Copacabana Beach.

Copacabana Beach

Life at the Beach: Copacabana Beach is not just a place to go and sun tan; it is a big part of life for many locals. The people of this city love this beach so much they have nicknamed it Princesinha do Mar or Princess of the Sea.

Although the majority of the people at the beach are off of the water, doing things like playing sports or just having conversations, a large number of people are in the water in any given time of the daylight hours. Generally, the warm weather of Rio makes it easy to swim any time of the year. Yet, these waters are cool enough that sharks don’t like to swim. As such, far less shark attacks happen in Rio area than would in places like Recife. To give you an example, the last fatal shark attack in Copacabana happened in 1947!

You may find many young men playing football or soccer at the beach, but don’t think water sports are absent from this dynamic beach. There are several competitions taking place throughout the year like Travessia dos Fortes (Crossing of the Forts), which sees many people swim between the two forts, and the Rei e Rainha do Mar (King and Queen of the Sea), which is a national competition of swimmers.

The beach is also a place to go and meet, have a cool drink, and to be part of the distinct fun energy of this neighborhood. There are many kiosks on the mosaic-covered promenade of Avenida Atlântica. There are also tons of street artists, painting the sand, or selling their hand-made products like crafts or jewelry.

Finally, important beach parties like New Year’s Eve celebration make the beach of this neighborhood a must even after the sun goes down.

In other words, Copacabana Beach is a place for many occasions.

AJ Paris is a New York based photographer and the author of the book Rio, released by 011 Media.

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