The South Zone is where you will find the glorious beaches that border the Atlantic Ocean. This is the favorite tourist location. It is also where all the famous nightclubs are.
Copacabana known around the world for its famous beach and New Year’s parties is located here. It is also home to a few interesting monuments, such as the Fort and the ultra luxurious Copacabana Palace Hotel, a favorite haunt of celebrities from around the world.
Ipanema, besides being known for its beach where the young and good looking like to hang out, is also one of the best areas to enjoy modern Rio nightlife. It has an exhaustive list of bars and nightclubs.
Leblon has one of the prettiest beaches in Rio and is the best place to sample the food of the famous ‘botequim’ cafes of the city. It is also home to the Scala nightclub, best known for its magnificent Carnival Balls.
Botafogo and Flamengo, located between Centro and the popular tourist areas of the South Zone have a number of places of historical importance, many of which are housed within the Flamengo Park. Both the neighborhoods are extremely active during the Carnival, having a number of blocos and street bands.
Other localities in the South Zone are Jardim Botanico, São Conrado and Gávea, which are some of the most elite residential areas of Rio. Jardim Botanico contains the beautiful and sprawling botanic gardens and is one of the best places to observe the flora and fauna not only of Brazil and the Amazon, but of a variety of countries, of which the garden has dedicated areas. The Suvaco de Cristo bloco hails from this bairro. Gávea is the student neighborhood, due to the presence of the university here. As a result there are always plenty of cultural activities happening here and the nightlife is definitely worth a mention too. If you have a passion for extreme sports, then a visit to São Conrado is an absolute must. Here you can para glide or hang glide to enjoy some of the most breathtaking aerial views of the city or you can hike up the formidable Pedra da Gávea rock. But if high fashion shopping is more your style, you can visit the Fashion Mall, also located here.
Urca which is situated at the base of the Sugar Loaf mountain is considered to be the safest bairro of the city and offers spectacular views of the Botafogo Bay, Niteroi Bridge and Flamengo Park.