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By Karen Shishiptorova, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO - Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is a salt-water lake in the heart of Zona Sul, lending its name to the unique upper-class neighborhood known as 'Lagoa' (Lagoon). Hugged by the Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Forest) to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, it seems the entire Zona Sul of Rio grew around it, under the watch of the Christ statue.

Lagoa is neatly framed by the lively neighborhoods of Humaitá, Jardim Botânico, Gávea, Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana. Although its boundaries are the one or two lake . . .

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