One of Rio’s relatively unknown gems where the presence of skyscrapers and apartment blocks is yet to intrude, Prainha is a small crescent of soft, white sand that makes one of the most peaceful, untouched beaches in Rio. The beach is flanked to one side by mountains carpeted with rainforest; to the other, a turquoise ocean peppered by the white tips of breaking waves. It’s a favorite among surfers and those looking for a quiet retreat. Take care swimming as there are no life guards on the beach. Also, plan your journey back as taxis don’t circulate in this region.