Copacabana Beach

The World's Most Famous Beach!

Beautiful Copacabana Beach is what usually comes to mind when one thinks of beaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It's a very long, wide, crescent shaped, and is great for sunbathing and swimming.



This beach is anchored at one end by the famous 700 foot Pão de Açucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) that sits just off the coast, and on the other end by the old Copacabana Fort.

The 2.5 mile long beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is one of the most recognizable beaches in the world. Made famous by the nightclubs, casinos, and hotels in the 1950s - Copacabana Beach is lined from one end to the other with tourist class and luxury hotels, indoor and outdoor restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Copacabana Beach Hotels

Some people think that "Copa" has seen its better days, but you wouldn't know it based on the thousands of people who flock here every month from all over the world. Copacabana is especially popular with foreigners, many of whom "winter" in Rio de Janeiro.

The beach itself is quite wide in places and much more flat than in neighboring Ipanema Beach. On the east end it transitions into Leme Beach and ends with the 300 foot (115m) Morro do Leme (Leme Mountain). The streets turn inland at Morro do Leme, which has no coastal road or path around it. Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf) can be seen just off the coast on this end of the beach.

Copacabana Beach as seen from Sugarloaf

This beach in Brazil is marked by Postos 2 - 6 (life guard posts) about every kilometer. Copacabana Beach is illuminated at night by very large lights, giving the entire scene a surreal look and feel. Despite being well lit, it is considered not safe to walk the beach at night, and it's better to stay on the hotel side of the sidewalk late at night.

You can bring your camera to take pictures, but it's not as safe here as in Ipanema Beach. For more information visit our Rio de Janeiro Photo Tips page.

Copacabana Beach sand sculpture

Most of the tourists and Cariocas (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil residents) congregate from just east of the famous Copacabana Palace Hotel at Posto 2, down to about Posto 5.

In front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, is the well established gay section of the beach. It's marked by the rainbow flag and is a hive of activity on sunny days.

The most popular sport on this beach is soccer, and you can find games being played every few hundred yards throughout the day into the early evening.

Further down at Posto 6, it's a calmer area and caters to the affluent crowds of beach goers who stay at the expensive hotels on the west end of Copacabana Beach.

Also at Posto 6, is what's left of a small fishing village. This very special place is best visited early in the morning as fishermen head out to sea in their small boats, and in the early evening when they return to clean and sell their catch right on the beach.

Share your beach memory! On the west end of Copacabana Beach, out on the point, is the 1914 Forte de Copacabana with it's 30 feet block walls. It's a great place to walk out to over look the sea.

At the other end of the beach stands 700 ft high Morro do Leme with it's 18th century fort on top. Take the nature hike up to the fort and enjoy panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro.

Insider's Tip - Recently, the well known Confeitaria Columbo opened a Cafe at the Fort which is a great place to walk for coffee and breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon snack. You will have to pay the small admission to enter the fort, but it's well worth it.

Copacabana Beach is also the site during the year for large music concerts featuring Brazilian bands and such international acts as the Rolling Stones. For these concerts, large sound stages are set up right on the beach, and hundreds of thousands of people will show up for the all day and into the evening party.

Fireworks New Years Eve Copacabana Beach

This is also the sight of perhaps the largest New Year's Eve party in the world. Every year, Revéillon is celebrated on the beach with many thousands of people wearing traditional white, enjoying spectacular fireworks at midnight, and partying until dawn to watch the sunrise.

And swimming! This Rio de Janeiro Brazilian beach has calmer waves and waters than neighboring Ipanema Beach, which makes for great wading, swimming, and body surfing. Vendors line the beach renting umbrellas, lounge chairs, and all manner of drinks and snacks.

Kiosks line the beach side of the street, which are popular all day and into the early evening. Stop and enjoy a cold Água de Coco (Coconut water).

Another option is to walk across the street from the beach to one of the many casual outdoor restaurants to enjoy cheap eats and cold chope (draft beer- pronounced "show-pee"). No need to change out of your bathing suit!

----> Follow this link to see many more pictures on our Copacabana Beach Photos page! <----


Sunset on the Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Beautiful Sunset on Copacabana Beach




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