Hosting Carlinhos, Dü, Rebecca and Tiago presented the perfect opportunity to go to Itacoatiara beach. While it is another of the local beaches near Luiz’s parents’s house in Itaipu, we never seem to get there. Mostly, I suppose because there are no services on the sand.
It’s a real “bring your own” kind of destination. We prefer the comfort and convenience of food and beverage vendors wandering the sand making our life easier. It is the beach after all.
But Itacoatiara is without doubt one of the most visually spectacular beaches in the Rio area. The surf is pretty rough, so it attracts the surfer crowd. Swimmers are mostly confined to the prainha (little beach) tucked back behind some rocks where a somewhat protected area allows for safer swimming.
The surrounding mountains (rocks? hills?) are breathtaking. In years past we have hiked to the top of the northern most outcropping to relish incredible views of the immediate area and Copacabana in the distance.
I repeatedly mention this beach to travelers coming to Rio (on the Lonely Planet discussion board), but mostly they pass on bussing it northward over the bay to a destination in Niterói. They seem to frown on beaches beyond the most famous in Rio. Their loss. Itacoatiara has a real ‘getaway’ feel, fantastically clean water (Rio beaches can be seriously polluted) and is perfect for photos to make the friends back home wish they had come along.
We had a great time, got some sun, and enjoyed a little challenging surf.