In the burgeoning West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, the Anil neighbourhood reflects a gentler side of this famous Brazilian city. Less than an hour’s drive from Tijuca National Park, Anil fosters an outdoor lifestyle. It also boasts uncrowded beaches, arts venues and upscale shopping centres.
Things to do
A lively beach culture has long defined Rio, but Anil has grown up around the more tranquil sandy strips west of Copacabana. The 18-kilometre beach at Barra da Tijuca hosts dozens of small kiosks selling fried fish, coconut water, sarongs and trinkets, with numerous wine bars and seafood restaurants as well.
Are you feeling adventurous? Head to Sao Conradois to surf excellent breaks or try your hand at hang-gliding or paragliding. Cruise down to Pepe Beach for thrilling water sports, such as windsurfing and kite-surfing.
Luxury malls are in abundance in the West Zone near Anil, with Metropolitano Barra hosting more than 500 stores and a kid’s amusement centre. Stop by Via Parque Shopping Centre to catch a live performance at the mall’s concert arena or check out Cidade das Artesto hear the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra.
Bosque da Barra Park offers a quiet place to enjoy nature, with walking and cycling paths traversing a 50-hectare salt-marsh vegetation refuge. Perfect for active travellers, Marapendi Park and biological reserve lets visitors exercise in workout stations and game areas. For a dose of culture, head over to Casa do Pontal to see more than 5,000 pieces of Brazilian folk art.
Anil is best explored on foot, but there are buses available for transport to the West Zone via the Zuzu Angel Tunnel. Taxis, rental cars, scooters and bicycles also provide convenient ways to get around Anil.