Praia da Ipanema, in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the best known beaches in the world, thanks to its natural beauty and to a song called Garota de Ipanema [The Girl from Ipanema], written by Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes . The beach is frequented year round, both by tourists and the locals. Its generous nature, the beautiful girls and the wide walkway, with the mountains serving as the perfect backdrop for the sunset, make it an unbeatable stroll for visitors.
Both the city district and beach of Ipanema have been chosen by the carioca jet-set as the most sophisticated meeting quarters. In fact, the district of Ipanema boasts some of the highest prices per square meter in the whole of Latin America.
The beach is big, stretching just over two kilometers, with all types of beach goers. Just sitting down to enjoy the sights of Ipanema is an incomparable experience. Dois Irmaos (“Two Brothers”) rise up on the western tip and these two mountain peaks are the setting for some of the famous postcards from Rio, overlooking the exclusive Leblon area. From the beach you can see two nearby islands, Palmas and Cagarras, perfect places for scuba diving and snorkeling, and the islands of Redonda, Rasa and Comprida, which can be reached by boat (for rent). The eastern tip of the beach features the famous Arpoador Rock, a splendid mirador to watch the sunset, on the small beach squeezed between the more famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema.
Sports are played on the beach all day long. Runners and cyclists going by near the water edge and soccer, foot volley and beach volley players are part of the landscape at Ipanema any hour of the day. In the Tupiguarani language, Ipanema means dangerous water. Many bars and street venders help keep your body and soul up and running on Ipanema, providing the food, drinks and accessories required for the perfect beach day.
Along the beach there are numbered lifeguard “postos” with public lavatories and showers, which serve as reference points for the locals. Posto 9 is famous because it is an emblematic gathering point for the gay community and is marked out by the rainbow flag of diversity. Postos 7 and 8 are frequented by alternative youth groups, while number 10, right by Leblon, caters to families. Everybody can find a place to be at Ipanema.
During the day, Ipanema is charged up with sports, beautiful bodies, warm waters and never-ending stretches of sand. After the sun sets, at night, the fun keeps going. The beach and district of Ipanema have many cafés, bars, discos and clubs to suit every taste. Boredom is not on the menu.
Tip: Garota de Ipanema Restaurant, just three blocks away from the beach, continues to serve as a warm and welcoming meeting point for cariocas and tourists. It is at Rua Vinícius de Moraes, 49 (Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro).
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