Rio is unique among world cities in the opportunities for spectacular running along its urban beaches, with some 30 km of beachfront paths. The beaches themselves can also be great for running, depending on tides, crowds, and surface conditions. There are four sections of beach: Flamengo Beach in the Centro area; Copacabana Beach; Ipanema Beach, which is nearby Copacabana; and Barra Beach, in the newer, southwestern part of Rio.
7.6 km out & back. Start: Museum of Modern Art. ROUTE MAP Near airport and lots of hotel options
The Flamengo beach and park stretching along its length is one of the great urban beach runs. Combine the paved Parque do Flamengo waterfront path paths in the interior parks: Parque Brig. Eduardo Gomes & Parque das Crianças.
Start in Zona Norte at the Museum of Modern Art. Pass the Memorial of World War II with the tomb of the lost soldier. Then you will reach Marina da Glória. Follow the marked path around the cove of the Bay and between the trees. The turnaround point is the Monument to Estacio de Sa. The park paths make for a nice shade option on a hot day.
Leme to Copacabana
4 km one-way. ROUTE MAP
From Leme to the Fort of Copacabana, there’s perfect running along a paved, 4 km beachfront path. Enjoy the ocean views on one side and the observe the comings and goings of various international hotels along the other. Note: On Sundays, the road that runs along Copacabana and Ipanama Beach is closed to make more room recreation.
Ipanema to Leblon
3.7 km one-way. ROUTE MAP
Among the great beach runs in Rio, Ipanema is arguably the most popular. This route follows the beach made famous in the bossa nova song “The Girl from Ipanema” in the 1960s. A long, arcing expanse of soft white sand and rolling waves, Ipanema routinely reaches the top of the “Best Beaches in the World” lists year after year. While you run, enjoy a constant sea breeze and breathtaking views of the Atlantic and Morro Dois Irmãos (Hill Brothers). This route is highly recommended during sunset and on Sundays when one of the traffic lanes closes. There is a dedicated bike lane, and a wide sidewalk for running. Or, run on the beach! After your run, have a beer in Garota the Ipanema, the bar where Tom Jobim was inspired to write the song “Girl from Ipanema.”
Up to 19 km one-way. ROUTE MAP
A beautiful beach and the longest of Rio’s beach runs. Barra is the newest area in the city, with modern architecture and lots of space. Overall, it’s possible to run for up to 19 km between the Jardim Oceânico neioghborhood at the east end to Praia de Sernambetiba at the west end, though some sections are better for running than others. The first 8 km between Jardim Oceânico and Marapendi Park (just past the Hyatt) features a lovely, wide cycle path along the beach From there, there’s a sidewalk alongside Av. Lúcio Costa (not on the beach side) for 6 km. Just past Nelsonm Mandela Park, there’s nice waterfront path for the final 5 km to Praia do Pontal.