Secret Beach: a Natural Pool in Rio de Janeiro

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Top view of Praia do Secreto

What about enjoying a natural pool of crystal clear water in the middle of Rio de Janeiro? This is Secret Beach (Praia do Secreto), which is not exactly a beach, but a natural pool formed by rocks on the west side of Rio de Janeiro.

Truth be told: Currently, no secret there because it is super popular and usually gets very busy! I went to the beach on a Wednesday in January 2017, and it was like that. Imagine on the weekend! So if you want to enjoy it, it’s better to go early. That way, you will have more chances to share this paradise with a smaller number of people.

At first, you may think that it is ideal for children, but I would say that it is not so, since the access to the beach is not simple. I even saw some there, but honestly, I would not take them if they were with me. There is no single or predefined path. You follow a path in the woods a few meters and then you reach a steep wall, where you must go down the rocks (hot, by the way) to the natural pool. By the way, this is another advantage of going early: do not get burned on the rocks, lol.

Another important detail is that the pool only forms at low tide, so it’s good to check it before you go. Anyway, before starting the descent, it is already possible to see if the pool is there or not.

Top view of Praia do Secreto

View from the beginning of the descent of the trail

Secret Beach Pool

Crystal clear water

I was in flip flops, but certainly would not recommend it. The trail was very slippery, especially when the sun was getting hotter and I was sweating even more. I’ve read someone recommending going barefoot, but I recommend it even less, if you can say that. When I left, the stone was so hot that there was no possibility to walk barefoot the way back. Our hands have already been burned just for being used as support! Imagine your feet walking straight through it! So, incredible as it may seem, I’d go with sneakers or those trail sandals next time.

Track stretch of Secret Beach

Better track stretch of Secret Beach

Track stretch of Secret Beach

This stone is the “trail” to Secret Beach

Rock of the path of Secret Beach

Looking down, the way seems even bigger

I apologize for the quality of the photos, but they were made by the cell phone, since I did not want to take my camera to burn in the stone. 🙂

We hope we have helped you with some tips. If you have already visited “Praia do Secreto,” leave your comment telling us how was your experience!

Outra vista para a Praia da Macumba
Outra da piscina da Praia do Secreto
Raquel na piscina da Praia do Secreto
Mais uma da piscina da Praia do Secreto
Vista da Praia da Macumba
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Macumba Beach View
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More Information about Praia do Secreto

How to get there

By car, go towards Prainha. You can go by the Avenida das Américas and take the Estrada do Rio Morto or you can go along Estrada do Pontal, always towards Prainha. Just after crossing the Rio Morte and taking the left turn to Prainha, you will see Mirante do Roncador (Roncador viewpoint), also on the left.

Parking of Secret Beach

Parking “official” of Secret Beach

To get at the beginning of the trail, I recommend stopping at Mirante do Roncador (photo above), between Macumba Beach and Prainha. Indeed, one more advantage of arriving early is to guarantee a spot there because the parking lot is not very big. From there, it is enough to walk along Avenida Estado da Guanabara towards Recreio and take a trail to your right. There is no sign indicating Praia do Secreto, but a sign a few meters ahead of the entrance to the trail (you can still see on the Avenue) with something written as “Risco de Morte” (Death Risk). Yes, that’s the way (!!!).

For those who are not by car, one option is to take the Surf Bus, which leaves daily from Largo do Machado in the hours of 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm and 4 pm and leaves you at Mirante do Roncador. Check the timetable before you go as there may be change.

Another alternative, but I do not consider it good, is to take the BRT and get off at the Recreio Shopping station in Recreio dos Bandeirantes. From the station to the lookout point, according to Google Maps, it will take you about 45 minutes walking. : – /. But be warned, it is not a very pleasant road for pedestrians, since there are few / bad roads and little shade.

Depending on the tide, you can also reach Secret Beach by walking along the sand from Macumba Beach.

What to take?

Water, plenty of water!

Something to eat.

Sunblock.

Towel / canga if you want to sit on the rock and do not burn.

Trash bag to carry your trash back, since there is no trash bin down there. Don’t you dare, reader, leave trash there!!!

Cap! There is no shade at all. Neither in the way nor the beach.

What not to take?

Parasol – As there is no strip of sand, it is rather complicated to fasten the parasol on the stones. Besides, it’s one more thing to carry on the way.

Beach chair – by also being an encumbrance.



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