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Leblon (named after a French plantation owner, Le Blond, who owned this area) is an affluent neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, just west of Ipanema, another neighborhood in that city. In the north it is bordered by Gávea, and in the west by a towering hill called "Dois Irmãos", which translates as "two brothers", because of its split peak.

It's very much like Ipanema but even more exclusive, being the home of very rich, affluent and famous people. The beach is a bit quieter and relaxed than the hip and trendy beach of Ipanema. Sometimes bathing is not recommended by the authorities, especially after rainy days.

The neighborhood has the highest land prices of Brazil and Latin America. Consequently, the many beautiful houses in the neighborhood were torn down to make way for high-rise apartments. Very few houses remain in Leblon. Most of Leblon's charm was destroyed with the destruction of its houses, which also occurred in Ipanema and Copacabana.

Commercial Renaissance

In the past few years Leblon has gone through a subtle, however significant commercial renaissance. The once quiet neighborhood has seen a rise in property values, as well as the arrival of many small upscale stores (boutiques) and eateries.

Rua Dias Ferreira is a clear example of this commercial rebirth, hosting a large number of sophisticated cafés, bookstores and a slew of Japanese restaurants such as Sushi Leblon and the cozy Mirai. Shopping Leblon, opened at the end of 2006, is...
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