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When you visit Rio, set a day aside to spend on the beach. Vendors wander along the sand selling fresh coconut, beer and cachaca – Brazil’s national drink and an essential component of the caipirinha cocktail. Although Ipanema Beach is less busy than adjacent Copacabana, it is an excellent place to sip a drink and people watch. Ipanema is one of the most chic – and therefore most expensive – places in Brazil.
Watch the groups of people playing football, volleyball, or footvolley – a Brazilian combination of the two games. At the end of the day, settle down to watch the dazzling sunset which is often applauded by the crowds on Ipanema Beach during the summer months.
On a clear day, the sparkling blue water contrasts with the soft white sand creating a picturesque paradise. After heavy rain the water can sometimes appear a slightly murkier green, but the sea is always clean here due to the heavy swells. The swells also make swimming dangerous – look out for the lifeguard towers that line the beach and only swim in the designated areas.
Sunday is a great day to visit Ipanema Beach, when the road nearest to the beach is closed to cars, and overtaken by runners, walkers, bikers and skaters. There is also the hippie fair, with bohemian artists and craftspeople offering their creations.
The streets behind the beach are laid out in a grid formation and are easy to navigate. Rua Vinicius De Morais offers the ultimate in Brazilian fashion, with plenty of shops and boutiques tempting visitors from the beach. There are also lots of botequims – or bodegas – offering cold drinks, food and an unrivalled view of the passing crowds. A popular choice is Garota de Ipanema Bar, reported to be the place where the famous 60s song "The Girl from Ipanema” was written. Prices in Ipanema match the area’s reputation, so wander a little further from the beach if you are on a tight budget.
During Rio’s carnival, usually around February, why not join the 50,000 visitors that celebrate on Ipanema Beach. You will need to book early - along with New Year’s Eve this is the highest of Brazil’s peak season. Ipanema Beach is a 30-minute taxi or bus journey from Rio and is situated between Leblon and Arpoador.
Travel isn't about famous destinations and swanky hotels. It's about the experiences you embrace and the awesome memories you collect along the way!
On the hunt for something most travelers can do? Why not think about buying a Bike Tour - Beaches, Lagoon, Botanical Garden and Sunset?
Have some time up your sleeve? Visit our Ipanema Beach things to do page for a full range of options.
Located in Ipanema, this beach hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Posto 9, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, and Copacabana Beach. Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden and Rio Sul Shopping Mall are also within 6 mi (10 km). Nossa Senhora da Paz Station is 8 minutes by foot and Ipanema-General Osorio Station is 10 minutes.
Located in Copacabana, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk, just steps from Copacabana Beach and Avenida Atlantica. Praia do Leme and Chacrinha State Park are also within 15 minutes. Cardeal Arcoverde Station is 8 minutes by foot and Siqueira Campos Station is 10 minutes.
Nestled on the beach, this Copacabana hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Copacabana Beach and Avenida Atlantica. Ipanema Beach and Copacabana Fort are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cantagalo Station is 10 minutes by foot and Ipanema-General Osorio Station is 14 minutes.
With direct access to the beach, this Copacabana hotel is just steps from Carlos Drummond de Andrade Statue, Avenida Atlantica, and Copacabana Beach. Ipanema Beach and Copacabana Fort are also within 10 minutes. Ipanema-General Osorio Station is 10 minutes by foot and Cantagalo Station is 14 minutes.
Located in Ipanema, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within 1 mi (2 km) of Posto 9 and Ipanema Beach. Avenida Atlantica and Copacabana Beach are also within 2 mi (3 km). Nossa Senhora da Paz Station is only a 3-minute walk and Ipanema-General Osorio Station is 15 minutes.
Located in Ipanema, this hotel is steps from Forum Ipanema Shopping Mall and Ipanema Beach. Avenida Atlantica and Copacabana Beach are also within 1 mi (2 km). Nossa Senhora da Paz Station is only a 2-minute walk and Ipanema-General Osorio Station is 15 minutes.
Nestled on the beach, this Leblon hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Vidigal Beach, Ipanema Beach, and Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden. Leblon Beach and Posto 12 are also within 15 minutes. Antero de Quental Station is 21 minutes by foot.
Located in Ipanema, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Garden of Allah and Ipanema Beach. Avenida Atlantica and Copacabana Beach are also within 2 mi (3 km). Nossa Senhora da Paz Station is 5 minutes by foot and Antero de Quental Station is 15 minutes.