Zona Sul is the southern part of the city of Rio de Janeiro, the most touristic, famous, expensive part of the city since its glorious days of the 80s when the high society made it known to the world as the Marvellous City. Beaches right beneath the wild green mountains follow one another: Leme, Copacabana, Arpoador, Ipanema, Leblon.
Each one black and white cobble stones, people jogging, cycling, skating day and night, wide yellow sand beaches with soccer, volleyball players all day, a kind of Mekka for sport lovers. The sunrises on the Atlantic here in Copacabana beach. The end of Copacabana is Leme, it is right beneath the Sugarloaf mountain. There’s a high quality expensive seafood restaurant here, Marius, on the main avenue in Leme. As you walk on the Avenida Atlântica Copacabana you’ll see the Copacabana Palace with its white elegant façade, one of the most famous hotels in the world. The whole coastline will be expensive for accomodation, you may find more budget hotels on the parallel avenues.
At the end of the Copacabana beach is the Fort of Copacabana, it is a military base and now a complex with the Army museum and a branch of the traditional café at the old town, Confeitaria Colombo. Between the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches is the small Arpoador beach, it is a nice place to swim, surfers also do like it due to good waves and it’s fun to sit on the rocks behind it and watch them.
As you arrive in Ipanema you feel the change to a higher class of profile here. Ipanema and Leblon are indeed the most chic and expensive neighbourhoods of Rio. There are many nice cafés, bistros, bars and restaurants in Ipanema. One of the cafés where you will find good quality Brazilian coffee is the Armazem de Café, located two parallel streets behind the beach on Rua Visc de Pirajá. There is also a flea market on Sundays here in Ipanema in Praça General Osório.
As we pass Ipanema we then reach to Leblon, the Sheraton by the ocean is after the Leblon beach looking at the Atlantic Ocean. If you continue a couple of kilometres more you and arrive in Barra da Tijuca you will see the paraglider landing on the beach. Do not be afraid and try it as it will be the most memorable experience of your life.