It’s here you’ll find that postcard perfect shot that Rio is famous for, Dois Irmãoes mountains soaring out of an ocean framed in a golden arc of sand. It’s here too that Tom Jobim wrote, ‘The Girl from Ipanema’, propelling Brazil’s bossa nova scene into eternal global fame and leaving a legacy for the endless golden girls who walk these streets.
In truth, Ipanema still holds the same allure of romance, particularly in the late-afternoon summer haze when the city slips off its shoes after work and everyday feels like a Friday. Head through the grid of streets that trail back from the beach, and you’ll find a high street of useful if unremarkable stores, mixed in with some noteworthy boutiques and casual yet fun dining spots. Along the shore, noteworthy landmarks include the famous Fasano hotel, arguably still Rio’s hippest hangout with its rooftop infinity pool, and Arpoador rock.
It’s here that the city’s surf scene compete for waves, and you can clamber up onto the giant rock - where Native Indian tribes once harpooned whales - and watch the sunset as the whole beach bursts into a tidal wave of applause.
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