Rio’s Beach Culture
Just like in California or on the French Riviera you can definitely distinguish unwritten rules and behavior patterns that make Rio’s beaches a culture on its own.
When images of movie stars in the 50’s like Brigitte Bardot in a bikini were spread around the world made it all start, soon everyone wanted to go to the beach. Rio de Janeiro was no exception and soon the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana were full of people getting a sun tan wearing next to nothing.
Early in the morning you have people walking and jogging before work. During the day many play volleyball, football and beach tennis. You also have the outdoor gyms where people push and pull to achieve that perfect body. And then you have the surfers…
They may not have the best waves for it but it fits so well with the mentality of the cariocas that they ignore that. The whole concept of catching waves and hanging out on the beach is a perfect fit with their mentality. As a result on weekends the waves are extremely crowded and it’s almost impossible for an outsider to get a shot at the best waves.
The beaches in Rio de janeiro are very social places, it’s kind of like your favourite bars where everyone knows who you are. Many go to the beach almost every sunny day and sit at almost the same spot every time. The beach in Ipanema is curiously divided into informal sections, you have one for gay, another for students and so on. There are unwritten rules how to behave, what to wear and how you sit. Here are a few tips that will help you fit in:
- Leave your towel at home, if you’re a girl use a beach sheet (kanga) and guys can either rent a chair or just sit in the sand.
- Wear swimming trunks or surf shorts, never football shorts.
- Buy what you eat and drink on the beach, if you have a big water bottle everyone knows you’re a gringo so leave it at home.