Today Belavista-Rio we will write about one of the most charming (and increasingly sought after) beach neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro: Leme. The Leme district, obviously less known than worldwide Copacabana in Rio, was named after the hill which is part of the Corcovado Mountain Range and is located at the north side of Copacabana Beach. The neighborhood is very cozy and central, since you're only minutes away from Botafogo, Urca, Flamengo districts, and the historical downtown. South Copacabana and Ipanema beaches are only ten minutes away.
Leme's beach is much quieter than Copacabana, making it a favorite for families and locals. There are also many great restaurants (including 2 five star) and hotels in the area. At night beach soccer and beach volley are amongst the most popular activities for locals, but if you aren't the athletic type, enjoy a coconut water or beer at one of the many beach side kiosks.
The district is also known for its giant waves, when the tide is high. Sometimes surf reaches 10 feet and you should not enter, since it can be very dangerous due to the strong water currents.
We point out below two neighborhood nightlights you just can´t miss. Forte do Vigia (a true Fort). Originally called Forte do Vigia, this 17th Century fort was built in order to protect the city. Now it is called Forte Duque de Caxias and serves as a cultural center. The Fort is located at the foot of the Leme hill at 210 meters. The Fort has excellent views of the Corvacado Mountains and surrounding beaches, as well as the Copacabana shore: Great scenario for photo shooting.
Address: Praca Almirante Julio de Noronha. Open: Sat, Sun, 2-4pm, R$3
Caminho dos Pescadores ( Fisherman's path)
This is an excellent walk, especially at sunset. The trail is located at the base of the Morro de Leme hill and is great place to see beautiful views of Copacabana beach. Leme´s Fisherman’s Path, which has probably less than 100 meters, is a great location for you and your partner to take romantic pictures, especially during sunset.
For all of these reasons, Belavista-Rio highly recommends Leme neighborhood. In a few words: relaxed environment, family oriented, good waves, smooth atmosphere, and 5 star restaurants. All of this sounds to
me like a perfect spot for a romantic retreat. Check it out!!
Rio-de-Janeiro is worldwide known in terms of its beaches by the now immortal “The Girl of Ipanema” song. The famed lyrics composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes slowly became not only an anthem of Rio´s beach culture but also of the Brazilian woman. As a native Carioca, born and raised in Rio-de-Janeiro, I have to express my “disagreement” with the overrated allegation that only in Ipanema we can find thebeautiful girls: In Rio, we can find muses just about any beach…
In the city blessed by all Gods, whose nature was admired by naturalist Darwin, European painter Jean-Baptist Debrét and American explorer Harriet Chalmers, the Brazilian beautiful girls are not only at or from Ipanema Beach, but thankfully from several neighborhoods. To prove our argument, Belavista-Rio decided to investigate and post a series of articles describing some of Rio-de-Janeiro´s hottest beach points. Some of these include Pepê surfers peak Barra Beach, Leme beach, Leblon´s Safeguard # 11, and recently a small spot at the Flamengo Beach.
Although my thoughts could be biased, since this where I live, the Flamengo-Beach and neighborhood itself has been going through an up-rise in terms of the beauties´ presence. I will explain why: Before, Ipanema and Leblon were the main areas for spotting the marvelous “Rio girls next door” since most of the nightlife activities were centered there. Since 2001, new bars and restaurants have been opening all over town, like the new chain of botecos Belmonte, Devassa which also established themselves at the Flamengo-District. Because of this Flamenggo has been increasingly searched (like the Lapa Region) not only by tourists, but by locals for their hang-out spots. Consequently, locals need not to go to other beaches to meet their friends.
Also, the Flamenggo-Beach, once completely polluted, now show hopes for survival, (see photos below ). Sometimes I see small fish close to the sand: Maybe the reason why “Ipanema type” girls are back to the beach. Surely the beautiful girls in Rio are in Ipanema, but also in Leblon, Lagoa, Botafogo, Barra, Leme Beaches...And better, in a natural and non posy way!
In terms of a specific area, since the Flameng Beach has over 1.5 mile, your shot would be close to the Porcão Restaurant “wing” of the beach (looking from the beach to the bay, your extreme right hand side). There is a large sun tent called “Point da Galera” ( that sells beer & Guaraná ) where the local sports fans, jocks, and the Rio beautiful girls tan themselves! I hope once in Rio you are able to check out for yourself what I am saying at Flamengo-Beach. Once last advice, don´t forget your sunglasses! As you will see, the Girl of Rio-de-Janeiro can be everywhere, and not only in Ipanema!
Another very famous gathering area within the Ipanema-district is the Farme de Amoedo gay area block. The region is located between Teixeira de Mello and Joana Angélica Streets, and is also perpendicular do Barão da Torre, Visconde de Pirajá, Prudente de Morais Streets & Vieira Souto Avenue. The Farme de Amoedo block is known to be Rio´s greatest concentration of gays. The area gets hot after 9:00 PM, when people mingle at the Farme de Amoedo surroundings gay friendly bars and gourmet restaurants. Farme de Amoedo´s main hub would be the corner of Farme and Visconde de Pirajá streets.
According to the Brazil Gay Guide, there are at least 5 specific gay bars and nightclubs close to the Farme de Amoedo block, including: A Casa da Lua, at Barão da Torre Street #240; Bofetada Bar at Farme de Amoedo Street, # 87; Galeria Café at Teixeira de Mello Street # 31; Dama de Ferro night-club at Vinícius de Moraes street # 288 and finally Lounge 69 (specialized in electronic music), also at Farme de Amoedo Street. Some other restaurants and bars at the region although not specific, are generally very receptive and gay-friendly, especially with foreigners. During carnival, this Ipanema-region is completely packed with tourists all over the world.