Brazil’s Beautiful Beaches

Rio’s golden sands are world-famous, with places like Copacabana and Ipanema seared in the global zeitgeist. But Rio is a city, too. With more than six million people, it’s the second largest city in Brazil; the 26th largest in the world. It is home to major corporations and universities, and history dating back to the 16th century. Rio is no sleepy resort destination. It’s a vibrant, dynamic city, with a wealth of attractions set amidst one of the planet’s most stunning landscapes. Indeed, the cultural landscape of Rio de Janeiro from the mountains to the sea was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2012. But it is the beaches that define this unique and marvelous city — not just their presence, but the way that they shape the sensuous rhythms of everyday life here. It is quite common to see locals (Cariocas) walking the city sidewalks in a sunga (Brazilian cut men’s swimsuit) and Havaianas (Brazil’s indigenous flip flop brand), jostling with suited businessmen and black-clad widows heading to church for Midday Mass. As Rio prepares to host the Olympics in 2016, improvements benefiting international visitors have been underway for years: taxi drivers are taking English classes, street crime is being sharply reduced, and hotel renovation and development is being undertaken at a feverish pace.

OH SO SEXY For gay travelers, Rio is irresistible: In addition to all of the general appeal that Rio holds for world travelers, there are the Brazilian men.  Somehow, Brazil got way more than its share of sexy, and during the Brazilian summer (our winter) it is on full display in Rio.  And, oh what a display it is:  An endless parade of sculpted beauties, absentmindedly touching themselves through their skimpy and strategically slouchy sunga swimsuits, keeping themselves in a state of perpetual semi-tumescence.  We can happily stay on the beach for hours, and the recent addition of public showers and toilets on the beach makes that possible.  Chairs and umbrellas are available for rent, and an informal economy of beach vendors provide food and drinks.  Although the beach is crowded (packed around New Years and Carnival), the crowd is friendly, approachable and increasingly international: Rio draws a gay crowd from all over Brazil and the world.

Rio is magnificent, and once you’ve been there, it stays with you forever.  Our October 2012 issue has a complete insider guide to Rio — everything a savvy gay tourist needs to know about where to stay, where to eat, where to go out, how to navigate the social scene, where to shop, sightsee and hang out.  Plus, we also profile Brazil’s other gay beach resort, Florianópolis, and three smaller romantic getaways: Trancosco, Parati and Buzios.

Discover ManAboutWorld’s Brazilian beaches, by purchasing the single issue download of the October, 2012 issue on the AppStore, or subscribe today with our “all back issues free” offer, and get Rio, plus 67 other previously-covered destinations and a full year of upcoming ManAboutWorld issues for just $39.99.