)
I wasn’t expecting it, but Rio’s beaches offered some great waves! Apparently that’s a well known fact, but so many times when friends have said the waves there are great I find myself let down by how not grand they are. While I don’t surf, I do love splashing about in the water and riding the waves up and down before swimming in.
Beach chairs & umbrellas
Obviously we didn’t bring beach chairs or umbrellas in our suitcases, so it was great to know we could actually rent these (and for pretty cheap – approximately £1-3 per item per day depending where we sat!) at the beach.
Which just made the whole experience so, so much more luxurious.
All along the beaches, up and down, are merchants selling all sorts of goodies – including lunches and snacks. One of my favourite snacks at the beach was biscoitos.
Biscoitos are round, light, flaky cracker type snacks, and there are two kinds: salty (sal) and sweet (doce or açúcar). I was doing the buying, so we got the salty ones. These were surprisingly moreish and a great crunchy snack. (Later we bought a bag at the airport to munch on before it was time to board.)
Compared to England, coconut water is dirt cheap in Rio. And fresh coconuts even moreso – probably because there isn’t any production cost involved, all you have to do is chill it (so the water inside isn’t hot from the sun) then cut open the top.
And with my addiction to coconut water I wasn’t going to pass up any opportunity to enjoy a fresh coconut. I literally bought one every time I saw them on offer, and when they cost between about 50 pence – £1 each that was a pretty affordable habit.
So I enjoyed them between swims in the ocean at Ipanema’s Posto 9…
…before I forced Jeff to take a selfie with me and another coconut on the same day.
At Leblon I was keen to get a picture of my beautiful coconut with the islands in the distance…
…and then had another one while lounging in the shade. If I could bring these back with me to London I totally would have.
As someone who doesn’t live in a warm climate (who are you trying to fool, London!), palm trees are a total novelty for me. They’re like tall, majestic, beautiful signifiers of holiday and vacation and fresh coconuts above.
And in Rio, palm trees line the beach all the way down the coast.
All along the beaches, just by the row of palm trees, is this gorgeous tiling.
Finally – there are beach cocktails! (And they’re cheap at about £3-5 each) The merchants walking along the beach sell them, the stalls where you can rent your beach chairs and umbrellas sell them, and the little cafes along the road sell them. If you’re in Rio do yourself a favour: order a caipirinha, sit on the beach and watch the waves crash. Bliss.