If you like your beaches buzzy or you need a dip after a bit of culture, these urban shores should keep you buoyant
Rio is home to two of the world’s most famous beaches but Copacabana’s star has long since faded. Ipanema-Leblon is the place to be, for beach culture and nightlife. Arpoador, the easternmost tip, ends in a rocky headland offering stunning views of the whole length of Ipanema to the Dois Irmãos mountain at the west. A favourite spot with surfers, bodyboarders and families by day, it is lit up at night, so perfect for a moonlit dip in Rio’s sweltering summers. It also has one the best places in Rio for a sundowner. In a city with so many great beaches and bars, it is strange that the two are rarely found side by side, but Arpoador’s Azul Marinho bar and restaurant (Avenida Francisco Bhering) is a noteworthy exception, the perfect spot for a caipirinha or cold chope (draught beer).
• Bonita Hostel, two blocks from the beach, has dorm beds from about £9. For a treat, the lovely – if suicidally named – Casa Mosquito has B&B doubles from £140, casamosquito.com