Copacabana & Leme Beach
Good for: fun, sport, sun, tan, swimmers
Not good for: barefoot, homophobes, Anyone with pale white skin
- Av Atlântica
Lonely Planet review for Copacabana & Leme Beach
A magnificent confluence of land and sea, the long, scalloped beach of Copacabana and Leme runs for 4km, with a flurry of activity always stretching along its length: over-amped soccer players singing their team’s anthem, Cariocas and tourists lining up for caipirinhas at kiosks, favela kids showing off their soccer skills, beach vendors shouting out their wares among the beached and tanned bodies.
As in Ipanema, each group stakes out their stretch of sand. Leme is a mix of older residents and favela kids, while the area between the Copacabana Palace Hotel and Rua Fernando Mendes is the gay and transvestite section, known as the Stock or Stock Market – easily recognized by the rainbow flag. Young soccer and futevôlei (soccer volleyball) players hold court near Rua Santa Clara. Posts five and six are a mix of favela kids and Carioca retirees, while the beach next to the Forte de Copacabana is the fishermen’s community beach. In the morning, you can buy the fresh catch of the day.
The beach is lit at night and police are in the area, but it’s still not wise to walk there after dark – stay on the hotel side of Av Atlântica if you take a stroll. Av NS de Copacabana (NS stands for Nossa Senhora, meaning Our Lady) is also dangerous – watch out at weekends, when the shops are closed and there are few locals around.