Rio de Janeiro’s Praia do Abricó nude beach lies far away from the famous Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain, but it is well worth the effort to get there. Abricó is located just to the east of Grumarí beach, a favorite surfing spot in the extreme southwest of the Rio metro area, a long drive through heavy traffic beyond more well-known parts of the city. While located within the official city limits, both Grumarí and Abricó are lined by rural, forested stretches of road, not highrises and shopping malls like the textile beaches at Ipanema and Copacabana. When you arrive, there is a cozy seafood restaurant – highly recommended – just down from the road on the beach access path, close to the huge boulders that visually separate textile Grumarí from nude Abricó.
|The nude beach’s clever welcome sign. It spells out the rules in great detail!|
I’ve been to Abricó four times now over the years, and even though it’s always pleasant, the beach’s size varies greatly due to the wind and tides. Last year (2012), on a Saturday in late April, it was a skinny, straggly strip with very few people there, but this year, on a Saturday in early May, it was back to the wide swath I knew from previous years, and there were easily some 70-80 people coming and going throughout the afternoon. The nude beach area extends about 150 or 200 yards from the Grumarí border to a rocky area that cuts off the sandbank.
|Classic view of the twin islands from Abricó.|
This time, I was able to meet up with Abricó guardian and Brazilian naturist pioneer Pedro Ribeiro, editor of Jornal Olho Nu and one of the key leaders of the beach’s organization. We spoke for awhile about the efficiency of the beach’s nude security patrol. That day there were two security personnel–one man and one woman, identified by their red caps–who were patrolling the beach up and down. There was also a general meeting area for the Abricó beach group, set up with a small tent and some food, and at least one nude popsicle vendor plying his wares.
|Proud to form part of the natural, living landscape at Abricó|
There were definitely more men than women, as is frequently the case at nude beaches, but it was refreshing that among people obviously paired in couples, there seemed to be equal likelihood of male-female and male-male couples. I’ve always observed it to be a diverse and tolerant place. And generally people are quick to lose their clothes once passing from Grumarí into the Abricó nude area, with the occasional exception of evidently accustomed fisherman, who don’t bother to disrobe while traversing the relatively short beach to get from one prime fishing spot to another.
|The Abricó Beach backdrop is a high, scrubby cliff.|
Abricó is one of Brazil’s signature naturist locales, and Ribeiro is one of the country’s heroes in the constant battle for legal recognition and protection of naturism. The beach is regularly featured in the Brazilian media as a representative example of the country’s naturist offerings. At the end of the day, Abricó is a lush, tranquil, tropical nude beach in one of the most beautiful cities in the world – definitely a place that should make it onto your “bucket list”! If you want more information on how to get there and where to stay, the ANABRICO site has FAQs in English as well as Portuguese.