Rio de Janeiro

One of the most picturesque beaches near Rio, Prainha is backed by cliffs and thick forest. The sea can be rough, but it's a favorite among surfers. It feels secluded during the week, but gets crowded on weekends (go early to beat the crowds).

You'll need to take a taxi or a ride share to get to this beach, which is roughly 22km west of the Jardim Oceânico metro station in Barra da Tijuca.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rio de Janeiro attractions

1. Casa do Pontal

1.54 MILES

Owned by French designer Jacques Van de Beuque, this impressive museum containing some 4500 pieces has one of the best folk-art collections in Brazil. The…

2. Parque Ecológico Chico Mendes

2.53 MILES

This 40-hectare park was created in 1989 and named after the Brazilian ecological activist who was murdered for his work. The park protects the remaining…

3. Sítio Burle Marx

2.89 MILES

This 35-hectare estate was once the home of Brazil's most famous landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx. The estate's lush vegetation includes thousands…

4. Parque Natural Municipal de Marapendi

3.92 MILES

Near Barra da Tijuca's coastal strip, this155-hectare biological reserve has photogenic views over the Marapendi lagoon dotted with mangroves, towering…

5. Parque Olímpico


This was the epicenter of the 2016 Summer Olympics and the Paralympic Games. Sadly, the facilities now sit largely abandoned and are not open to the…

6. Bosque da Barra

9.07 MILES

Covering 50 hectares of salt-marsh vegetation, this park is a refuge and breeding area for many small birds and animals, and you might spy capybaras,…

7. Praia da Barra da Tijuca

10.79 MILES

The best thing about Barra is the beach. It stretches for 18km, with the blue sea lapping at the shore. The first few kilometers of its eastern end are…

8. Parque da Cidade

17.25 MILES

On the outer reaches of Gávea, this lush park of native Mata Atlântica rainforest and replanted secondary forest provides a refreshing escape from the…