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Very few people know that Copacabana beach, packed to the gills as it is with tourists, restaurants and luxury hotels, is home to an old fishermen’s colony. The fishermen, of course, no longer live there, but they still ply the waters with their tiny boats and use handmade fishnets to bring in the catch every day.

The Z-13 colony, as it’s known, has at least 20 boats docked at the corner of the beach, next to Posto 6 (one of the dozen numbered lifeguard stations). The fishermen set out to sea every morning and almost always return loaded with excellent fish, some of which they sell at a little market on Copacabana’s calçadão, that world-famous black-and-white promenade, between the beach and the upscale Sofitel Rio.

Fishermen's market at Posto 6 in Copacabana, photo by Juarez BecozaWhile the market sells all the usual fish, those in the know make sure to drop by on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, when there are also oysters for sale. These pristine oysters are not harvested from Copacabana or even from carioca waters. They come from Ilha Grande, an island paradise located on the south coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, 200 kilometers away. They are incredibly fresh and sell out quickly to those locals or visitors who happen to know about this secret stash of shellfish and are lucky enough to get their hands on them.

While some customers buy the oysters to take home, we love to enjoy them right there on the beach under the trees’ protective shade. Squeeze a little lemon on them, chase them with a cold beer, and take in one of the most magnificent beach views in the world.

Address: Copacabana beach promenade, Posto 6
Telephone: +55 21 2523 4151
Hours: 7:30am-1pm
Fishermens market, Copacabana Beach promenade

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Fishermens market, Copacabana Beach promenade -22.985790, -43.188793 (Directions)

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