Hidden in the West side of the Marvelous City, a few desert beaches are worth the hike
If being original is the rule nowadays, these beaches are the hipsters of Rio de Janeiro. Not too far from crowded neighborhoods such as Jacarépaguá and Recreio, lies a hidden treasure, even for many locals; more precisely at Barra de Guaratiba, there are five beaches off Rio de Janeiro’s coast which are considered desert: Buzios, Perigoso, do Meio, Funda and Inferno are only accessible by treks or boats.
Being a desert beach means nothing was modified on the coast lining, that there are no signs of urban life whatsoever, no kiosks, or anything. It´s you, and nature, and hopefully the best company you can think of to help you carry food, water and maybe a beach umbrella.
All treks have the same starting point, at Guaratiba beach. After a 40min mild hike, you´ll reach a fork, one way leading to Perigoso and Búzios, while the other way will take you to Funda, Inferno and do Meio beaches. How long you will take from the fork to each destination depends on the individual’s physical conditions as well as how much weight is being carried. The easiest to get to, and first beach you will cross is Perigoso. Another 45min-walk will lead to Praia do Meio. The furthest is Inferno beach (in English, this would be the Hell beach, but the only Hell here is not bringing sunscreen), and it has an alternative trek back to Guaratiba village, about 2h walk.
For the not-so-active crowd, the boats leave from Guaratiba port, and prices may vary according to number of passengers, luggage and the route desired. But the views you will find during the treks, can’t compare. As they say, best things in life are free – and very well kept.