Copacabana Beach

Of all the best Brazil beaches and among the famous Rio de Janeiro beaches, Copacabana Beach is perhaps the most popular and most famous, alongside her equally glamorous sister, Ipanema Beach. There's a full array of pleasures and excitement to be found in wonderful Copacabana Rio and as well as many things to do in Copacabana.

If you're making a list of famous beaches in Brazil, you will have to put Copacabana Beach on the list. Copacabana Rio is much more than just a beach. It's an entire neighborhood and borough. But it's the beach that attracts most people, including rubber-necking sightseers, cyclists, joggers, beautiful Brazilian beach girls, and dedicated soccer and football stars. Both wide and long, the beach stretches almost three miles from the area where small traditional fishing boats are beached to the peninsula that separates it from another of the famous beaches in Brazil-Ipanema Beach. If you're interested in Brazil's history, there is a historic Portuguese fort at either end of the beach.

The main Avenue Atlantica runs the full length of Copacabana Beach with high-rise Rio de Janeiro hotels, restaurants, Cariocas, and music blaring bars down one side. Days usually begin late in Rio de Janeiro, but nightlife goes on until the wee hours of the morning, and some of the little beach barracas (bars) on the beach are doing a brisk business twenty-four hours a day. The swimmers and surfers, bronzed and golden Brazilian beach girls and guys are ever present all the time. It's quite possible to spend several days in Rio de Janeiro, experience nothing but Copacabana Rio and still come away having received a pretty good idea of what the city is all about. To sum it up in a word, it's about enjoying-enjoying food, drink, sun, sand, and the blue Atlantic waters.

Somewhere around three million people come for the famous Copacabana Rio New Year's celebration. In the summer, you'll find both Brazilian beach girls and guys participating in FIVB World Cup international beach volleyball competition as well as soccer and very popular futvolei games (volleyball played only with feet, no hands). In February or March, depending on when Easter falls, many of the Carnival in Brazil festivities take place in or spill over into the Ipanema and Copacabana Beach area, and all the major Rio de Janeiro hotels have carnival celebrations.

Some of the most expensive Rio de Janeiro hotels line the most famous beaches in Brazil and Copacabana Beach is no exception. If your budget includes a less swanky address, you'll find that the bus transportation network serving all of Copacabana Rio is extensive, inexpensive, and fairly easy to use. There are few shops, except those selling beachwear and beach wares along Atlantica. For real shopping, head a block further inland to Avenida de Nossa Senhora de Copacabana-ask directions for Copacabana Avenue if you don't want to be laughed at.

As great as Copacabana Beach is, don't spend all your time here. The city of Rio de Janeiro offers extraordinary attractions, from world-class museums and graceful colonial architecture, to the peaks of Corcovado, topped by the imposing Christ the Redeemer statue, and Sugar Loaf Mountain. A cable car ride to the top provides wonderful views of the city, ocean, and Guanabara Bay.

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