The beaches of Rio are the city's wondrous and carefree backyard. It's where cariocas (Rio residents) from all walks of life – rich and poor, young and old, black and white, svelte thin and beer-bellied – come to play and socialize against a backdrop of crashing waves and the ever-present green peaks towering over the city.
The Perfect Crowd
Although the mix is incredibly democratic, postos subdivide the beach into different sections, with each subculture drawn to its particular posto, whether that be favela kids, volleyballers, well-heeled families or the beauty crowd.
Sports are a big seaside draw, and entail surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, jogging, cycling and skating the beachside path, football, volleyball and futevôlei – that uniquely Brazilian combination of volleyball played with football-style rules (no hands allowed!). There's also frescobol, a simple game where two players with wooden rackets stand 10m apart and pound a rubber ball back and forth.
Sit Back & Relax
Many beachgoers, however, would rather just relax and enjoy the scene. For sun lovers, there’s much to take in: the sand, the sea, the food and drink vendors, the passing parade of people…
- Leave valuables at your hotel. Take only the cash you need for the beach.
- Don't use a towel on the beach – instead, sit on a chair or a kanga (sarong); Brazilian men stand or sit on the sand.
- Choose your spot, then find a barraca (stall) you like and hire chairs and sunshades from it.
- Don't bother bringing food or drink to the beach; support the local vendors.