Rio de Janeiro’s world-famous beaches are known for their stunning beauty – as are the cariocas (Rio residents) who strut, tan, and play on them. By far the most famous (and crowded) beaches are Copacabana and Ipanema. Copacabana enjoys 4 km/2.5 miles of white sandy beaches along the ocean shore, crystal blue waves and a lovely patterned-stone promenade. There’s an unofficial and cruisey gay section near the Copacabana Palace. Ipanema lies next to Copacabana and is home to world-class restaurants, shops, cafes, and nightlife. There’s also a burgeoning gay scene in the neighborhood.
The only beach that permits nudity is Abricó, and you’ll have to take a car or taxi to get there. But don’t fret. Beachwear in Rio leaves little to the imagination – most of the men will be wearing speedos or trunks.
There’s no shortage of food and drink available on the beaches and friendly vendors will come right up to you to sell anything from snacks to sunscreen. Try some of the local specialty cold drinks, like mate com limão (iced tea mixed with lemonade) or suco de laranja com cenoura (orange and carrot juice).