By Helen Trouten Torres, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The meaning of Leblon in Tupi Gurani, the language of the Brazilian native Indians who were the first to inhabit the area, is literally ‘island between waterways’, named because of the two canals that define the boundaries of the neighborhood from the Lagoa in the North, to the famous beach-lined Atlantic Ocean in the South. The canals are much smaller now, but to this day they mark the boundaries of one of Rio’s most exclusive neighborhoods.

Leblon beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Leblon beach and the famous tiled pavement, photo by Rodrigo Soldon/Flikr Creative Commons License.

Staggeringly, according to realtor Conrado Gracia of P+ Desenvolvimento Imobiliário, virtually anyone who owns a property of more than 75 m2 in Leblon can now be considered a millionaire. This brings to question just what is the attraction of this small but well located neighborhood.

Local resident Cota Kos has lived in the area for 33 years and loves the proximity to great schools, restaurants, shops, banks, doctors, dentists, cinemas, theaters and of course the beach. “I like to go everywhere on foot, even at night” she adds, pointing out the safe reputation of Leblon.

Leblon begins where Ipanema ends, at Jardim da Alah. Built in 1938, it was named as a reference to the 1936 film starring Marlene Dietrich “The Garden of Allah”. Perhaps it is fitting then that these canal gardens mark the entrance to the neighborhood that many of Brazil’s top actors and actresses call home.

Current average listing time for a property in Leblon is 120 days according to Agente Imóvel. The steep real estate prices in Leblon are due to popularity of the area and the value of the land. “Sea front property prices reflect at least 80 percent the value of the land and 20 percent the value of the building”, informs Conrado.

Former resident of a three story house on Jardin de Alah (which is now a chic apartment block) Dr. Max Andrade remembers when he used to fly his kite in the fields behind his house in the company of parrots and monkeys. Needless to say those fields have now been replaced by smart addresses though you might still be lucky enough to spot some tropical fauna in Leblon’s many charming gardens.

A view overlooking Leblon beach and apartments, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
A view overlooking Leblon beach and apartments, photo by Rodrigo Soldon/Flickr Creative Commons License.

The leafy streets have a relaxed feel as flower and fruit sellers pitch up alongside boutique shops, high-end restaurants, delis and stylish bars.

The beach in Leblon, while not as popular as Ipanema beach, offers the same view and a variety of activities for health conscience residents, including yoga classes, tai chi, running groups and of course beach volleyball and foot volley.

Leblon stands as Brazil’s second most expensive real estate in the entire country. In the last year, the average listing price has increased by 25 percent. The current average price per square meter of a property in Leblon is R$14,500, according to Johan Jonsson of Agente Imóvel.

The average price to buy a one bedroom apartment in Leblon is R$818,500, two bedrooms are on average R$1.3 million, three bedrooms R$2.4 million and four bedrooms R$4.4 million. Penthouses in Leblon begin at R$2.5 million.

Rentals advertised in O Globo newspaper average R$2,975 per month for one bedroom apartments, around R$3,600 for two bedrooms and R$5,200 for three bedroom properties.


  1. Leblon is the most expensive bairro in Rio. So what’s the most expensive bairro in Brazil..? Somewhere in Sao Paulo..?

  2. Av. Delfim Neto (the beach) offers the most expensive property in the continent.

    But the normal explanation of the origin of the name “Leblon” is that it derives from a fazenda in the area owned in the C19 by a Frenchman, M. LeBlanc.

  3. Leblon is over priced, because people with money in Brazil have very low standards; only in a third world country an address like Avenida Visconde de Albuquerque where Leblon canal divides it in the middle would be considere a noble address, because the canal is no more than an open cesspit full of floating condoms. I have filmed it several times and given to the environment agency who in turn gives time for CEDAE (state water company) to review its procedures! since March 15th this year swage is being dumped daily to the point fish were trying to breath outside the water!
    The risk of hepatitus is so high on the beach, the chief biologist of FEEMA (Foundation for the Environment) told me that the level tolerable of feces in the water is 1000 coliformes per 100 mililiters of water, in Leblon it reaches 16000 per 100 mililiters; he said in other words he said: The sea is like shit dirty of salt waterrather the the other way! The funny thing is that the closer the block is to the sewage, the mopre expensive the apartment!
    See the links below:
    Leblon bairro nobre? O esgoto também é? Só em país de quintomundo!

    Canal do Leblon peixe sufocando no esgoto.

    Canal sujeira retirada manualmente

    Canal do Leblon esgoto manchando esgoto! 5 de abril 2011

    Canal do Leblon com comporta aberta para o esgoto vazar para a praia!

    100′ s of people catch hepatitus in Leblon!

  4. ROBIN.

    I’m sorry but the correct name is AV. DELFIM MOREIRA not DELFIM NETO.
    About the French man that lived here,

  5. Continuing…ROBIN
    The French man that lived in Leblon was Mr. Le Blond (O louro) in French and not Mr. LeBlanc (O Branco). Sorry..

  6. Lovely , let s keep Leblon this gorgeous district it has always been. I lived there in 1974 and still miss everything. Thank you all, Roberto Barbosa. May 2016 . USA.

  7. I have lived all over the world, but have never found such a lovely neighborhood, in any other City, which could compare to the quality of life in Leblon. I miss it terribly.


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