The south zone is the symbol of Rio de Janeiro. It is here that Rio shows itself, here that new trends are born, and where thousands of tourists come to see the Cidade Maravilhosa. Tourist attractions like the Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, the Botanical Garden, Copacabana Beach and Leblon neighborhood are located in this region. The art, the beauty, the culture, and the Garota de Ipanema bar are living parts of this section of the city.
But life in the south zone isn’t all roses. It is here that one of the largest favelas in the country, Rocinha, is located. It is also here that we find the highest levels of social inequality and serious problems of violence and pollution.
The mixture of the south zone characterizes the miscegenation of our city. All social classes live side by side, a mixture of cultures, creeds and origins. Each little piece of Brazil is represented here. Beautiful beaches, exuberant nature, luxurious hotels, tasty restaurants, a variety of museums, bars, stores and parks can be found here. A large part of the money in Rio circulates in this zone, which is home to the wealthy, and offers most of the services available in Rio.
All this is found in little more than 5% of the territory of Rio de Janeiro. That’s right! The famous south zone, with its sought after tourist attractions and internationally famous scenery, occupies just 5% of the land of the Cidade Maravilhosa. Together, residents of the hillside favelas and flat lands of this zone account for around 12% of the total population of Rio.