In Rio de Janeiro's West Side, past Barra da Tijuca and Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Prainha is a surprisingly secluded tropical getaway within the city's limits. A half-crescent with clean sands and clear waters surrounded by the rainforest-covered slopes of the Grumari APA (Environmental Protection Area), Prainha is popular with surfers and anyone who's willing to explore Rio's outer shores for a day of peace and beauty.
More crowded on the weekends (but not unbearably so), when it has its share of frescobol players, kids making sand castles and beautiful young people eating at the beach kiosks, Prainha is nearly deserted on weekdays, especially in the low season.
Prainha has no hotels. Like Grumari and Barra de Guaratiba, home to some of Rio's best seafood restaurants, Prainha is one of the perks that come with a stay at one of the hotels in Barra da Tijuca: if questioning the convenience of accommodations far from major attractions such as the Sugarloaf or the Corcovado, weigh in the uniqueness of this pristine spot in Brazil's second largest metropolis.
Getting to Prainha
A fun way to get to Prainha is by the taking the Surf Bus. The bus seating 30 and fitting several surfboards and bodyboards is equipped with a stereo system and a 32-inch LCD-screen TV showing surf movies.
The Surf Bus Beach Tour passes Botafogo, Leme, Arpoador, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, São Conrado, Barra da Tijuca, Recreio, Macumba and Prainha.
The bus is running on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. It leaves Largo do Machado at 7 a.m., 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the Prainha lookout point (Mirante da Prainha) at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 4 p.m.
You can request a pick-up stop along the way by calling 21-3546-1860.
As of Jan.24, 2014, tickets will cost R$10 one way.