RIO -- Ipanema or Copacabana Beach?

Aug 30th, 1999, 07:06 AM
  #1  
carole
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RIO -- Ipanema or Copacabana Beach?

I'm planning a trip to Rio. I want to stay in either Ipanema or Copa. Is one beach better than the other as in a variety of cafes/restaurants, nightlife? Any advice?

 
Aug 31st, 1999, 04:03 AM
  #2  
Jill
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Dear Carole: I was a tour manager in Rio for 6 years...I prefer Ipanema over Copacabana. It is safer and also less frenetic than Copacabana. The shopping and dining is also a little more upscale in Ipanema. There are a couple of smaller hotels on Ipanema Beach which are very good, such as the Praia Ipanema and the Sol Ipanema. One of the best luxury hotels is also on Ipanema Beach - The Caesar Park Hotel.
If you need more info, please feel free to email me.
Best regards - jill
 
Aug 31st, 1999, 01:18 PM
  #3  
frank
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carole and anyone else
First of all there is no safety issue in ipanema and copacabana unless you are stumbling around drunk at 3:am or dripping in diamonds. I just got back from rio a couple of weeks ago and I cant believe all the paranoia that people cause. It is safe.
The hotels mentioned above by Jill the travel agent will cost you double than what you can find on your own or thru the excellent tourist booth at the airport.
I would stay in Copacabana on a street called Rua sa Fereira. You can take an airport bus there for under $2US. There are three mid range hotels on that street called Martinique, Debret, and Ducasse. They will cost you under $40us.I stayed at the Ducasse and they are helpoful and honest. You can walk to Ipanema in less than 10 minutes. There is a major store at Copacabana blvd and Sa Fereira and good restaurants. And you are close to the beach. All this info is valid provided you are not traveling during the Carnaval. But dont worry about your safety. It is a ploy to get people to spend more money. Dont make any reservations - you dont need to. There are millions of hotels like this and they can be contacted when you get to the airport. Also - you can change money from the guys dressed in brown shirts at the airport. They save you a lot of hassles if you have cash. If one has a bad rate - go to another one. Anyone who says they are bad is an idiot. Trust me. Also you can get the use of a free luggage cart at the airport. have a good trip and dont be put off by negative info. nothing will happen to you unless you have extreme bad luck which could happen in any city or behave the way i described above. take care.
 
Sep 1st, 1999, 06:39 AM
  #4  
Erin
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Carole,
The crime rate in Rio is no more exaggerated than crime in New York City, Paris, or Rome. Some people will experience criminal acts, and others won't. I've been to Europe (and NYC) many times and have never experienced purse snatching, pickpocketing, or the gypsy thieves (knock on wood). Yet, I would never underestimate crime rates in those areas, especially the crimes committed against tourists. The bottom line is you are a woman, in an unfamiliar country with an unfamiliar language and you look different; you MAY be a victim of crime.

A year ago, I was in Rio with my sister and a female friend. Even though we didn't experience any crime, we didn't let our guard down. It helps that I live in Northern NJ and my sister and friend in NYC, so we are used to being overly cautious. In Rio, we would hail taxis off the street even though all the guidebooks said this is a no-no. But we always made sure that the taxis had a licensed displayed on the dashboard and a meter. If the taxi didn't have both we didn't get in. When we went to the beach, we only took things that could be easily replaced (towel, sunglasses, and a few reais for a drink). I'd rather overestimate and not experience any crime, than to underestimate and spend my vacation in the embassy/police station!

Back to your question....Personally, I prefer Ipanema to Copacabana.Copa is too busy and I just didn't feel comfortable there. The concierge at our hotel told us if we go to Copa, don't eat at the sidewalk cafes because that is where the prostitutes hang out. We did eat at one of the sidewalk cafes and after 15 minutes we realized we were the only non-prostitutes! It was actually pretty funny watching the subtle way these women were operating. It wasn't overt and the women weren't wearing suggestive clothes, but it could make you feel a little uncomfortable. We are going back to Rio in February and this time we are going to stay in either Ipanema or Leblon. For more hotel info, check out website www.ipanema.com. Good Luck!
 
Sep 3rd, 1999, 04:29 AM
  #5  
Jill
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Frank believes that because he spent a vacation in Brazil and he did not have any safety problems ....that you do not have to take any precautions. That is not true. I worked and lived in Rio for 6 years (in the travel industry), and tourists can have problems if they don't take precautions. Rio is one of my favorite cities in the world, but please stay in a safe area, and please use the safe in your rooms. Don't take anything to the beach, and try to stick to taxis, not the public buses.
Frank advises to change money at the airport....well that is not true. The better exchange rates are in Rio at the Cambios located in travel agencies. You are taking a risk if you change money at the airport.
Frank also thinks that finding a hotel when you arrive in Rio is easy and advisable. Frank doesn't understand that Rio is a big convention city. Sometimes all the rooms in the city will be totally blocked by a major international conference. He also doesn't understand that you can get a better rate if you work with a travel agent who specializes in Brazil. You can pay up to 40 percent less than the rack rate (rate hotel offers walk-ins) with a specialist.
I lived in Rio for 6 years and found that Ipanema was much safer than Copacabana, especially for tourists and visitors. Copacabana is heavily populated and quite frenetic. Ipanema is a more upscale neighborhood, and close enough to Copacabana that you can walk over to Copa and enjoy what ever you want to do there as well.
A lot of visitors to Rio would prefer to pay a little more and stay ocean front than on a back street of Copacabana as Frank suggests.
It is a great pleasure to step out of a hotel on Ipanema beach at sunrise and walk the entire length with the rest of the Cariocas! Jill
 
Sep 9th, 1999, 12:28 PM
  #6  
Daniel Gonsalves
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There are some pretty interesting replys to your question. Please be careful when in Rio....we can spot you (a tourist) a mile away, and the crime is not overexaggerated, it is very much a carioca reality. And even with all of your sophistication and street-smarts.....please be aware. When asked which beach I prefer, it's like asking me which I prefer...my mother or my father. Both are beautiful and both have something to offer. For a first time visitor to Rio, I too, would recommend Ipanema. You can find anything and everything you could want...and more. Enjoy!
 
Sep 24th, 1999, 03:11 PM
  #7  
SYLVIA
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AS A U.S. CITIZEN LIVING IN BRAZIL FOR THE PAST 26 OF WHICH THE LAST 2 IN RIO I STRONGLY AGREE WITH JILLīS RESPONSES TO FRANKS NOTE. RIO IS A BEATIGFUL CITY BUT THIS SHOULD NOT BE A REASON TO FORGET THAT LIKE ANY BIG CITY CRIME IS A FACT OF LIFE IN RIO. DO NOT CHANGE MONEY WITH THE MEN IN BROWN SHIRTS AT THE AIRPORT. BESIDES GETTING A BAD RATE, THIS ACTIVITY IS ILLEGAL AND COULD GET YOU IN TROUBLE. DEFINITELY STAY IN IPANEMA.
 
Oct 2nd, 1999, 01:34 PM
  #8  
Felipe
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Copacabana used to be glorious in the past. It was the place where rich would live some decades ago.

It is true that copacabana is overpopulated. During daylight you won't see any prostitutes on copacanaba. They "work" during night shift.

For sure Copacabana is a very beautiful beach, but Ipanema would be the better place to stay. It is also a very beautiful beach. As usual, what is better costs more... Therefore, hotels at Ipanema may be just a little bit more expensive than the ones in Copa. Better prices are found at the back streets. You won't be in front of the beach but you'll be only 5 minutes walking at most.

Please, never never wear colorful clothes. As any other huge city in the world, Rio has its violence also.

As a rule, things at airports are usually more expensive.

Hotels usually have vacancy. But as someone has said above, if you are unlucky, you might arrive here during an event that could block all the rooms.

I have never heard of anyone who did not like Rio. It is marvellous and we Cariocas are famous for our hospitality.

Have fun!!!!

 
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