Aerial View of Copacabana © Breogan67
This famous Rio beach neighbourhood was just a small fishing village until a new highway built in the early 1900s brought crowds of visitors to its golden shores. The Copacabana Palace Hotel first opened its doors in 1923 and heralded the construction of scores of Neoclassical and Art Nouveau skyscrapers, penthouses and apartments in the area. Visitors still flock to the hotel, which is the place to be seen, especially at the famed Cipriani restaurant. The white sands and calm waters of the beach make for an idyllic setting and is also a popular spot for beach soccer, volleyball and sunbathing. Copacabana beach is particularly popular on New Year's Day, when beachgoers dress in white and celebrate in droves, with more than 2 million people crowding the beach.