Röda stranden (Praia Vermelha)
Röda stranden (Praia Vermelha)

Röda stranden (Praia Vermelha)

Rio de Janeiro

The basics

While landmark Rio beaches such as Ipanema and Copacabana tend to get all the attention, Red Beach (Praia Vermelha) is a seaside star—both for its relative tranquility and up-close views of the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain. Less frequented by tourists and pushy food and drink vendors, it offers a more peaceful experience of Rio’s storied waterfront. Red Beach is often explored as part of a day out at Sugarloaf Mountain. It also features on boat tours, bike tours, and other sightseeing excursions in Rio.

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Things to know before you go

  • Unlike Ipanema and Leblon beaches, which can have powerful waves, Red Beach is sheltered and typically offers calm, accessible water for swimming—just be cautious of its sudden depths.

  • It’s possible to rent beach chairs and umbrellas from area vendors, and local kiosks also sell chilled drinks.

  • Red Beach has the reputation for being one of the city’s safest beaches, and is particularly scenic at sunset—that said, it’s still worth leaving valuables in your hotel room and departing before it's too dark.

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How to get there

Red Beach is in Rio de Janeiro’s Urca neighborhood, right on Guanabara Bay. It is less than 5 minutes on foot from Parque Bondinho Pão de Açúcar, the departure point for the Sugarloaf Mountain cable car. The beach is readily accessible by taxi and rideshare services, and is served by several bus lines. The closest Metrô station, Botafogo, is roughly half an hour away on foot.

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When to get there

If you plan to swim, the best time to visit Rio’s Red Beach is from November to March, when temperatures soar and the sea is at its warmest and most comfortable. Aim for weekdays, and arrive early, for the best chance of securing a prime spot on this small beach, which is busiest on weekends.

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How to reach the top of Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar)

One of Rio de Janeiro’s most iconic landmarks, Sugarloaf Mountain’s famous rounded shape makes it unmissable. The summit can be reached via a two-part cable car, though a hiking trail is available for the ambitious. Be sure to admire aerial views of the Red Beach if you opt to visit.

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