Here some tips for you to go and enjoy a beach day like a carioca
Beach is almost an instituion for a typical Rio de Janeiro inhabitant, most known as “carioca”. Ok, Brazil’s shorline is some 8 thousand kilometers (5 thousand miles) long, but in Rio going to the beach is more than regular leisure. It’s part of the city’s life being also a spot for social gathering. It’s one of the places you can understand better how cariocas are. With that said, let’s number some tips for you to enjoy the experience like a genuine local.
First step is deciding where to go. Usually, cariocas living near the waterfront will attend the beach closer to their home. But you should consider whom you are going with. If your company is elderly people or children, better choose calmer waters like Praia Vermelha (near the Sugar Loaf) or Leblon.
Barra da Tijuca have more waves and if you wanna surf consider going to Praianha, very popular among surfers. Copacabana, aka the Little Princess of the Sea is kinda capricious. Depending on the day there can be waves or it can be like a giant pool. On the other hand, if you are looking for the LGBT scene, go to Ipanema at lifeguard beach post 9.
Once you’re at the beach there are two things you must try if you wanna enjoy it like a carioca. One of them is buying a pack of Biscoito Globo. It’s a roll made of manioc starch (tapioca flour) that you can order salty or sweet. But don’t expect very harsh distinction between them. It’s subtle. There are dozens of beach vendors trying to sell grilled cheese, sandwiches and almost any kind of food, but you have to know that small pack of rolls is the eternal favourite.
Along with your rolls what should you drink? The support tents will offer any kind of bevarage: Beer, caipirinhas, sodas, and coconut water. You’d better wait once again for the street vendors of “mate” – a sweetened yerba mate tea served in a steel drum for liquids. It’s a mystery but they are always at the right temperature to be refreshing. You can also order “meio a meio” – on Rio’s beaches half-half means half mate half lemonade. 😛
If you’re not a surfer but like sports, you can gather your people or ask to join a group to play “altinha”, a very popular practice at the beaches. You use a soccer or beach soccer ball and make a pass to your mates without ever letting the ball drop on the sand. Thus “altinha” – “always high”.
At the end of the day, sunset in Ipanema and Arpoador are the must. And don’t make a strange face. Applauding the sunset is ok.