Arpoador Beach can be found in Rio de Janeiro‘s southern zone, on a small peninsula between the much more famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. Meaning ‘harpoon thrower’, its eastern end forms a spit of land that juts out into the waves.
It’s this spit that makes Arpoador Beach one of the best surfing spots in Rio, and the host of several surfing competitions each year. Its outcrops of rock create breaks 2-3 metres high, although the take-off point is small and busy on the best days. Needless to say, boards can be rented from businesses on the beach, while Arpoador also has a unique distinction in offering night surfing, thanks to powerful spotlights that illuminate both beach and break.
Approximately 800 metres long, Arpoador Beach also has its own muscle beach outdoor weight lifting area. The rocks at its eastern end are a favourite fishing spot for local men, while the beach’s sunsets - a rare occurrence on Brazilian beaches as almost all of them face east towards the rising sun - are celebrated with cheers and applause.
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