Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The district was originally called Sacopenap„ until the mid 18th century. It was renamed after the construction of a chapel holding a replica of the Virgin of Copacabana, Bolivia. It was incorporated into the city on July 6, 1892.
Copacabana starts at the beginning of the Princesa Isabel Avenue, and ends at Posto Seis (lifeguard watchtower six) nearby the Forte de Copacabana (Stronghold of Copacabana). After Copacabana there is the small beach of Arpoador, followed by the famous borough of Ipanema and then, the borough of Leblon. The Copacabana beach spans from Posto Dois (lifeguard watchtower two) to Posto Seis (lifeguard watchtower six). Leme is at Posto Um (lifeguard watchtower one).
Rio de Janeiro must have truly been breathtaking when the Portuguese arrived hundreds of years ago. The hills that rise behind Copacabana and Ipanema are luxurious and green and the beaches are wide and seem drawn from a fairy tale with islands dotted around the harbour. Currently, the reality is that Copacabana is home to 400,000 people making it one of the most congiested neighbourhoods in the world. The promenade is dotted with expensive hotels, restaurants and bars, strip bars and night clubs commonly frequented by prostitutes, making Copacabana one of the world's foremost sex tourism destinations.
The beach in Copacabana is still one of the most breathtaking in the world. But its safety, mostly toward tourists, is questionable. Pickpockets known locally as trombadinhas or pivetes are skilled in identifying and targeting tourists, and therefore on no account should a tourist ever leave his bags alone, or carry equipment such as expensive cameras or camcorders.
This is where the two metro stations can be found for underground transport to the rest of the city. This is preferable as the traffic jams during the day are abysmal. In Copacabana can be seen the less savoury view of interactions between gringos and Brazilians. The idyllic image created by the tourist industry means that tourists arrive here with little idea of what's going and are seen as targets by the locals.
- History of Copacabana (in Portuguese)
- Guide to being a Gringo in Rio de Janeiro - A look at how Brazilians see tourists in Copacabana.
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