Itaipu Beach (Praia de Itaipu) was once a paradise for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Rio de Janeiro. Unfortunately, pollution has made swimming conditions less than ideal and now the sandy strips of coast, although still picturesque, are often crowded. However, on a quiet day, Itaipu Beach still epitomizes the beauty of Brazilian beach life.The Basics
Itaipu Beach is home to a thriving local community and is known for its many seafood restaurants, which serve up some of the freshest fish in the city; you’ll also find breezy, beachfront bars that offer traditional caipirinha
cocktails. One of the best ways to visit Itaipu Beach is by private boat, tours on which typically take you to coastal gems such as the uninhabited Cagarras Island, where you can swim and sunbathe.Things to Know Before You Go
- Itaipu Beach is a must-visit beach for lovers of seafood.
- There are a number of guesthouses close to the beach for travelers who wish to spend the night.
- Due to pollution, swimming is not advisable but stand-up paddleboarding is a popular activity.
How to Get There
Itaipu Beach is around an hour’s drive from downtown Rio de Janeiro. There’s a parking lot just behind the beach. The best way to get there is by boat, which takes around 30 minutes from Rio de Janeiro; you can arrange your boat privately or visiting as part of an island-hopping tour.
When to Get There
The beach tends to get very crowded, especially at weekends. To beat the crowds, it is recommended to visit in the early morning, when temperatures are far more comfortable.
Beyond the Beach
After you’ve soaked up the sun and had some fresh seafood for lunch, there’s still plenty to do in the area. The Archaeological Museum of Itaipu, housed in an 18th-century convent, displays exhibits that tell stories of Brazil’s earliest civilizations. For walkers, the coastal hiking trails of Morro das Andorinhas offer spectacular views of the coastline.