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Chic Ipanema beach is where the summer happens in Rio, and who doesn’t love the ’60s song about the girl From Ipanema? Ipanema beach was also the launch pad for the skimpy tanga bikini (and less appealingly, the crocheted G-string for men), setting trends around the world.

The sand here is super soft, white and stretches for 2 kilometers. Behind the beach you will find a mix of upscale shops and restaurants. There are numerous bars, and night-spots congregating along Rua Vincius de Morais, including the famous Garota de Ipanema Bar. It was here that Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Morais penned the lyrics to “The Girl from Ipanema.”

If you want to visit this trendsetting beach, to see and be seen, the nearest airports are the International Antonio Carlos Jobim Airport, which is about a 30-minute drive away, and Santos Dumont Domestic Airport, which is about 10 minutes by car from Ipanema.

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