Sao Conrado Beach enjoys a relatively isolated location on Rio de Janeiro's southern side. About ten minutes away by car is Leblon Beach, so you won't be that far from other great neighborhoods and the city in general when visiting the Sao Conrado neighborhood. While the busier side of Rio is relatively close by, you'll feel very removed from the stresses of city life while hanging out on Sao Conrado Beach. The stunning scenery, which includes views of the famed Gavea Rock, only adds to the allure of a Sao Conrado escape, and if you're interested in doing some hang gliding, it's the place to be.
Sao Conrado is a pretty beachfront neighborhood that has picturesque mountains for a backdrop. Looming over the neighborhood is the Gavea Rock, which is featured on some of the more extreme Rio hiking tours. Known locally as the Pedra da Gavea, this picturesque monolith is actually the largest coastal monolith on the planet. It peaks out at an elevation of approximately 2,800 feet above sea level and can be spotted from as far away as Niteroi on clear days. A smaller and easier to climb peak known as Pedra Bonita offers some unfettered views of Gavea Rock if you want to take it in from a vantage point other than the beach.
Back down at Sao Conrado Beach, strong swells often kick up waves that attract surfers. These swells can make swimming a relatively dangerous pursuit on some occasions, in which case you might stick to sunbathing. You can also check the skies to see if any hang gliders are filling it while relaxing on Sao Conrado Beach. Sao Conrado hang gliding sees rush seekers jumping off the area peaks and landing on the neighborhood's long strip of fine white sand. It's quite the sight to see, and you just might decide to get airborne yourself. Tandem jumps with qualified instructors can be arranged, and you can also take to the skies on your own if you are experienced. One thing is for sure. The scenery will take your breath away when you engage in Sao Conrado hang gliding.
Sao Conrado is an affluent Rio neighborhood, and backing the beach are a number of upscale apartment buildings that are home to many rich and famous Brazilians. There aren't a lot of beachfront hotels to choose from along Sao Conrado Beach. As such, you might try to stay at an aparthotel if you want to enjoy the neighborhood's relatively relaxed environs for more than just a few hours. The aparthotels offer spacious suites that are akin to vacation rentals in many ways, and they also tend to offer some enticing facilities, such as pools and a saunas. That being said, the Intercontinental Hotel Rio at Sao Conrado Beach might end up being the more attractive lodging fit.
The Intercontinental Rio at Sao Conrado is a luxurious hotel that could also be labeled as a beachfront resort. In addition to being found right next to the beach, it is also next to the excellent Gavea Golf Club. This golf club is private, but if you stay at certain Rio luxury hotels, such as the Intercontinental, you can enjoy member privileges on the weekdays.