By Hakan Almerfors, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s immense coastline is full of amazing beaches, and the state of Rio de Janeiro is no exception. Some of these, like Copacabana and Ipanema are famous around the world, but others are further off the beaten path, waiting to be explored. To find out about these hidden gems though, some insider information is needed.
This guide should be used along with a good map like “Praias – Quatro Rodas” (available in a better newsstand). For solitude, avoid weekends and holidays, and this is especially true for beaches closer to larger towns.
Búzios – Azedinha Located within walking distance from the village center, just walk past Praia dos Ossos and Praia Azeda. It is small with crystal clear calm water almost like in an aquarium. Excellent for snorkeling and swimming.
Cabo Frio – Praia das Conchas Located in a perfectly shell shaped bay you have this beautiful beach with 100% clear water. Which is no secret, so on weekends and holidays it gets quite crowded. Accessible on foot from Praia do Peró, which is serviced by buses from Cabo Frio, but it’s a lot more convenient is to go by car. Another perk is that there are restaurants that serve drinks and seafood.
Arraial do Cabo – Prainhas do Pontal Considered as one of the more beautiful beaches in Brazil. It has chalk White fine grained sand and a spectacular turquoise color of the water. High season you have stalls selling food and drinks. Access by car and a short steep hike, bring trainers. This beach also is visited on boat trips leaving from the port in Arraial do Cabo.
Niteroi – Itacoatiara Worth a visit just for the dramatic beauty. Wedged in between two huge rocks it is quite a spectacle. The main beach has strong currents and big waves so entering is not to recommend for the lighthearted. On the right is a calmer part more suitable for a leisurely dip. Buses leave from Niterói, on weekends they are very crowded and going by car is the only viable option.
Ilha Grande – Parnaioca Located on the remote southern side of the island is this beautiful kilometer of sand. A real jungle beach you can have almost to yourself, not perfect for swimming but the visual beauty is stunning. Accessible on foot from Praia do Aventureiro which you can reach on a 5 hour hard hike from Abrão. This is not a day trip but Aventureiro has a camping site.
Angra dos Reis – Piedade/Ilha Gipóia Gipóia is a small island that is a popular weekend destination for Cariocas with big boats and deep pockets. Piedade is the most beautiful on the island. You can reach it from the Santa Luzia port in Angra dos Reis on different boat trips.
Trindade – Praia do Sono A very beautiful remote beach with camping sites and some bars. There is a trail leaving from Praia do Cepilho. The actual hike is also very nice and the beach perfect for swimming.
Hakan Almerfors is Swedish and has been living in Rio de Janeiro since 2003. He has been working with tourists ever since, in 2007 he created the Rio travel information site Gringo-Rio.com