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Wild beaches and modern neighbourhoods of Rio

Discover the natural reserves of Recreio, prainha and Grumari and the Rio's trendiest neighbourhood: Barra da Tijuca.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Unknown
Length: 24.1 miles
Duration: Unknown
Family Friendly

Overview :  This guide attempts to point out some interesting beaches and sites that you can try when in Rio. There are quite a number of them!
... more »

Tips:  Travel by taxi, it is faster and safer than buses (about 80 reais round trip).

If you plan to enjoy the wild beaches of prainha and... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Mirante do Leblon

These two Kiosks are famous for their romantic scenic view on the neighbourhood Ipanema. A good place to start the visit and enjoy a coconut juice in the sunrise.

2. Beach of the Sheraton Hotel

A nice small beach in front of the hotel Sheraton.

3. Entrance road of the communidade (Favela) Vidigal

One of Rio's most famous "Favela" has a breathtaking view on the city and on the sea.
It is recommended to avoid visiting favelas without a guide, for safety reasons.

4. Motel with scenic view on the Atlantic

You'll come across many motels in Brazil, none of them will afford you the low-budget comfort room of their American namesakes. In Brazil, the term "motel" has only one meaning: a short-stay hotel which allows people privacy for sex.

As most young Brazilians live at home until they get married, motels first appeared in Brazil in the late 60s as... More

5. Av. Niemeyer

The road along the seashore offers great scenic views.
If you are driving, keep in mind that alcohol influence is forbidden when driving and controls are frequent.

6. Sao Conrado beach

São Conrado is a neighbourhood in the South Zone (Zona Sul) of Rio de Janeiro.
São Conrado is famous for its hang gliding, its Fashion Mall which houses over 150 luxury stores, and its golf.
The neighborhood (bairro) is made up of up-scale residential buildings. Contrasting with this wealth is the sight of the Favela "a Rocinha", which is located ... More

The Fashion Mall houses over 150 stores and is the highest standing shopping centre in Rio.
The Mall also houses excellent restaurants.

8. Favella: a Rocinha

Rocinha has the fame to be the largest favela in Rio. It is located in Rio's South Zone on a steep hillside overlooking Sao Conrado.
Most of the favela is on a very steep hill surrounded by the rainforest. Nowadays a sub-part of the favela has well developed infrastructures such as electricity and water supply but the majority of still lack these ... More

9. A Canoa

The small neighbourhood Canoa is perhaps the place of the highest standing mansions in Rio. The contrast with the tiny favela das Canoas is striking.

10. Landing place of the paragliders from Pedra Bonita

Do not miss a jump from the Pedra Bonita. Fantastic view on Rio's seashore.
see: http://www.riohanggliding.com/

This modern neighbourhood in the Western Zone of Rio will host most of the 2016 Summer Olympics Games.
Barra is one of the richest places in Brazil. It is believed to be the safest of Rio's upper class neighbourhoods mainly due to its lack of favelas. With big mansions and luxury condominiums, Barra da Tijuca is the home of the Brazilian high... More

12. Academia da cachaça

Inaugurated in 1989, the Academia da Cachaça shelter the collection of more than 2,000 bottles of cachaça telling the story of 130 years of sugar cane spirits.

The Academia da Cachaça has been confirmed as a reference in the gastronomy of Rio. Some of its products – caipirinha, feijoada, escondidinho – are considered in Brazil and abroad as the... More

A good place to enjoy some sushi.

Among the most famous "sucos" in Rio.

Located a few blocks down from the Pepê beach, this is a great place for a break. Menu options include breakfast and anytime foods, with several varieties of sandwiches and hamburgers, in addition to salads, pastas and fresh-squeezed juices.

The restaurant is one of the meeting point of Rio's celebrities.

15. Praia do Pepe

One of the trendiest beach in Rio filled with the beautiful and sexy people particularly over the weekends.

This beach is popular with surfers as well as kite boarders.

Make a stop at the Cabana do Pepe sandwich shop. Pepe was a famous hang glider who won several competitions. He started a small restaurant that focused on healthy food and fruit ... More

16. Golden Green condominium

This condiminium host many brazilian celebrities including world famous soccer-players.

One of the few "sucos" located on the seashore, high quality sandwiches and fruits juice. The egg-white diet omelette with vegetables, turkey and brazilian cheese "queijo minas" is famous among cariocas girls for its delightful taste along with low calories content.

BarraShopping is Rio de Janeiro’s most popular mall and is one of the largest malls in Central and South America.
It contains nearly 700 facilities to shop, eat and play; ENORMOUS!!! Open everyday up to 10 pm, it is a perfect rainy day activity or dinner place.

Recommended restaurants: Gula Gula (Brazilian food, cheap, fast and delightful),... More

19. Natural park Lagoa de Marapendi

With a natural lake and blessed with a view of the magnificent Pedra da Gávea, this 375-acre preservation area was created to protect the wildlife. It is a good place to walk around, bird watch and to see a Brazilian caiman or two, if you are lucky.

20. Beach Kiosks

Recreio beach is a paradise for surfers and those who want the whole beach to them selves and is thus especially appreciated by local celebrities.

The beach is about 10km long with kiosks every 200 meters.

21. Recreio dos bandeirantes

Recreio is a beach and neighbourhood in the West Side—Zona Oeste—of Rio. The neighbourhood is of recent development but did not have skyscrapers however. Recreio Beach is a good spot for surfing and the white sand beach is used by beach volleyball players. It is about one hour from the Rio city centre. Recreio means leisure.

22. Peninsula of the Pontal

The peninsula of the Pontal is the most beautiful part of Barra da Tijuca's beach which is 20 km long.

One of the most beautiful beach in Rio is frequented mainly by local residents because of its far distance from the city centre. As usual, you will find there delightful fresh coconut juice, great breaks to surf, white sand and crystal clear... More

23. Viewpoint on Recreio

On the road to Grumari and Prainha do not miss a brief stop to enjoy the scenic view.

24. Prainha

THE paradise for surfers and breathtaking sexy girls, this small wild beach has two kiosk selling Brazilian food and beverages.

2km of white sand and crystal clear water, with a few kiosks open only during the weekend, Grumari is the most famous wild beach in Rio.

26. Grumari's restaurant

A perfect place to enjoy a moqueca (staple dish from the Bahia region), pasteis de camarao (pastries with a wide variety of fillings, the most famous being shrimp) with great scenic view, wonderful sunset and live Bossa nova during the weekend.
(Be patient with the waiters however...)