I might have already mentioned here, how much I prefer my city and the beaches during autumn and winter. Ok, I agree that in summer Rio has a kind of party atmosphere that seduces everyone, but this strange feeling of happiness that fills almost every carioca during summer is not enough to make me love summer like most people do. Well, it is not that I hate summer in Rio, but crowded beaches, temperatures reaching easily 40°C and overpriced services by the beach neighborhoods are just some reasons for making summer far from my favourite season of the year in Rio.
Arpoador beach, on a typical sunny autumn sunday
I also have already shared with you how much I prefer Barra da Tijuca beach rather than the Zona Sul beaches, like Leme, Copacabana and Ipanema. During summer, when all the Zona Sul beaches are crowded I really avoid going there. When you have children all you don’t want is spending the day in a packed beach where your little one can easily get lost. So we prefer driving to Barra da Tijuca , to enjoy quieter and more relaxing moments by the beach, as you can see here and here.
But when summer is over, we dare to go to the beach in Zona Sul and enjoy the comfort of living in a city where you can enjoy beach almost all year-long.
So today I’m sharing with you some quick tips to make your experience in Rio beaches more pleasant even if you are planning to stay only in Zona Sul.
1)When going to the beach, pack light and avoid taking any kind of valuable things to the beach. Take with you only your money and a copy of your ID or passport. Avoid taking backpacks they call attention.
2) Don’t ever leave your things unattended in the sand. If you are in a group, take turns to go to the water. If you are by yourself , look for a family nearby you and ask them to take a quick look in your stuff while you give a jump in the water. But in this case I recommend you keep your expensive camera in your hotel safe, just in case.
3) Keep your cellphone and camera inside a bag and only take them when you need to use them. Plastic bags (those you get in supermarket) are very good to hide your camera.
4)Watch your kids even if they already know how to swim. Tides and currents change quickly and a quiet sea in the beginning of the morning can turn into rough waves in the beginning of the afternoon. This tip is good for adults too.
Barra da Tijuca beach
5) Talking about kids, if they are old enough arrange with them a place to meet in case they get lost. One nice thing to do is look for the nearest lifeguard station and tell your kid to wait for you there in case he or she gets lost. Wearing an identification bracelet is always a good idea too!
6)Don’t underestimate the sun, even if the sky is cloudy you can get a bad sunburn. Always put sunscreen and if staying a long time in the beach rent a beach umbrella. You can easily rent beach chairs and umbrellas in the kiosks on the sand.
7) Those beach showers on the sand might look inviting, specially when the sea is too cold or too rough, but stay away from them! Recent tests have shown that water is not treated and can pose health risks.
8) Choose very well what you are buying for a snack in the beach. It is not safe to eat those sticks of shrimps, or natural sandwiches (“sanduíche natural” in portuguese) . So if you don’t want to end in the hospital with an intestinal infection prefer to eat an ice cream from the traditional brands (like Nestlé, Kibon, Sorvete Itália) or biscoito Globo ( a traditional snack made of polvilho, a kind of tapioca flour).
9) Pay attention to water conditions. The ocean beaches (Copacabana, Ipanema, and Barra) are usually appropriate, but even so, sometimes after a heavy rain the fecal coli form count rises beyond acceptable levels. So a good tip is avoid to swim in the sea after those rain storms and look in the newspaper “O Globo “, the daily beach report listing all beach closings.
10) Cariocas love the combination beach+ sports, but you have to be aware that any ball sport can only be practiced by the water edge after 5 pm. So if you wanna join cariocas and try “altinha” (check this video in youtube to see it for yourself ) do it after 5pm. If you are more keen on watersports, Arpoador beach is one of the best spots for surfing in Zona Sul and in Copacabana, Posto 6, you can easily rent Stand up paddle boards.
Copacabana beach, Posto 6
Well, I hope my tips are useful for many of you visiting Rio.
If you are interested in more specific tips, just reach me by email – email@example.com or Facebook.