Ipanema

Made internationally famous by the song “The Girl From Ipanema” before gaining notoriety as an alternative and cool hangout for locals as well as travellers, the glorious Ipanema beach is the most famous stretch of sand in the whole of Brazil. Two miles of beach stretch from the Dois Irmaos (“Twin Brother”) mountains to the west of Rio de Janeiro.

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Ipanema Rio de JaneiroToday Ipanema is one of the most sought-after and expensive neighbourhoods in Brazil, boosting magnificent waterfront condos as well as some of the best restaurants and nightlife in the city. The food kiosks situated along the edge of the beach, as well as the many touts hawking cheap beer and cachaça, provide a less costlyfood and drink option for those travelling on a budget. Although that’s not to say the local café’s don’t provide some well-priced and delicious options too.

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Ipanema Rio de JaneiroThe busy road overlooking the beach is closed every Sunday to the delight of cyclists, rollerbladers, joggers, and an assortment of other active citizens. The beach itself is very safe and maintains a calm police presence, secure locals are happy to go jogging along the strand after dark and solo travellers often chill out at the water’s edge after sun down.

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=> Surfing conditions are decent all the year round, but surfers may have to compete with a host of other watersports for the best waves. The Ipanema carnival is a bit of a rival to the main Rio de Janeiro carnival, having garnered a reputation in its own right, this typically boisterous parade now attracts up to 50,000 partiers to the Ipanema streets every year.

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