Copacabana Beach

Starfish Rating of 5

Claim to Fame

Infamy may be more like it! This is the place where millions of revelers dressed in white gather on New Year’s Eve to play and romance, and hear free concerts by major musical acts. One of the top topless beaches in the world.

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  • Where is it?on the east coast of southern Brazil, at the Tropic of Capricorn on the Atlantic Ocean
  • Coordinates: latitude» -22.9691°
    longitude» -43.1798°
  • Water Type: saltwater
  • Climate: tropical
  • Development: section of a large urban area
  • Length of Beach: 2.5m/4km
  • Type: white sand
Current Weather

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Don’t plan on a relaxing snooze in the sun on Copacabana Beach! This is a happening place with thousands of daily visitors, most of them barely clothed. The long crescent shape of the beach, with one historic fort at each end, is a spectacular view from nearby Sugarloaf Mountain, an almost eerie sight at night when the beach is lit up against the pitch dark of the ocean beyond.

Home to 160,000 people, Rio de Janeiro is a hotbed of nightclubs, hotels, bars and casinos; fun is the main sport at Copacabana Beach. The city’s architecture is stunning, especially the cool, white Copacabana Palace Hotel.

Soccer is the second top sport (after people-watching and ogling!), and this is the home of the FIFA Beach Soccer Championships. Lined with palm trees and then a peripheral arterial roadway, the beach is contained and self-sufficient with vendors hawking all sorts of trinkets and food items, and rentals of just about everything you can imagine!

Beach patrons mostly sunbathe and swim here; it’s not a strolling beach unless you have the need to strut your “stuff”, but it’s a wonderful vantage point to see ships going in and out of Rio de Janeiro harbor; you may catch a glimpse of the RMS Queen Elizabeth II in motion.

Flatter and with calmer waves than its chic neighbor, Ipanema Beach, this beach is noted for its barefoot dances, moving to the Samba rhythms. A brick boardwalk designed in the pattern of waves spans the entire length of the beach and is known as the “promenade”; here is where you go to see and be seen.

Copacabana Beach is one endless string of activity and party-mode fun, but the big event, on New Year’s Eve draws massive crowds that have been entertained by the likes of Rod Stewart, Lenny Kravitz and the Rolling Stones. Fireworks out on the water at midnight trigger partying until dawn at this high-energy, low-attire beach.

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