Ipanema Beach. Sunday. Be There.

I recently met a couple who just moved here to Rio, and the girl in the couple asked me: “What is your absolute favorite thing about this city, or your favorite thing to do?”

After a moment of hesitation–how can you possibly choose just one??–it occurred to me that I actually do, in fact, have a favorite thing to do in this city.  And it’s so simple, I almost overlooked it: Hanging out on Ipanema Beach on a sunny weekend afternoon with blue skies overhead and a bunch of my friends surrounding me.  That’s it.  The beach is usually pretty packed on weekends, especially during summer.  But I don’t mind it; I think it adds to the vibe that I love about Ipanema–the movement of people on bikes, rollerblades, and skateboards; families, couples, teenagers, and decisively-overly-tan old people strolling the orla (the beachfront road) ; the beautiful bodies everywhere; the remarkably clean sand and water, given that it’s such a popular beach in such a big city; the boisterous vendors; and the perfect vista of an arc of buildings ending in the Dois Irmaos mountains on the horizon, where the sunset is, literally, always breathtaking.  (So much so that the whole beach breaks out in a round of applause when the sun finally sets, because after all, it’s polite to show appreciation for a remarkable show.)

Since I know you guys like pics, and I probably don’t post nearly enough of them, here are some visuals to give you an idea:

A rainbow of umbrellas at our favorite spot, "coqueirao," in Ipanema.
Tons of people line the water playing a futebol game where you can only use your feet, head, and body to keep the ball alive as long as you can.
more of the above futebol game
Just a friendly little group pic
Doesn't get much better than this

Be sure to check out some more sweet sunset shots after the jump…

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3 thoughts on “Ipanema Beach. Sunday. Be There.

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