The Ipanema neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro is located in the southern part of the city, between Leblon and Arpoador.
Sights and Activities
Ipanema is the Cariocas’ beach. There is not a single definition for it. It depends on who you are, what you like and which spot you go to. This beach is part of the city’s social life. It’s where people meet, fall in love, have a beer, talk business, relax after work, play sports and bring their kids. In Ipanema, like at many other beaches, you can rent chairs and umbrellas to protect you from the heavy sun rays. Service is outstanding. You can buy from ice cream and cookies to corn on the cob or melted cheese on a stick from vendors that pass by. If you’re a loyal customer they become your friend.
- Arpoador is perhaps the most scenic and democratic of all spots at Ipanema beach. Known as the best part for wave seeking surfers, Arpoador is also where many Cariocas from the slum nearby like to hang out. It often attracts romantic couples, senior citizens and visitors that watch breathtaking sunsets from the top of its peaceful rock. On one side is a privileged view of Ipanema and Leblon and on the other Copacabana and Leme. The beach lane along the strip of sand at Arpoador (left end of Ipanema) is for pedestrians only. Less traffic noise is heard!
- Farme Gay. Farme de Amoedo’s rainbow flag stakes Barbie Land. Barbies is how locals call muscled gay men. But you don’t have to be in such good shape for the sand ‘catwalk’. It’s a friendly atmosphere where displays of affection among gay and lesbian couples are very common. Party promoters often distribute flyers with discounts to gay parties and clubs. The gay community feels very comfortable at this spot in Ipanema. There are even hair-dressers on the spot. It’s a little to the left of Rua Farme de Amoedo (street) between lifeguard station (postos) 8 and 9. The postos are the best reference at the beach. They have toilets and showers.
- Vinícius de Moraes is the street named after the great poet. Today the spot is a reference for a more laid-back group of people that love the beach. Young couples and families gather in a relaxing atmosphere. Some even enjoy the beach alone away from the heavy crowds and social wannabes. Usually, they already have their favorite vendor from whom they rent chairs and umbrellas. Service is great. Beach vendors bring you sodas, coconut water, snacks, sand-wiches, ice creams, beers or caipirinhas. The area around Rua Vinícius de Moraes is where the athletic types also like to go. Foot volley is fun to watch and play.
- Posto 9 is a spot to hang-loose. University students, artists, actors...open-minded people meet a little to the right of posto 9, the most famous beach spot in Ipanema. In the 80’s it gathered intellectuals that later became left-wing politicians. In the 90’s posto 9 was headline news when many people started to blow whistles to warn marijuana users every time the beach patrol showed up. Today it’s still a place for this sort of crowd. It’s also where young men show their foot volley skills in exciting matches and in circles by the water. Posto 9 has become a hot social spot where single people are very welcomed.
- Cap Ferrat is the name of a luxurious building be-fore posto 10. Across from it upper class youth go to the beach. The best looking people in town are likely to be found in front of Cap Ferrat where each apartment is around 600 m² and worth over US$ 2 million. Some of them can truly be Patricinhas e Mauricinhos though (that is how locals call the upper class girls and boys that are airheads and dress impeccably, flaunting expensive brands). Others are just very well brought-up youngsters that enjoy the beach in the summer and winter, one of the most simple and democratic ways to amuse oneself.
- Coqueirão is the 2006 summer sensation! It is the highest palm tree on the sand between Joana Angélica and Maria Quitéria Streets. If you look at the spot on the sand in front of it as an outsider, you will hardly find any difference between that and the rest of the beach. However, THAT is exactly where the nice-wellbrought- up-good-looking type of Cariocas are hanging out this year. They elected this piece of sand because all other spots ‘seemed too packed’. Now the “Coqueirão” is almost too crowded, but still a good choice!