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Rio de Janeiro; Arpoador, Cantagalo and Ipanema

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Uploaded on Nov 20, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO, ARPOADOR; BRAZIL -- Nestled between the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana lies, Arpoador, a tiny neighborhood best known for surfing and romance.
Arpoador's greatest asset is its natural beauty in the form of a rock peninsula jutting into the ocean. Portuguese settlers and Brazilian natives used the rock to hunt whales, hence the name Arpoador, meaning "harpoon thrower."
Because of its location in the center of Rio's famous coastline, Arpoador boasts spectacular views: the lights of Ipanema, Leblon, and Vidigal twinkling beneath the peaks of Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers) on one side, and Copacabana on the other. The rock is crisscrossed with small trails and secluded nooks, making it one of the most romantic spots in Rio.
During midsummer, crowds flock to Arpoador to watch the sun set over the ocean, a rare treat on the mostly east-facing coastline. The rocky point is also a popular night spot any time of year; revelers can always be found there, passing around bottles of wine and enjoying the view.
Arpoador Beach (only about 500 meters long) is considered by many to be the best surf spot in metropolitan Rio, with breakers up to three meters tall and floodlights for night surfing.
Arpoador has more to offer than just surfing, though.
Garota da Ipanema Park, named after the famous song by Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim, is an ideal place to cool off in the shade after a long day of sunbathing. The park hosts concerts by MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) artists, as well as the Bourbon Street Fest, a jazz festival.

The Surfavela Project
Surfavela is for boys who live in favelas, Rio's squalid hillside slums. Those who join the project receive free surfing classes, rebuilt boards and a chance to engage in a sport that otherwise would probably be unaffordable.
The project's headquarters and workshop occupy six concrete rooms in the basement of a school and community center serving Cantagalo, a favela that rises behind the luxury apartments and fashionable shops along Ipanema Beach.
To help finance the program, and to earn a little spending money for themselves, the boys sell T-shirts decorated with silk-screen designs in the basement shop. The French surfing federation recently sent a donation of 500 T-shirts.
Cantagalo children also are born by the beach and grow up watching better-off children surfing the waves. Tthe Surfavela Project lets the poor kids join the fun.

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