Arpoador is the stretch of land between Ipanema and Copacabana. The name comes from the rock formation, once used for whaling (banned in Brazil since the 80's). It is a favorite overlook with a wonderful view to Ipanema, Leblon beaches, Morro Dois Irmaos and Pedra da Gávea. Beachwhise Arpoador Beach starts at Posto 8, past Rua Francisco Otaviano. The beach lane, Rua Francisco Bhering is open for pedestrians only (see map). Arpoador Beach is a favorite with surfers, and there are powerful lights for night surfing.
At the end of Rua Francisco Bhering begins lovely Garota de Ipanema Park. On top of the hill there's a skating bowl and another overlook. And a suprise beach - Praia do Diabo! You have access to the first part of it. The larger half is within a reserve kept by the military that have a station there.
Praia do Diabo overlooks the west and Copacabana, as shown on the photo. The tall hill on the back is the fabled Sugarloaf! The rocks are a turnaround between West and South. The sea may be rough and there is often an undertow. Most of the beach goers are locals and surfers.
Whenever there is a sea storm the best place to watch it is from the Rocks of Arpoador. The only thing to keep in mind is tha if you are standing in a place with puddles, either you may get very wet - or even wiped out. It has happened (once as far as I can remember).
In any case, there are trails and it is not a radical climb. Quite on the contrary, most everyone can do it. This is a favorite spot to see the sunset, do not be surprised if there's a round of applause after it ends. You can also see the sunrise from here, if you go to the West of the rocks or from Diabo Beach.
Things to do and see
The main commercial drag in Arpoador is Rua Francisco Otaviano, that connects Ipanema to Copacabana. The there are kept by the army. For more photos visit Pictours of Arpoador. This street has good restaurants, and hotels.
There's a small street mall named Galeria River that is specialized in articles for surfing body boarding, rollerblading and skating, clubbers clothing, and even a the atelier of a tatoo parlor. Nightlife is another plus. Clubs like Galeria Café, sophisticated CAVE, even gay disco Le Boy are in a walking distance from you. Copacabana and Ipanema a short taxi ride away.
As you reach the beach you cannot miss a large 5-star hotel - it's the first building! This was the original location of the fabled Casino Atlantico when gambling was legal in Brazil. On the first floors there is a mall named after it. With sophisticated home furnishing and antique shops. There's an antique fair on Saturdays.
Right across from the hotel at there's the Fishermen's Corner. They actually catch fresh fish every day and sell them early at the kiosk. The boats add a touch of charm to this beach spot. You also have access to Forte de Copacabana with its fantastic view!
Where to Stay
With all the beaches, shopping and nightlife in a walking distance this is one of the most desirable areas to stay at. There are a number of lodging options, ranging from luxury Fasano Rio, where the international stars stay, to affordable all-suite hotels with a kitchenette that can accommodate as many as 5!
Of course prices are much higher during the high season or special events. We have an agreement with an international booking company that promises the lowest rates with instant confirmation. In most cases you only have to pay once you check-in. Here are a few suggestions, as listed on the map!
Arpoador on High Season Sundays
While during the off-season Arpoador has its regular beach-goers who live in the surroundings, on weekends the beach can get very crowded. If it's a sunny summer Saturday and Sunday possibly even overcrowded! This happens during the day, of course. These visitors come from other neighborhoods to enjoy the beach.
Most residents choose other parts of the beach for a larger space bubble. Or take advantage of the promenade on Sundays, when the beach lane is closed to traffic. Time to go inline skating, riding a bike, strutting their dogs, or doing other activities while meeting friends along the way, including Capoeira!
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