Caminhos Language Centre is located in one of the most traditional neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro’s South region: Ipanema. Besides being one of the most famous neighborhoods in Rio, Ipanema is also right next to other famous and interesting neighborhoods, such as Leblon, Copacabana, and Lagoa.
Ipanema neighborhood is well known throughout the world — even if you have never been to the famous beach, you know The Girl from Ipanema song. This song was such a hit that many international artists recorded different versions around the globe.
So! If you want to know a little more about the history of this noble neighborhood in Rio, join us!
During the colonization of Brazil, Ipanema was nothing more than a coastal paradise where indigenous people lived. José Antonio Moreira, Earl of Ipanema, owned a farm in the region and founded Villa Ipanema in 1894. That area would later be subdivided and would officially become one of Rio’s boroughs.
Planning on selling plots of the land, the Earl built streets and squares, which attracted people to this part of Rio.
In the early twentieth century, urbanization started to move away from the city center. The development of the city of Rio de Janeiro began moving towards the south. That made people start moving to neighborhoods like Flamengo, Copacabana, and our beloved Ipanema.
In 1902, the government built the first streetcar in Ipanema, making it easier for people to go there more often and open their businesses. The growth of the neighborhood did not stop since then.
During the ’60s, the density of the neighborhood grew strong — taller buildings were already replacing the smaller houses. That is when Ipanema began to take shape as one of the noblest and most expensive zip codes to live in Rio de Janeiro.
Today, the Ipanema neighborhood has a population of over 40,000 inhabitants, and more than 20,000 households spread between its area of 308 hectares. Ipanema beach is 2.6 kilometers long, connecting Arpoador Beach at one end up and Leblon Beach on the other.
Ipanema Beach is a hanging out area for many groups of friends, who choose certain parts of the beach as their main meeting point. It is very common to see people saying things like: “Me my friends always hang out near Posto 8, you will always find us there.”
Sporty people are always playing volleyball and footvolley in the white sands of Ipanema Beach, while the LGBT community meets near the rainbow flags stuck along the shore in Posto 8. Surfers rather stay at Arpoador; celebrities are usually found near Posto 9. That goes on.
The Girl From Ipanema
It was on this beach that great names of the Brazilian music used to meet up in the ’60s. That was the case for Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim, who wrote “The Girl from Ipanema” together. The inspiration for the song came from a girl named Helo Pinheiro, an Ipanema resident who always passed by wearing a bikini. Tom and Vinicius wrote the famous song in 1962 when Helo was only 17.
Ipanema’s tourist sights are a charm of its own. Arpoador beach serves the people with the most beautiful sunset of Rio de Janeiro. The Girl from Ipanema Park boarders Ipanema and Copacabana, offering locals playground spaces and lots of trees for a well-deserved shadow on sunny days. The Church of Our Lady of Peace, recently renovated, shows us all the wealth of the colonial era. And of course, the breathtaking view of Morro dos Irmãos, one of Rio’s famous sights.
Nowadays Ipanema is an upper-middle-class neighborhood, surrounded by theaters, restaurants, bars, and hotels. It is the right choice for tourists who wish to come to Rio de Janeiro. The beach is crowded on sunny days and the promenade is a great choice for a good walk in the evening, to meet new people, make friends and have fun as a true carioca.
Ipanema is home to Caminhos Language Centre since 2009. We are blessed to be located in the middle of so much goodness. Be part of our family, learn Portuguese as a local, and enjoy all the beauty of Ipanema. Learn more about our courses and activities at caminhoslanguages.com.