21 stunning photos that show why Rio is famous for its beaches

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The view at Ipanema Beach.
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Nacho Doce/Reuters

With the start of the 2016 Olympic Games just weeks away, tourists are beginning to arrive in Rio de Janeiro. With scenic mountain views and lively boardwalks, the Brazilian city’s famous beaches are definitely worth a pit stop at the very least. Whether you want to sunbathe, surf, or play some volleyball, there’s something for everyone.

Below, see 21 photos of some of the most famous stretches of sand in Brazil:


Rio’s Ipanema Beach is considered one of the best urban beaches in the world.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Source: Travel + Leisure


Part of its beauty is the views. You can see the Cagarras Islands offshore and majestic mountain peaks on land.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

It’s also well known for the locals, who strut their stuff in their Brazilian bikinis.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

The famous Brazilian jazz song “The Girl from Ipanema” was inspired by the women on this beach.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

There’s also great surfing.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Locals roam the sands, selling food and goods to visitors.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

You can grab a coconut drink from the various restaurants and bars off the boardwalk.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

You might be greeted by local performers while tanning.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Many locals make the beach their gym.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Some use the sand as their weights.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Others opt for beach volleyball.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

And some beachgoers just want to relax.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Just north of Ipanema is Copacabana Beach, another popular spot for tourists and locals.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Locals are here at all hours of the day, playing beach soccer and dancing on the sand until the morning comes.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Copacabana Beach is just over 2 miles long.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Snorkeling and other water sports are popular here.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

The views here are great, too.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

Leme Beach, east of Copacabana, is also beautiful.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

It’s worth staying a full day just for the dramatic sunsets.

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Nacho Doce/Reuters

The sun going down doesn’t stop locals from enjoying the views …

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Arpoador Beach.
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Nacho Doce/Reuters

… or the sand and waves.

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Diabo Beach.
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Nacho Doce/Reuters