Ipanema Beach

Starfish Rating of 5

Claim to Fame

One of the most chic and trend-setting topless beaches on the planet, Ipanema Beach is the subject fantasy of the 1962 song, “The Girl from Ipanema” by Antonio Carlos and Vinicius de Moraes.

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  • Where is it?on the east coast of southern Brazil, at the Tropic of Capricorn on the Atlantic Ocean
  • Coordinates: latitude» -22.9868°
    longitude» -43.2117°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical
  • Development: section of a large urban area
  • Length of Beach:
  • Type: white sand
Current Weather

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Regarded as classier and trendier than its next-door neighbor, Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach is a long, languid stretch of sand that is no less known for borderline nudity. Located in an affluent neighborhood, it is accordingly jammed with upscale (and expensive) restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, theaters, cafés and it has two universities.

Upper-middle class locals are the norm; the rich, famous and beautiful live here. But the name, in the ancient local language, means “bad water”; it’s fine for swimming, but was thus named for the poor fishing. Nobody comes here to catch fish, anyway!

While Ipanema Beach boasts a significantly lower crime rate than neighboring Copacabana Beach, there are other dangers. In the winter, the surf can attain heights of nine feet or more, and there is risk to swimmers and novice surfers. The ocean swells help keep the beachside water clean, so they have their benefits.

On Sundays the road closes to the beach is shut down to vehicular traffic and becomes a pedestrian mall where people enjoy the freedom to use it for walking, bicycling, rollerblading and skateboarding.

A portion of Ipanema Beach is a designated LGBT area, a popular concept, and demarcated with rainbow flags. Another section is dedicated space for mothers with babies and young children. Beach sports are played throughout the beach; the favorites are beach volleyball and soccer, and an innovative combination of the two. A visit to Ipanema Beach will explain how those song lyrics came to be written; just look around!

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