Copacabana is one of the reasons why people fall in love
at first sight
with Rio. The Princess of the Sea is one of the
best areas for you to stay, with a higher concentration of hotels
than any other neighborhood in town. Like Ipanema
, Copacabana and Leme
share the same beach. This is where Rio's New
happen, attracting 2 million people every
name Copacabana has a Bolivian origin. Historians trace it to a
XVII century image of Our Virgin Lady of Copacabana, brought by
the Portuguese from a small village around distant Lake Titicaca.
It was installed in a chapel that would later be demolished for
the construction of Forte de
Until the late XIX century Copacabana was
considered a distant area. It was covered with sand,
dunes and shrubs - not unlike Barra in the 60's. A small
fishermen's village concentrated most of the dwellers. The
neighborhood only started to grow with the opening of Tunel Velho,
connecting it to Botafogo and Downtown.
The inauguration of the Av. Atlantica along the
beach around the 1900's was a major turning point. When Copacabana
Palace Hotel opened its doors in 1923, romance and glamour
became Copacabana trademarks. Neoclassical and art-nouveau skyscrapers (4 to 12 stories high) added a touch of
sophistication and wealthy Cariocas started to move to the suspended mansions.
Copacabana today is one of Rio's most democratic
and eclectic neighborhoods. There are penthouses and apartments
along the beach that are easily worth more than a million dollars.
There are also buildings with as many as thirty tiny studio
apartments on the same floor, and no parking garage.
Copacabana is perfectly suitable for walking
tours, as it is basically flat, and distances are relatively
small. To better understand the diversity of the neighborhood we
suggest you take your time, and use one or two days exploring all
possibilities. Copacabana has a little (and sometimes a lot) of
everything, and there's fun for everyone. We lined up below some
of the attractions you don't want to miss. For dozens of original
images try our Copacabana