With temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees in Rio this week, there’s only one place to be. The beach. Yes, it’s time to dust off that swimwear and bare that beach body – but are you ready for the Brazilian beaches?
Firstly, before you even think about what swimwear you’ll be taking and how many pairs of Havaianas to buy, you’ll need to take care of your sun protection. Bear in mind that the tropical sun gets EXTREMELY hot in Rio, and even those with darker skin tones can easily burn in this heat. Sun cream is alarmingly expensive in Rio, so stock up before you go, and go for a high factor, at least for the first few days. You might not want to be a glowing white foreigner on the beach, but trust me, glowing white is a better look than glowing red. Even with a high factor protection cream, you’ll have picked up some colour in no time – and you can always get primed for the beach with a spray tan before you set off.
When it comes to swimwear, small is considered beautiful, for both men and women. But don’t panic if you don’t think you can cut it in a teeny tiny string bikini or a pair of super-tight trunks, there are other options available. Do the delight of guys and the despair of girls, the dental floss bikini is still present on the beaches of Rio, but it’s not the last word in beach chic. Opt for a small high cut bikini with a top that hoists up and out, and you’ll be fine. One-pieces have even been in evidence on the beaches of Rio this year, although they may not be ideal in this hot sticky heat. There are plenty of bikini stores in Rio, among the most famous of which is the aptly-named Bum Bum. Prices tend to be high and sizes tend to be small, but the bikinis are well-cut and deliver plenty of va-va-voom. If you want something that leaves a little to the imagination, ask for a Sunkini.
And male visitors to Rio needn’t think that they get off lightly when it comes to the ‘dare to bare?’ question. Most Carioca men favour tiny, tight trunks, and that goes for 70-year-olds as much as it does for buff young things. However, the hip young ‘surfistas’ favour board shorts, so that might be the look to go for if you don’t fancy exposing your all.
Both male and female visitors to Rio may want to think about subjecting themselves to one of the country’s famous waxes before hitting the beach. Stray hairs on either male or female bodies are not considered sightly on Brazilian beaches, but thankfully the city is full of salons that will have you smooth and swimwear-ready in a flash. While you’re there, you might also want to think about getting a manicure and pedicure too – these are very inexpensive in Rio, and expertly done. Again, it is not uncommon to get a quick file and shape along with the ladies, although guys might want to avoid the more elaborate nail designs.
Finally, grab yourself a funky sarong, which will double as a beach towel, and you’re ready to hit the beaches of Rio!