Things to Do in Copacabana

You've made your way to Copacabana Beach, one of the most renowned and glamorous of the Rio de Janeiro beaches. Now you need to know what Copacabana activities there are on this long, wide stretch of sand and ocean. While one of the obvious things to do in Copacabana is soak up the tropical sun (and be seen doing it), there are plenty of other things that make for Copacabana vacations filled with all the excitement one expects of Brazil beaches.

There are plenty of Copacabana activities to engage in without ever leaving the sand. You're quite apt to see beach volleyball being played by professionals, including the national and Olympic champions that have rock star status in Brazil. Regardless of the level of your skill, you should be able to find a game that suits you. Futevolei or foot volley (beach volleyball using feet and no hands) is also becoming very popular; you can participate or be a spectator in this fast-paced game. There is also good surfing on Copacabana Beach. If you're a novice and want your Copacabana activities to include surfing, you can find an instructor right on the beach.

Copacabana vacations should include shopping, and Rio de Janeiro is an international shopping destination. There's great shopping in the neighborhoods that make up Copacabana. Go one street over from the Avendia Atlantica (the main Copacabana Beach thoroughfare) to find the best shops and boutiques. If you're just looking for beach wares and beachwear, use the shops that line the swanky Avenida.

You'll find plenty of nightlife in Copacabana and it often begins before the sun goes down. The many barracas (simple thatched bars that dot the beach) have dining and drinking throughout the day. The parties really start after sundown, both around the barracas and in the nightclubs, restaurants, and hotels lining the Avenida. Copacabana Beach is also the site for celebrations that occur around events and holidays, especially Carnival in Brazil and New Year's. The nightlife in Copacabana takes on international proportions when visitors from around the world come for the famous Copacabana New Year's celebration. The fireworks, parades, free concerts and non-stop merriment rival the festivities in New York City's Times Square, with millions of people participating.

Other things to do in Copacabana include visiting the historic Portuguese forts found at either end of the beach and crossing over the peninsula that separates Copacabana from its equally famous sister, Ipanema Beach. You'll find traditional fishing jangadas (sailboats) beached at one end of the beach, and booking a short Brazil cruise on one is pretty easy. Take a stroll down the boardwalk; rent a bike, and keep to the bike path; try some parasailing for panoramic views of the beach or take in a capoeira demonstration. This former martial art with origins in Africa is now a uniquely Brazilian athletic dance.

If you want to branch out from Copacabana vacations to other parts of beautiful Rio de Janeiro, you'll find the bus transportation network serving Copacabana is extensive. Whatever Copacabana activities beckon you, you'll be glad to explore more of this great city.

A couple things to remember before you delve into all the things to do in Copacabana, consider both your health and safety. The tropical sun can be very deceptive - even when the Rio de Janeiro weather is overcast. Use plenty of sunscreen. Wear a hat and sunglasses. Come equipped with an umbrella or rent one from one of the many sales kiosks that dot the beach. Find out where it's safe to swim. Leave your valuables at whichever of the Rio hotels you're staying at, and at the beach keep an eye on your personal belongings to guard against petty theft. Try to delve into the nightlife in Copacabana in the company of a group of friends or as a couple. Anyone who follows these simple guidelines that apply for most Brazil beaches should have Copacabana vacations that are memorable.

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