Avenida Atlantica and Xavier da Silveira
22010-000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
+55 21 2542 8080
Possibly the most famous stretch of sand in the world, Copacabana beach is synonymous with the hedonistic side of Rio – with sun, sea, beautiful bodies and New Year celebrations on the beach. Stretching for around five kilometers (the beach is called Leme at its northern end), Copacabana boasts soft white sand that is crammed with locals in tiny bikinis and shorts. Stalls selling ice-cold beers and caipirinhas line the beachfront, and joggers run along the pavements – famous for their distinctive wave-patterned black and white tiling. Copacabana beach is overlooked by the attractive, jungle covered hill of Morro do Leme, and Sugar Loaf mountain is resplendent in the background. Avenida Atlantica is the busy road running along the beachfront, and across from the sands the road is lined with towering high rise hotels and apartment blocks, as well as any number of places to eat and drink. Be warned, however, that while a visit here is a must, Copacabana is not the best place to sunbathe. The water is too dirty for swimming, the beach is rife with pickpockets, and vendors selling tourist tat are annoyingly relentless in their drive to relieve you of your tourist dollar.