Fodor's Expert Review Recreio dos Bandeirantes
At the far end of Barra's beachfront avenue—the name of the street was changed a few years back to Avenida Lúcio Costa, but locals still call it Sernambetiba—is this 1-km (½-mile) stretch of sand anchored by a huge rock that creates a small, protected cove. Recreio's quiet seclusion makes it popular with families. Although busy on weekends, the beach here is wonderfully quiet during the workweek. The calm, pollution-free water, with no waves or currents, is good for bathing, but don't try to swim around the rock—it's bigger than it looks. Amenities: food and drink. Best for: swimming; walking.