Copacabana is the most famous beach of orla carioca, theme of poetry and songs – is the "little Princess of the sea". The design of its sidewalk, Portuguese stones, remembering the waves of the sea, is one of the symbols of the city.
The carioca's relationship with its beaches is very special. The beach is the contact with nature, is the leisure space, is the Academy, is the meeting point with friends. Is the party, is the show, is music, football, volleyball, the bicycle, the velocipede of children, the skates and scooters, the skate, the keg, coconut water, the ice cream. Is the surf, swim, is the walk and race. Is "catch alligator" in the waves. It is the scenery. Is the free fun, is the March, are the demonstrations – everything happens on the beach. The beach is the joy of the carioca.
It is no coincidence that the city has grown – and continues to grow – always along the sea. Occupying a beach after another.
It all began in Copacabana – from the construction of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, which was the starting point for the effective occupation of this lovely beach which until then was very distant from the rest of the city and was difficult to access.
The beaches of Copacabana and Leme, in fact, are a unique beach. The border between the two neighborhoods is the AV. Princesa Isabel. Then, the Copacabana beachd extends the AV. Princesa Isabel to the end of Arpoador (with the Forte de Copacabana) – that separates Copacabana Ipanema beach. And 's Beach will Helm the Morro do Leme (with Strong wheelhouse) until AV. Princesa Isabel.
For those who come from the center toward the South zone, Copacabana is the first beach of the city to be bathed in the open sea. Before Copacabana, Praia da Urca already lies outside the Guanabara Bay; but it is a small Cove, surrounded on both sides – and the sea there is as quiet as in the Bay.
The Copacabana mar is usually quiet, and the sea there is a delight. But when the sea is restless, one should be very careful. The waves can get very high; and the current, very strong. On these occasions, the best is to settle in wetting the feet, or use a bucket with water to cool off.
Along the beach, at regular intervals, there are six posts of lifeguards. These posts have bathroom and showers, which can be used on payment of a fee. But the important thing is that the posts are, for the cariocas, geographic references. The Copacabana Fort stands at Six. The rank one gets at the helm. Are common phrases as "I'll stay at Two", or "the March begins at Six".
The seaside hotels offer guests towels, sunshade and folding chairs. But people who are not guests of the hotels can hire these accessories without difficulty, in tents installed in the sand – which also sell beer, coconut water, soft drinks and snacks.
As the strip of sand is very large, crossing the sidewalk to the sea is long; and the sand to the Sun can be hot, to burn the soles of the feet of those who go to the beach. But there is no problem: each one of the tents have a hose that goes from a kiosk to the tent. The water hose has small holes; and wet sand along its route. Bathers follow the trail of wet sand to not burn their feet.
The same hose feeds fresh water showers, installed alongside of the tents, for use by visitors.
In addition to the stalls, there are kiosks on the sidewalk. Each one of them with different specialities. But all have tables and chairs, in the shade and the Sun; and sell drinks and snacks. Coconut water, found in all, is the sales champion. In many kiosks, you can listen to live music.
The sands of Copacabana have many utilities. The first, of course, are the sunbathing and sea bathing. Then come the sports. Swimming, surfing, volleyball, beach soccer, footvolley, peteca, frescobol. There are exercise equipment installed on the beach, available to everyone. There are classes – yoga, football, taekwondô, poultry, everything. Masseurs exercise his craft on the beach. Some athletes walk the tightrope (the strings are extended between the trees); others do bar exercises.
Many sports competitions are held on the beach, in temporary premises made especially for each event, in excerpts where the sand range is wider.
Many concerts are held on the beach – with stage, lighting, sound installation, etc. made for each event. Many important artists already performed on the sands of Copacabana – national and international.
The show better known is the traditional new year's Eve party in Copacabana – an unforgettable feast, with Fireworks and concerts at various points from the beach. Cruise ships and yachts attend, to watch the spectacle of the sea – and end up doing part of the show, with their Faerie lighting. On that day, the sea is full of flowers, released to waters in offering to Iemanjá and other gods of religions of African origin.
Along the beach, there is a bike path – that goes from one end to another of the beach and continues up to Ipanema, Leblon and later. You can rent bicycles at various points from the beach.
Atlantic Avenue, which goes from the beach, there are restaurants, bars and clubs of all kinds. Most have outdoor tables, so that you can enjoy the scenery and cool off with the marine breeze. The cuisine from around the world are represented in these places – cuisine for all tastes.
At any time of day or night; in the summer and in winter, there are people on the beach or on sidewalks of Copacabana beach, one of the most important places of the city.