Ipanema is nearly as famous (and as beautiful) as Copacabana – thanks in part to the Bossa Nova classic ‘The Girl from Ipanema’. The ultimate summer hit from 1964 was composed 2 years earlier by Tom Jobim and immortalized by the voice of Astrud Gilberto. The song was recently covered by Bebel Gilberto. And the girl from Ipanema? She really exists and her name is Helô Pinheiro.
The kilometres-long beach of Ipanema is well organized: each group has its own favourite stretch of sand. Posto Nove (life guard station 9) attracts hunks with six-packs and beautiful girls in string bikinis. The section of beach at the end of popular nightlife destination Rua Farme de Amoedo is known as the gay beach, and nicknamed Bolsa de Valores – the stock exchange. Posto 8 is popular with youths from the favelas, and surfers are drawn to Posto 7. Hippies, intellectuals, singles and families with children have also staked out their preferred stretches of beach.
“For the most beautiful sunsets, nab a table at beach bar Caneco do Rei”