Ipanema Beach

Ipanema Beach (13)

At last. You finally made it. It's right in front of you. One of the most dreamed-about, sung-about and enjoyed beaches in the world. The one at the top of your to-do list.

Separated from Copacabana Beach by the Arpoador Stone, and located in one of the most famous and elegant areas of the city, Ipanema beach is the best beach in Rio. Known as the "carioca beach" it reflects like no other the spirit of the people of Rio, and the relaxed bohemian style and personality that attracts and charms so many.

Ipanema is fashionable, and has areas for football, volleyball and that typical Brazilian invention, footvolley (volleyball that uses a net, but can only be played with the feet and no hands). It also boasts fitness and weight training equipment, since body worship is something that characterises the cariocas and regular visitors to the beaches of Ipanema.

A curious fact: the name Ipanema does not come from Portuguese. In fact it means "dangerous waters" in Tupi-Guarani, something that really needs to be kept in mind, because the waters on this beach are quite choppy. The waves breaking on the shore and currents are very strong. I suggest that if you want to take a dip, you should follow a local, since they know the safest areas for bathing and swimming.

The beaches of Rio are separated by the famous postos, lifeguard stations that also divide the coast depending on the type of bathers. Ipanema beach is located between posto 7 near the Arpoador Stone, where surfers usually meet, and posto 11 on Leblon Beach. 

Postos 8, 9 and 10 are spread over more than two kilometres of beautiful white sands. Posto 8, meanwhile, is internationally known as a gay destination, thanks to its proximity to the Rue Farme do Amoedo, which is said to be the gayest street, not just in Brazil, but in the world. Many of the youngest people in Rio head to posto 9. But if you want to enjoy peace and quiet on the beach, I recommend posto 10, which is a much more varied setting, with people of all ages and several areas for beach volleyball, one of the most popular sports in this area of the coast. 

By the way, if you want to look like a true carioca, leave your towel at home and wear a sarong, just like the locals. And just to make sure that nothing spoils your perfect day, although the beaches are safe, there is some petty crime you should take care to avoid. Now grab your sarong, your havaianas and your sunscreen, choose the posto that best suits you and enjoy one of the best beaches in the world.

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