A wild beach surrounded by rolling hills, covered with a lush tropical forest. Coarse white sand, the sound of birds singing, the surf breaking... is it paradise? Almost. It's Grumari on a weekday. This beach is preserved, and you may see a strip of original Mata Atlântica, the rain forest that covered the hills of Rio before the Portuguese set foot here.
On your way to Grumari you will pass by Prainha, another preserved beach. Prainha is a favorite with surfers, as it consistently has the best waves in Rio. Unless you have a rental car or a local friend willing to show you around, your best way to see all the beaches in a one day is to take a guided beach tour.
Beach tours are offered by some local operators, and
they usually take a half-day. You will have a chance to stop and
take photos at each beach, sip a chilled coconut water, and go for a
dip at one of the beaches. On the next day you will know exactly
which beach you want to visit again, only this time on your own!