Rated Travel Channel's “sexiest” beach in the world, Ipanema Beach is one of those places that you go to so that you can say you've been there before, but more importantly, to experience the Brazilian tendency toward the string bikini and banana hammock.
Named after the neighborhood in which it is situated, this is two kilometers of beautiful beach and beautiful people, the gathering place for people of all walks of life during summer in Rio. Broken into subsections, Posto 9 is where the pot smokers and acoustic guitar players of the world gather, while the not-so-distant Posto 10 is for the beach bodies of both sexes, and Arpoador is a surfer's heaven. Before or after you are done, explore the neighborhood, especially after dark, when things really get the kind of crazy your trip just might need.
Location:Rio de Janeiro
Note:The Ipanema neighborhood is central to Rio's popular Zona Sul (between Leblon and Copacabana), a haven for drinking and dining bordered by the ocean to the south and the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas to the north. Things will be somewhat more expensive here than in more off-the-beaten-path areas, but there are plenty of nightlife locations worth checking out (Astor on the beach for cocktails, Miroir on the lake for dance music, and the craft beer specialties of Delirium Cafe), as well as your pick of restaurants on Rua Barão da Torre a few blocks west of the bus station and the six blocks or so that constitute Rua Garcia D'Avila.