Coordinates: Arpoador (literally, the harpoon thrower) is a region located on the southern zone of the city Rio de Janeiro, in a small peninsula between Ipanema and Copacabana. It is not officially recognized as a neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, with part of its territory belonging officially to the neighbourhood of Ipanema, and the remaining part belonging officially to the neighbourhood of Copacabana.
Arpoador is mostly known for being one of the best metropolitan surf spots in Rio de Janeiro. The rock outcropping creates stable left breakers up to 7–10 feet high (wave face measure, as Brazilians do).
Given its metropolitan location, crowds are ferocious and competitive. Given the fact that waves start to break against the rock on a good day, and that a strong riptide along the promontory creates a quick re-entry, the take-off point is very small and only locals (or visiting professional-level surfers) have a shot at it.
During some time around midsummer it is possible, from Arpoador, to see the sun setting over the sea, a rare event on the generally eastward-facing Brazilian coast. In these occasions crowds gather around the place and cheer when the sun disappears.
Arpoador is a very popular place for tourists and locals to walk. Arpoador lies at the end of a 4km walk from Leblon with a number of cafes located there to allow people to stop to look at the sea or watch the sun come down. The rock itself is open to the public, with a number of walkways in place to make it easier to scale the rocks.
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