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The first thing you'll probably notice at Copacabana Beach (before being distracted by the supertoned bodies playing futevolei, or footvolley) is the work of landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx: the wonderful swirling black-and-gray-patterned mosaic promenade that stretches for miles. As you stroll or bike its length, stop as local families do at kiosks to enjoy fresh coconut. At the eastern end of the promenade, the opulent Belmond Copacabana Palace brings back the glamorous era when international society put this beach on the map.

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