Copacabana Beach Guide
Known as the world’s most famous beach, Copacabana Beach’s white sand runs for almost 5km in front of a lively nightlife district and residential suburb.
The non-stop beach parade of scantily dressed beautiful bodies and smiling faces embodies the heart and soul of Rio’s ‘Cariocas’ culture that thrives on sun, beach, dance, drink and sport.
Crowded daily with friendly people, the wide beach often resembles more of a large sandy park than a beach, with full-size soccer pitches and volleyball courts situated between Avenida Atlantica and the sea.
With something always going on during the day and along the sidewalks at night, the beach has a non-stop party atmosphere: from people checking out the scene, playing volleyball and soccer, to drinking, eating and singing.
The beach is divided into numbered ‘postos’ (lifeguard stations). Those opposite the luxury hotels have their own security guards to protect guests from petty crime. It’s best not to flaunt watches, jewellery or cameras. The haunt of rich and poor alike, experienced locals typically come to the beach with only bathers, sunscreen and a wrap, which they can either sit or lie on, except for men who are suppose to sit on the hot sand.
Attractions of Cobacabana beach
• Watch Cariocas turn Cobacabana and Ipanema beaches into a huge sporting carnival with games of volleyball or footvollei (volleyball with no hands) and beach soccer that roll on throughout the day.
• On the beach you can buy almost anything you want, from a skimpy bikini, towels, kangas (sarongs), hats, shades and suntan lotion to peanuts, beer and cookies as well as sticks of grilled shrimp, shelled coconuts and even deep-muscle massages.
• Copacabana beach is home to Rio’s famous New Year’s celebration – dress in white as the locals do, for good luck.
• One of the best shopping centres in Rio is just a short walk from the beach, as well as movie houses, theatres, fashion and jewellery shops, restaurants and nightclubs.