By Lindsay Spratt, Sub Editor

RIO DE JANEIRO - Although the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon are a must on any Gringo's list, in the summer months they can get so full that the 'sea' is one of tanned bodies rather than the Atlantic Ocean. 

Offering respite from the sun worshiping crowds are the beaches in Rio's West Zone, in the neighborhoods of São Conrado, Barra da Tijuca and Recreio. This zone is one of Rio's newest, with apartment blocks and shopping malls springing up year after year and lining the central highways. Offering more room . . .

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