The mere mention of the name Ipanema Beach conjures thoughts of a perfect tropical setting, beautiful bronzed bodies, acres of powder-white sand and the alluring ocean blue. You won’t be disappointed, except for the setting, because Rio’s southern latitude - just north of the Tropic of Capricorn - means it is merely sub-tropical. However, that never stopped anyone and Ipanema is still the crowning glory of Rio de Janeiro’s many famous attractions for fun-loving, sun-worshipping beach enthusiasts.
Ipanema is sandwiched between the equally fabulous Leblon and Copacabana beaches to the west and north respectively, making this combined stretch of sand one of the best known around the world. In this Latino city of pulsating action, life is centred around the beach.
Visitors and locals like to pass the day lapping up the sun, plunging into the surf, or just watching the world and his wife pass by. Beach lovers will have no shortage of beach gear to hire - brightly coloured beach chairs and umbrellas for example. For the thirsty, sales of “bem gelada” (very cold) Brazilian beer are available at designated spots. No worries about the large crowds that flock to Ipanema on a hot day, because the beach frontage is generously wide and plenty long enough (4.3 miles / 6.9 km). The area is clean and well maintained.
Ipanema Beach fronts the affluent suburb bearing the same name (except for the “beach” bit) and this seafront area is the favoured destination for Rio’s trendy and wealthy. Accommodation and shops abound in the area, and there are more bars, cafes and restaurants than you will ever get around to sampling - if you do like bars, be sure to track down Garota de Ipanema.
Keep in mind that the Ipanema area only really wakes up after dark with its nightlife a major attraction, making it very popular among the high society of Rio de Janeiro. Best advice: Try to avoid working yourself too hard on visually stunning Ipanema Beach while the sun is up!
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