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And when the surf is way up, pack a picnic, sit back and watch the expert boogie boarders at play.
Rio de Janeiro boasts a pair of famous beaches, Iapanema and Copacabana, but it’s the former — celebrated in the sexy 1960s bossa nova hit “The Girl from Ipanema” — that captivates visitors with its breathtaking views.
The sand is pale gold and the landmark emerald peaks you’ll find yourself gazing at for hours are known as “Two Brothers.” Brazilians love to show off their toned bodies, so expect skimpy swimwear and lots of tanned skin.
Be sure to leave wallets and valuables in your hotel safe: Despite their beauty, Rio’s beaches are known to be frequented by petty thieves.
Visitors enjoy swimming and strolling, sunning and snacking (there are umbrellas, showers, food vendors and lifeguards on the eastern end).
Named for the shape of its inviting bay, this scenic beach in Southampton parish is perfect for lazy sunning or playful splashing (you can rent towels, boogie boards and snorkel gear).
Nicknamed Big Beach, this super-photogenic, 1½ -mile stretch of golden sand is South Maui’s largest and offers great views of Kahoolawe island and the Molokini Crater.
The unpredictable shore break can be dangerous, however, so you’ll need to heed the posted warnings at the lifeguard stations before deciding to swim.
That said, some are just a bit more memorable and much more photogenic than others.
A few are world famous (featured in a songs, movies and even a diet) while others are unsung gems. That feeling of awe you get when you kick off your flip flops, throw down your beach towel and think, “Now For sheer drama, it’s hard to beat this wide arc of sand located on the Atlantic just seven minutes from Cape Town.