Unique Summer Getaways: The Beaches of Rio de Janeiro

Looking for a unique summer getaway? When it's summer in the United States, countries south of the hemisphere are in the throes of winter. However, with average temperatures around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, it's a perfect time to see these normally smoldering cities. For a unique summer getaway that's filled with sun, sand and plenty of fun, hit up Rio de Janeiro and its three main beaches.

Ipanema Beach
The sexiest of Rio's beaches, Ipanema is famous for the scantily clad men and women who spend their time sunning here. If you love people-watching, you'll love the scene in Ipanema. In fact, their bathing suits are nicknamed "fio dental," or "dental floss." While the winter months will leave the beaches and hotels a little less packed, it's a perfect time to grab your own space, enjoy that 70 degree weather, and check out the shorts and t-shirts that come with a Brazilian winter.

Copacabana Beach
Fun and funky, Copacabana is where most Rio visitors head for summer getaways, and why shouldn't they? Copa is 4km of pristine sands and soft waves. And for the height of relaxation, don't worry about bringing anything to the beach except yourself; dozens of vendors strut the sands selling food, drinks, sun block, jewelry, sarongs, towels, and even bathing suits. So, walk on down to the beach, grab one of the beach loungers provided by the coastal hotels, and drown out your worries on this laid-back beach.

A more affluent area than its neighboring beaches, you'll find malls, top-tier eateries, and pristine beaches in Leblon. It's also a great area to score a deal at a posh hotel, like the Marina All Suites, with their high-design suite rooms. When you've tired of Armani and sushi lunches, the beach at Leblon is quiet and peaceful. It's a great area to lay out and get some sun without worrying about families and sports fans.

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