"The beach of Ipanema is known for its elegant development and its social life. Two mountains called the 'Dois Irmãos' (Two Brothers) rise at the western end of the beach, which is divided into segments by marks known as 'postos' (lifeguard towers). Beer is sold everywhere, along with the traditional 'cachaça'. There are always circles of people playing football, volleyball, and footvolley, a locally invented sport that is a combination of volleyball and football.
In the winter the surf can reach nine feet. The water quality varies with days of light-blue water to a more murky green after heavy rains. Constant swells keep the water clean. The often treacherous beach break regularly forms barrels.
Just west of this colorful section and towards Leblon, Rio de Janeiro is another popular stretch of sand known as 'Posto 10' (10th lifeguard tower).
The beach is one of many areas that suffers from the city's poor waste treatment. In its waters, 'fecal coliform bacteria sometimes spike at 16 times the Brazilian government’s satisfactory level.'
The Travel Channel listed Ipanema Beach as the sexiest beach in the world.
Large amounts of pollutants are dumped into the sea through the marine outfall pipe located near Ipanema, a matter of increasing concern to ecologists.
Beachgoers often applaud the sunset in the summer."