I was at drinks the other night discussing the various beaches in Rio when someone mentioned Praia do Joa (or Joatinga), a beach I had not heard of. The immediate response was ‘you must go it is beautiful!’, so the next day that is exactly what I did. Hop in your car (it’s the only way to get there) and after winding around the mountain for 15 mins you will enter a gated community. It is very exclusive, but if you tell security you are going to the beach they will lift the gate and let you in. Find a parking space then head down the trail along the rocks to the beach (below). It is very secluded, and usually deserted on the weekdays.
Pria do Joa is an isolated 220 m strip of white sand accompanying one of the richest and most luxurious natural reservations in Rio; situated on the southern coast of the city. Joatinga is like the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Rio, beautiful cliff side house with astounding views. On one side, the turquoise blue of the Atlantic encircling the Cagarras islands; to the other, a jungle-fringed swathe of Rio’s trademark beaches – Leblon and Ipanema.
Pria do Joa is a great place to surf,bodysurf, or hang out on the rocks to watch the surfers:) The water is pretty rough, so most swimmers don’t go in above waist deep. FYI There are no lifeguards, food, or restroom facilities here so bring some snacks and water. It is a favorite spot for bodyboarders because in the far corner, waves come colliding from different directions which gives them more ‘hight’ making it more fun.
If you feel like treating yourself or want to stay in a more secluded private place, Le Suite Hotel is a stunning boutique hotel nestled in Joatinga with it’s own private beach and tropical gardens. Prai do Joa is rare ecosystem of Atlantic Rainforest, mangroves and rastinga (beach vegetation), a precious hidden oasis that you shouldn’t miss!