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Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach

There are several hypotheses where Copacabana name comes from. It might be “blue beach” in the Quechua language spoken in the ancient Inca Empire or “lake view” in the Aymara language spoken in Bolivia. There is a small Bolivian town on the shore of lake Titicaca also called Copacabana.

In the 19th century Bolivian and Peruvian silver traders brought a replica of the image of Bolivian saint Nossa Senhora de Copacabana to Rio de Janeiro beach known at that time as Sacopenapã. They built a chapel in honor of the saint (in the place where today stands the Copacabana Fort), which gave its name to Copacabana beach and neighborhood.

In the middle of 20th centry Copacabana was popular among millionaires and celebrities who sought for exotic holiday destinations. Hotel Copacabana Palace, the most luxurious hotel in Rio, became a symbol of the city, hosting throught the time a lot of international celebrities like Edith Piaf, Walt Disney, Evita Peron, Lady Di, Brigitte Bardot, Bill Clinton and many others.

Nowadays Copacabana is not as exotic and luxurios as it once was. It's a middle class neighborhood, but it's still very popular among tourists from all the corners of the world.

Song about Copacabana

"Copacabana" song by Barry Manilow

Quick facts

Type: beach
Touristic: very
Getting there: easy
Minimal transport: walk
Length: 3.5 km
Cost: free
Other names: Praia de Copacabana, Copacabana beach, Copa
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