What to Expect: Majestic granite peaks jut from a jungle-covered range to create a spectacular backdrop for this mile-long, 300-foot-deep white-sand beach, which is covered in brightly colored umbrellas year-round. While the rocky Cagarras Islands off in the distance make for gorgeous vistas, many would argue that the best views are of the scantily clad locals, repeatedly called the most beautiful people in the world. The boardwalk lined with palm trees is made for strolling—and it’s the ideal place to soak up the sexy scene.
What to Do: If you want to hang out with celebrities and Rio’s in-crowd, throw your towel down near Posto 10 in the middle of the beach at the "Coqueirão," a big palm tree. Thirsty?Stop at any of the cabanas behind the beach and order a fresh coconut; the bartender will open it right there. Be sure to ask for a spoon, so you can enjoy the sweet meat afterward. Four blocks inland is Garota de Ipanema, the bar where, legend has it, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Morais wrote the song “The Girl from Ipanema,” and where you can still hear live bossa nova.