Rio de Janeiro is located in one of the happiest locations in the world, lying in the beautiful bay of Guanabara, surrounded by a strong presence of nature both before it and within it. Walking along the street, you can come across hummingbirds, birds as colourful as this city.
Easy to love, hard to leave, Rio de Janeiro is called Cidade Marvilhosa and not just randomly, as it is an authentic place of beauty. Its most famous image is actually not in a photo but in a song: "Garota de Ipanema", a girl who walks and sways with all her charm along the white sandy beach.
And the original black-and-white tile designs that decorate the promenade also sway, a strong and distinctive iconic sign that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Of course, the sea also "waves", while touching the beautiful praias of Rio on the shore of Guanabara Bay.
Copacabana and Ipanema are amongst the most beautiful and famous beaches in the world, Leblon is the most fashionable carioca beach, while Flamengo along with its wonderful park cannot be missed and Botafogo offers a special view of the Sugarloaf and beautiful sunsets; Barra da Tijuca and Sao Conrado are perfect for surfing, Joatinga is the most secluded. Among the many beaches there are quieter ones, such as Praia da Reserva and Praia de Fora.
Costa Cruises takes you to discover the beaches of Rio de Janeiro and all the exuberant beauty of the city, with its nature and modernity, in a riot of shapes and colours that do not exist anywhere else in the world. An unforgettable experience that will remain in your heart, like the samba and bossa nova, the music of these places, destined to enter the soundtrack of your life:
- Flamengo Beach
- Botafogo Beach
- Copacabana beach
- Ipanema Beach
- Leblon Beach
- Sao Conrado Beach
- Barra da Tijuca Beach
- Joatinga Beach
- Praia da Reserva
- Praia de Fora
In the south of Rio de Janeiro, in the Bairro do Flamengo, Flamengo beach is the first of the beaches on the slopes of Bahia de Guanabara, followed by the beaches of Botafogo and Urca.
It is the closest beach to the city centre. The neighbourhood behind it, once inhabited by the richer classes, still maintains an ancient charm. A very crowded bairro by day and full of life at night.
The beach extends for about one kilometre at the Parque do Aterro do Flamengo and allows you to enjoy a wide panoramic view as far as Niteri, the city on the other side of the bay, connected to Rio by a futuristic 14 km-long bridge. This beach and this part of the city could not be missed on the excursions that Costa dedicates to Rio de Janeiro.
The Flamengo park is one of the most important renovations in Brazil, designed by Roberto Burle Marx one of the most influential landscape architects of the 20th century, creator of gardens with abstract and geometric designs, and also the author of the Calcadao, the iconic pavement on the Copacabana waterfront, one of the symbols of Rio de Janeiro.
This area, built after the demolition of one of the most important hills in the central area of Rio de Janeiro, is a huge landmark in the urban landscape: it is one of the most classic postcard images in the city that brings together Guanabara Bay and Sugarloaf Mountain. "Aterro do Flamengo" is a recreational and sports complex of great appeal to inhabitants and visitors of Rio. Walking, cycling and skating are three activities that can be practised here in a very relaxing environment. The park is also home to two major museum sites such as the Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro and the Mausoleum of Brazilian Soldiers of World War II. But you can also stop for a quiet break in the metropolis by lying quietly under the palm trees. The park is located very close to Santos Dumont Airport, which is widely used for connections between Rio and Sao Paulo.
This beach, about 700 metres long, is located in the District of Botafogo that connects the centre and south of the city and stretches between Flamengo and the Rio yacht club. The name Botafogo most likely comes from Joao Pereira de Souza Botafogo, the first Portuguese settler to live in the area.
It is a very pretty area to visit, once inhabited by Rio's richest residents, as seen by the beautiful villas and ancient buildings that more recently have been converted into offices and museums. A place that could not be missed on the excursions that Costa has carefully prepared for you.
A neighbourhood full of lifewith lots of ideas for leisure time, surrounded by a multitude of restaurants, shopping malls, schools, commercial buildings, houses, cinemas, as well as places to enjoy the nightlife. Botafogo beach is suggested due to its very special location offering a frontal view of the legendary Sugarloaf, Guanabara Bay and Morro da Urca. A great idea is to go there at sunset when the beauty of the natural and urban landscape by the sea creates extraordinary nuances. The perfect backdrop for a photo to keep in plain sight when you return home.
This part of Rio de Janeiro is particularly suitable for boating and sailing as the waters are calmer and quieter in this stretch of sea than elsewhere in the bay. However, generally, the district of Botafogo is full of opportunities for those who want to play sports: volleyball and football, or rather, futebol, which is still the most popular sport. By the way, Botafogo also gives its name to a famous football club in Rio. But there is of course also the possibility of cycling, jogging and trekking on a bike path and on the walkway that leads to Praia do Flamengo.
The most famous beach in the city, in Brazil and (probably) in the world, is located in the district of the same name, in the south of Rio de Janeiro. A long expanse of about 4 km, with its characteristic crescent shape, also called "Princesinha do Mar", which boasts the Calcadao, the elegant paving on the promenade, with black and white waves drawn in Portuguese stone, designed by landscape designer Burle Marx. An unmistakable mark of Rio!
Costa Cruises brings you here with its excursions that touch the most famous destinations of the city from the hill of Corcovado with the giant sculpture of the Christ the Redeemer, but also more hidden places like the poetic neighbourhood of St. Teresa or amazing places like the Maracanã stadium and the Sambadrome. You cannot go to Rio de Janeiro without walking on the sand of this beach which is an emblematic place for the carioca, which can cool off in this water during the hot season.
The harmonious ton sur ton contrast between these green clear waters and the surrounding hills of a darker green is a sight to behold. Copacabana is the ideal destination for those looking for fun. Here there are music events, sporting events, all kinds of events. From beach-volley and soccer championships to big concerts with the favourites of Brazilian music. This space is set to host these events and large crowds, even on the gastronomic front with its kiosks.
Oscar Niemeyer, the ultra-centenarian architect, the father of many famous Brazilian buildings, and others too, has continued to design in his Copacabana studio. His latest achievements include the MAC - Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi, with a shape reminiscent of that of a flying saucer, located overlooking the sea on the other side of Guanabara Bay.
Copacabana beach was once isolated from the rest of the city, but with the inauguration of the Velho Tunnel in 1982, the beach found itself connected with Botafogo.
You cannot imagine Rio de Janeiro without thinking about Ipanema, you cannot talk about Ipanema if you don't mention the "Garota de Ipanema" song by Vinicius and Jobim, also made famous by Frank Sinatra: "When she walks, she's like a samba". This seductive and carefree music is in the air even if you don't hear it and it is the hymn dedicated to the beauty of this city and this beach.
A beach much frequented by the carioca and celebrities. Ipanema, located in the south of Rio de Janeiro, between Arpoador and Jardim de Alah, is still one of the busiest beaches in the city. Ipanema is also Rio's most popular and lively meeting place. Its 2 kilometres extend from a stretch of a roughter sea to a stretch with calmer waves for the delight of the most diverse visitors. On the beach of Ipanema you will find all sorts, there are those enjoying an agua de coco, people walking or riding a bike on the promenade, there are those playing with a ball, like always and everywhere in Brazil. In particular, the areas of the beach with strong waves and currents turn out to be an ideal gym for surfers. It is impossible to be unmoved by this beach.
Costa Cruises brings you here with its excursions to the most famous destinations of the city such as the Corcovado, to be reached by train, where you find the giant sculpture of Christ the Redeemer with its spectacular panorama, or the Sugarloaf to "conquer" by cable car, but also more hidden destinations such as the bohemian district of St. Teresa, with its ancient artists' houses and streets where the bondinho, an open tram of old times, screeches along. Tere are many other possibilities, such as the excursion to the most scenic points, from Cordovado to the heart of the Tijuca Forest by jeep.
Leblon beach, in the district of the same name, is the final part of Ipanema. We are in the most luxurious area of Rio De Janeiro. With Ipanema, it represents the trendiest pair of beaches in the city, separated from each other by the small river that divides the park Jardim de Allah in two.
Leblon offers the advantage of being quieter and less frequented than the more famous carioca beaches, but it is just as beautiful and gives the thrill of being in front of all the grandeur of the Morro Dois Irmaos, which at sunset becomes pure poetry with its incredible and unforgettable colours and nuances. Costa Cruises allows you to experience places like these on its excursions.
The Sea of Leblon is clear and verdant, the waves that try to compete in height with the buildings of Avenida Delfim Moreira crash onto the shoreline, creating a very pleasant music that gives rhythm to relaxation.
Leblon is the beach of VIPs. Here the local celebrities are at home, sunbathing or jogging to keep fit. The cycling path that starts at Leblon and ends in Leme is always very busy.
In addition to the beach, the Leblon neighbourhood is one of the quietest neighbourhoods in the city and has some of the best bars and restaurants in the city of Rio de Janeiro, one more reason to visit it. It is a place full of style, but there is no shortage of the simplest and most casual look with classic kiosks for a snack or a good drink. At the end of the beach, at the foot of the Morro Dois Irmaos, the Leblon Mirador gives you a great view of the coast.
Sao Conrado Beach
The beach at Sao Conrado is part of the neighbourhood of the same name, once called Gavea, which stretches from the end of Niemeyer Avenue to the entrance of the tunnel that leads to Barra da Tijuca.
We are in one of the most elegant neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro, with luxurious buildings surrounding the beach. Costa Cruises brings you here with its excursions, showing you unique destinations just like the city that hosts them.
Sao Conrado is surrounded by huge mountains, with views of the Morro Dois Irmaos and the rocky mountains of Pedra da Gavea and Pedra Bonita. The Sao Conrado district, together with the district of Barra da Tijuca, is one of the few truly new neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro and also one of the most expensive. With its location removed from the main tourist centres, the beach is much less frequented on weekdays than the others. Like all the other beaches in the city, there is no shortage of kiosks and bars on the waterfront and all the amenities for seaside visitors. In the background, in this Brazil of great contrasts, hidden behind luxury condominiums, lies the Favela di Rocinha, on the slopes of the Tijuca mountains and the summit of Pedra dos Irmaos, the largest and also the oldest in Rio, born in the 1930s.
The final part of Sao Conrado is called Praia do Pepino, a small strip of sand at the far right of the beach, one kilometre long and with a natural beauty. It is the landing point for hang gliders and paragliding flights over Rio de Janeiro that skip over Mount Pedra Bonita and land on the beach. It is one of the attractions of the place.
Barra da Tijuca Beach
Barra da Tijuca beach is Rio de Janeiro's largest beach, 18 kilometres long, most of which is fully urbanised, with a walkway alongside the boulevard, cycling path and plenty of kiosks. Also called simply "Barra", it is the perfect place for water sports, especially surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
The green crystal clear waters of Barra not only attracts sportsmen but also all sea lovers who come here from all over the world. Such a long beach can offer both the most enjoyable waves and calmer waters for the tranquillity of families with children.
Prestigious buildings distinguish the Avenida Lucio Costa, better known as Sernambetiba, which stretches alongside the beach. Barra da Tijucahas often been chosen as a set for soap operas and films, due to the beauty of the place. It is very busy on weekends and holidays, but much less crowded on weekdays and evenings, when Barra da Tijuca becomes the ideal place for spending carefree moments in a magical setting.
From the stretch of Avenida Ayrton Senna, named after the great Brazilian racing driver (who was born in Sao Paolo!), the beach is an environmental conservation area, which allows you to take a quiet and pleasant walk through the Marapendi Reserve. By the way, Tijuca also means Tijuca Forest.
Costa takes you on an incredible nature experience in the city with a jeep tour from the centre of Rio de Janeiro to the heart of the lush Tijuca Forest, the largest urban forest in the world, where you will be enchanted by the beauty of a wilderness that also offers the magic sight of a small waterfall and you can listen to the stories about the forest’s history, as told by the guides, as well as the importance of the Atlantic forest for Brazilian ecology, and the particular flora and fauna that inhabit it. The better we know the environment, the more we can respect it.
Joatinga Beach is an authentic jewel amongst Rio's beaches, located on the border between the south and west of the city, in the district of Joa, between Barra da Tijuca and Sao Conrado, amidst the mountains overlooking the sea and the Atlantic forest. It is not an easy beach to find, but just like most precious things, it needs to be searched for!
Yes, as it is a hidden beach ready to reveal a true paradise for your eyes to feast on. In fact, to access the beach you have to enter a residential complex in Joatinga Road and inform the concierge. There is not ticket to pay for, but access is only possible when there is low tide, as the beach is only visible at that time. Otherwise the beach is not there, it is hidden and guarded by the sea when the tide is higher. But when magic happens and the sea makes room for the beach, you are faced with a unique show in a wild atmosphere, with white sand and high waves.
The surrounding view is filled with large stone cliffs and green hills, and is really amazing. And the sea? The waters are clear and transparent, a lovely pale green colour. To reach it, there is a steep descent, but this is not a problem for families with children, who can enjoy the natural pool that forms on the beach. This secret, limited-access place is perfect for anyone wanting to spend a day away from the confusion and noise of the world. Joatinga Beach is still a wild beach, giving you the feeling of being in a resort far from the metropolis, the ideal size for playing water sports such as surfing or just for swimming when the sea is quiet.
Praia da Reserva
As the name says, the beach at Praia da Reserva, located between Barra beach and Recreio dos Bandeirantes beach, is a reserve. The local population works hard to keep it beautiful and integral. As it is not exactly very close to Rio, this beach is not crowded. So if you are just looking for peace and quiet, this is one of the few deserted beaches on the carioca coast. The only inconvenience is how to reach it, as this area is not well served by public transport. What better place for enjoy a beautiful sunny and relaxing day? This is the perfect place if you want to find some peace and quiet away from it all, enjoying a silence that can only be interrupted by the sound of the sea and birds. Praia da Reserva is considered a "Green beach", also because there are only a few kiosks and street sellers of soft drinks and fresh fruit.
It is a very popular beach amongst surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers as it offers ideal conditions for these sports, such as high waves and a strong wind that blows quite frequently. This large strip of soft white sand, with its clear and clean green water, and native vegetation creates a special place that is worth visiting. In complete relaxation, it gives the feeling of being on a great beach of the past, empty, deserted, without confusion and without the comforts of the consumer society. With the feeling of being the first to discover it. It is a place to forget about the world around us, imagining what it used to be like, without the stresses of our modern era. Somewhere you can grab your time back on a long walk while sinking into the sand on a beach that seems to have been created just for you. When you are ready, you can return to the crowd in Rio, but in the meantime enjoy this dream.
Praia de Fora
Praia de Fora is a beach located in Fortaleza de Sao Joao, the fortress at the entrance to Guanabara Bay, in the Urca district of Rio de Janeiro. On either side of the isthmus that connects the Sugarloaf and the Morro da Cara de Cao, the small beaches Praia da Dentro and Praia da For a overlook the bay and the ocean respectively. In Praia da Fora, we are not just in any old place, we are in the place where the city of Rio de Janeiro was founded, the site of the first Portuguese settlement.
The fortress was built here in the same spot where Estacio de Sa founded the Cidade maravilhosa after arriving on a stretch of beach between Sugarloaf and Morro da Cara de Cao. Formed from the strongholds of Sao Martinho, Sao Theodio, Sao José, and Sao Diogo, the fortress was officially named "Sao Joao" only after 1618. The site today welcomes visitors who are interested in seeing the Foundation Square, where there is a plaque to remember the historic event, and the Morro Cara de Cao, an important area of environmental conservation.
Yes, but what about the beach? "Lugar Fantastico!" A great place say the carioca about this resort. Many of them think it is one of the best beaches in Rio. An excellent, quiet, safe beach, with the possibility of beautiful waves for adults and plenty of space for the kids. The sand is pale and fine, the water is clear, the sea is usually calm and you can enjoy a beautiful view especially on the Pao de Acucar.
Guanabara Bay has two military forts on each side. Now Fort Sao José at the foot of Mount Cara de Cao and the Fort Santa Cruz on the city side of Niteroi are no longer active as military fortresses and have become tourist and cultural attractions.
Visit Rio de Janeiro with Costa Cruises
Experiencing the beaches of Rio de Janeiro means grasping the true essence of Brazil, made of sea and nature, music and celebration, relaxation and joy: the perfect mix for discovering a unique place in the world, perhaps on your next Costa cruise.