West of the Zona Sul lie the largely residential (and considerably affluent) neighborhoods of São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca. If you're accustomed to the shop-lined and restaurant-filled streets of Copacabana and Ipanema, you're in for a shock if you head to these neighborhoods, dominated mainly by towering, modern apartment buildings. São Conrado's main attractions are the beach, which serves as a landing point for hang gliders and paragliders, and the chic Fashion Mall. Barra da Tijuca, often likened to Miami because of its wide avenues, towering condos, and sprawling malls, offers ample high-end dining opportunities as well as a white sand beach that stretches for a staggering 9 miles.
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