Rio Opens Its First Ever Nudist Beach

Warren Buffet once said, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” We’re not entirely sure what he was talking about, but we found it to be relevant to Brazil’s most recent nude beach addition to its tourism, with the exception that everyone will be swimming naked. Or at least somewhat.

Following a campaign from activists and despite general protest, Rio de Janeiro has officially opened its first ever nudist beach. Abrico beach is located one hour away from the center of the city and will welcome those who prefer to sunbathe, swim, and play in the nude to its shores.

The beach’s opening marks a significant shift in history with regards to Brazil’s anti-public nudity attitude; even with the nation’s close association with skimpy bikinis and carnival costumes, most of its inhabitants denounce nudity on beaches.

“This is a courageous decision by the mayor and it will help Rio become a cultural and tourist reference point, especially with the city about to celebrate its 450th anniversary and the 2016 Olympic Games,” said activist Paula Nogueira.

In December 2013, Paula Nogueira and fellow nudist Ana Rios organized a topless protest to be staged at the city’s central Ipanema Beach. Coordinated on Facebook, only six women showed up to the event.

“I have always found strange, this puritan attitude in Brazil,” Rios told AFP at the time. “You see naked women everywhere during carnival and on magazine covers – yet going topless on the beach is a crime.”

Originally, Nogueira and Rios took up the cause after reports of police threatening to arrest Brazilian actress Cristina Flores, because of her partaking in a topless photo-shoot.

Both Nogueira and Rios described Brazilian legislation as outdated, referring to the country’s referral to topless sunbathing as an “obscene act.” Passed in the 1940s, the law authorizes harsh penalties, ranging from a fine to three to 12 months in jail, though it is rare for it to be enforced in such a way.

As a representative of a group of Abrico naturists, Claudio Hailuc appreciated the nation’s addition.

“We’d been lacking security and respect for a long, long time,” he told Rio newspaper O Dia.