Rio de Janeiro

In which city can you find Copacabana Beach?

And the answer: Rio de Janeiro.    

One of the most famous beaches in the world, Copacabana is located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It's close to another famous beach, Ipanema, and was one of the sites for the 2016 Summer Olympics.    

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Her name was Copa... Copacabana! As Barry Manilow so rightly sang, Brazil's Copacabana Beach is a hot destination, and has been for over 115 years. This tourist attraction hosts everything from beach parties to New Year's Eve firework celebrations, to Olympic games. However, it wasn't always so glamorous.

Image credit: Google Maps

In the 19th century, Copacabana Beach was considered to be an inhospitable and even dangerous sandy stretch of land. Called Sacopenapã at the time after a type of native bird, only fishermen and their families called the region home. In 1892, though, everything changed when a tunnel was built to connect Copacabana to the city center of Rio de Janeiro. A tram was later constructed to connect the two areas, and visitors quickly began to flock to all the natural delights that the beach has to offer.

Today, the beach is an internationally popular spot. The famous Beach Promenade was built in 1906 using stones imported from Lisbon, while sand was imported to fill the beach in a reclamation project in the 1970s. Statues of prominent Brazilian figures decorate the promenade, while the Copacabana Palace Hotel was built in 1923 to host politicians, stars, and other celebrity figures. In 2016, Copacabana Beach served as an Olympic venue for beach volleyball, triathlon, and open-water marathon swimming competitions.

Learn more about Copacabana here.

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