At long last, the Rio Olympics are upon us. And that means starting next week, you won't be able to avoid perfectly filtered shots of the city—and its gorgeous sandy beaches—dominating all of your social feeds. Whether you were lucky enough to score tickets to the buzziest sporting event of the year, or are simply trying to keep up with the constant chatter surrounding the Games, here are the spots to know, handpicked by photographer (and self-professed Brazil obsessive) Gray Malin, who spotlights the tropical locale in his new book, Beaches ($33; amazon.com).
—With reporting by Claire Stern.
1. STAY: Hotel Fasano
"Philippe Starck's posh hotel is a seven-minute walk from Ipanema Beach. They have great cocktails."
Av. Vieira Souto, 80, Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro; fasano.com
2. VISIT: Arpoador Rock
"This is the place to go for happy hour. It's a small outlet nestled between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches where vendors sell drinks like Aperol Spritzes. When the sun sets, everyone claps."
3. EAT: Aprazível
"When you first arrive, you'll see nothing but an elevator with an angel painted on it. But it opens into this treehouse-style restaurant one level down. The local Brazilian food will blow your mind, and there are monkeys in the trees!"
R. Aprazível, 62, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro; aprazivel.com.br
4. SHOP: THE LEBLON COMPLEX
"The shopping there is so impressive. There are high-end boutiques and local-designer shops. You can even find the occasional Chanel bag."
5. SUNBATHE: LEBLON BEACH
"It's rowdy, but not crazy crowded like Copacabana beach. Carry as little as possible and enjoy your freedom. I'll even ditch my shoes and buy a pair of flip-flops on the beach."