We had planned to go to the second wedding in Goiania, Brazil. We had a few days before the rest of the guests and the bride & groom arrived to Goiania, so decided to hit another Brazilian locale. We chose Rio de Janeiro as we had heard a lot of good things about the oceanfront city.
It was winter in Brazil, but temperatures were still warm in the upper 70’s. It was cooler than it had been in the States but not too cool for swimming.
We stayed at Copacabana Beach. This was mainly due to the fact that we had Marriott points and the JW Marriott was the only option of the chain in Rio. Our hotel was right across from the famous beach. It was nice…we ended up taking a walk daily down its 6km length.
Copacabana Beach. View from the JW Marriott.
However, our favorite was probably Ipanema. As I have mentioned before on the blog, I love it when beach landscapes have terrain adding to the panorama than just the ocean. And Ipanema fit my “perfect beach” because of this quality. It also had gorgeous blue water and felt a bit safer than some of the other beaches that we visited.
Ipanema Beach and Two Brothers mountain
Swimmers in Ipanema
We also took a walk on Praia de São Conrado. It is more southward of the city and located just under one of the 1500 slums in Rio. It stands in the shadow of Pedra da Gavea, which is the world’s largest monolith sitting on a coastline.. Again, I enjoyed it because of this feature.
The Sao Conrado beach falls on the other side of this giant mountain. The favelas, slums, surround the mountain. At least they have water views!
Sao Conrado beach
Lusi drove us by the 22 km Barra da Tijuca beach, but we ended up just taking a drive because it was so long and we were limited on time.
A few tips on beaches:
– Pack sunscreen – the sun is intense!!!! We had a lot of haze but the sun still can penetrate your skin.
– Wear the right flip flops. The Brazilian brand Havaianas is famous. You can purchase them for 15 R and up on the streets.
– Be careful. We had heard never to walk on the beach after dark. Also, we were strongly discouraged to take a camera on a walk on the beach or any money, watches or valuables. These photos were taken from high rises, or either when our tour car was in sight.
– As far as attire, anything goes. We saw everyone from five year olds to grandmas sporting the famous Brazilian thong (called fio dental translating to “dental floss”). No one lets weight or age stand in their way. Plus, speedos are the norm for the fellows.