Rio de Janeiro Insider's Guide
Rio’s Must-Visit Beaches
Ipanema: The beach to see and be seen, it attracts some of the most beautiful people in the city. Vendors sell everything from beach towels to chilled coconuts to beer.
Copacabana Beach: This trendy strand stretches for 2.5 beautiful miles, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a skyline of high-rises on the other.
Avenida Atlantica: Stroll down the tile-covered walkway and stop at one of the numerous kiosks to watch beach soccer or volleyball with a cold Caipirinha in your hand.
Praia do Arpoador: Top surfers ride the big waves in the morning and lovers come at dusk to watch the sun dissolve into the water. Those seeking a little more serenity can head to Prainha Beach, Barra de Tijuca, Praia Vermelha or São Conrado Beach.
—Mike DeSimone & Jeff Jenssen
All You Can Meat
At rodizios—Brazilian-style, all-you-can-eat restaurants—waiters circle the room with skewers of beef, pork and sausages. And they don’t stop until you turn over the sign at your table to the word não. Some favorites:
Porcão Rio (pictured): Although many Cariocas have their best-loved rodizio, most will agree that this one has some of the best food, as well as the best views.
Fogo de Chão: Enjoy more than a dozen cuts of beef and an impressive view of the city’s iconic Sugarloaf Mountain.
Carretão Ipanema: A favorite with locals and tourists on a tighter budget, it offers a limited number of choices, but fantastic quality.
Buyer Beware: Brazil supplies the world’s jewelers with diamonds, emeralds, amethysts and other gemstones, but make sure to shop in a certified store, ask for a certificate of authenticity and an appraisal, and avoid people selling so-called “gemstones” on the street.
Francesca Romana Diana (pictured): A designer located in Ipanema, her clients include European royalty and red-carpet celebrities.
H. Stern: Internationally renowned, the company has offices and shops in Rio and will custom make anything your heart desires.
Antonio Bernardo: Check out the award-winning innovative and creative designs at its shop in Ipanema.