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Ipanema is adjacent to Copacabana beach, but it is distinctive from its neighbor. It is also distinctively more expensive. It is relatively easy to navigate because streets are lined in a grid. Private infrastructure has created world-class restaurants, cafes and shopping. Ipanema is one of the most expensive places to live in Rio. At the forefront of beach culture are the many surfers and sun worshippers who socialize daily at the beach. There is also shopping available for those who wish.

Ipanema has played its own role in Rio's culture since its beginning. It has universities, art galleries, theaters and cafes.

Ipanema holds its own street parade during Carnival festivities, separate from Rio de Janeiro's. Banda de Ipanema attracts up to 15,000 people to the streets of Ipanema for Carnival.

It is famously known for its elegance and social qualities. Two mountains called the "Dois Irmãos" (Two Brothers) rise at the western end of the beach. The beach is divided into segments by marks known as "postos" (lifeguard towers). Beers are sold everywhere on the beach along with the traditional cachaça. Pronounced "kashasa", it is a sugar cane rum made in Brazil. Also known as a national drink in Brazil is the "Caipirinha", a mix of cachaça (or vodka) with crushed lime, sugar and ice. There are always circles of people playing football, volleyball, and footvolley, a combination sport of volleyball and football originated in Brazil.

 

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