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Arpoador rock and Arpoador beach are located between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in Zona Sul.

“Arpão” means harpoon in Portuguese. The name Arpoador comes from the fact that Indians and Portuguese used to hunt whales using harpoons near the coast.

Arpoador is famous for many things. It is the birthplace of the beach culture of Rio. It is claimed that in 1940s the first Brazilian started surfing in Arpoador beach. In 1950s it was the only place where for a woman to wear bikini was socially acceptable. The ritual of applauding the sunset was also born in Arpoador. During the military dictatorship period, this small area became the gathering point of young people searching for freedom.

Arpoador's traditions are being continued nowadays: lots of people come here every day to enjoy the beach, practice surfing and applaud the sunset.

Tips for Arpoador

  • If you want to learning surfing, go in the morning between 7-9 am and you will find a teacher. Many people practice there in the morning, when the ocean is calmer.
  • Climb the rock a bit before the sunset to enjoy the great views as well as applaud the sunset together with the locals.

Arpoador safety

There are some strange people hanging around Arpoador, but there is always also police presence. It should be more or less safe there even after sunset, but keep your eyes open and stay alert.

Quick facts

Type: rock and beach
Touristic: yes
Getting there: easy
Minimal transport: walk
Length: beach - 500 meters
Cost: free
Other names: Pedra do Arpoador, Arpoador rock, Praia do Arpoador, Arpoador beach
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