The legendary beach in Ipanema is known as much for its white sands and the view of Dois Irmaos as it is for its vibrant social scene and the sense of community that it fosters. But there is more.

Ipanema is a distinct "bairro" with a character and feel all its own within Rio de Janeiro. There are fewer hotels in Ipanema than in other parts of Rio, so take the opportunity to explore this wonderful residential neighbourhood.

Have a great meal on Rua Jangadeiros or on Barao da Torre. Afterwards, take a walk and absorb the human energy on a starry Ipanema night.

General Osorio Square is a wonderful venue for frequent outdoor musical and theatrical performances and events throughout the year. Myriad local vendors assemble every Sunday for the weekly "Hippie Fair", where Brazilian arts and crafts, leather goods, home furnishings and jewellery are displayed.

If travelling downtown to the Sambodromo for Carnaval is not to your taste, join in or simply watch as the Banda de Ipanema passes by on Avenida Vieria Souto.