Rio de Janeiro New Year’s Eve
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Rio de Janeiro New Year’s Eve
Rio’s second biggest party – only slightly trailing Carnival – is New Year’s Eve, also locally called “Reveillon”, along Copacabana Beach. There is no cost to the beach celebration, and more than 2.5 million tourists and Cariocas come every year to the legendary beach to celebrate the changing of the year, and take part in one of the world’s biggest and best parties. Partiers start to arrive on Copacabana Beach early in the day, to set up their stay for the rest of the day and night. By the time evening arrives, the beach is pulsating with people waiting to ring in the new year, and by midnight, close to 3 million people are in the beach, ringing in the new year.
Highlights
Music and Fireworks
Music and Fireworks
As night begins to fall, around 8pm, the live music that is set up on the beach starts to play. Because Copacabana Beach is a massive area, there are several stages set up along the length of the beach, which features live musical acts performing favorites such as the famous Brazilian samba, Brazilian pop music, and in some cases, even international rock and pop stars. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere as you sit and wait for midnight to arrive – with friends and small crowds listening to music, barbequing, swimming and playing football. Fireworks begin naturally right at midnight, which are set off from the boats and barges that are anchored in the Copacabana harbor. They last for about 20 minutes, and are a great spectacle themselves, as the organizers seem to outdo themselves every year. At the end of Copacabana Beach, at the “Forte de Copacabana”, there is a giant Ferris wheel that is set up for New Years as well, which is a great way to view the mayhem and throngs of people lined up all along the beach. One of the great scenes of New Years in Rio de Janeiro, is seeing all the majestic cruise ships that come into the harbor and spend the night celebrating the incoming year as well, just from the comfort of their ship, rather than being part of the actual party on the sand. The sight of the lit up cruise ships sitting in the harbor looks like clusters of diamonds sitting in the sea, and is a very iconic memory of your Rio New Year’s.
The Countdown
The Countdown
There are dozens and dozens of restaurants very close to Copacabana Beach – whether they are in Copacabana itself, or the neighboring areas of Ipanema or Leblon. Many of the local restaurants will offer an exclusive “prix fixe” menu, and if they are beachfront restaurants as well, they can include tickets to stay on the terrace and enjoy the New Year’s celebrations from your table or their bar. The beachfront avenue – called Avenida Atlantica – is also closed to traffic during the celebrations, so you’re able to really pick and choose what works best for your tastes – the beach, the Avenida, or the sanctuary of an ocean side restaurant or bar. The party in Copacabana is something that all Cariocas have experienced, and celebrate with their entire families young and old, so you can expect to see all ages of people and walks of life.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
One of the main tourist destinations in the Southern Hemisphere, Rio de Janeiro, lies on a strip of Brazil’s Atlantic Coast. The City of Rio de Janeiro is broken down into four districts, the south zone being the tourist and commercial area where you will find the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches the large seaside city is famed for.
Copacabana Beach
Copacabana Beach
A magnificent confluence of land and sea, the long, scalloped beach of Copacabana extends for some 4km, with a flurry of activity along its length. The area between the Copacabana Palace hotel and Rua Fernando Mendes is the gay and cross-dresser section, known as the Stock or Stock Market – easily recognized by the rainbow flag. Young football and futevôlei players hold court near Rua Santa Clara. Postos 5 and 6 are a mix of favela kids and carioca retirees, while the spot next to Forte de Copacabana is the colônia dos pescadores (fishermen’s colony). As Copacabana Beach curves north you get into the quieter sands of Leme. Here you'll find a mix of older Leme residents as well as kids from the nearby favelas of Babilônia and Chapeu Mangueira.

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