We recently visited the beach areas of Porto de Galinhas and Maragogi. Porto de Galinhas is a major tourist beach destination, and is located about 60 km. south of Recife, in the state of Pernambuco. Maragogi is a greater distance away; it is located in the state of Alagoas. Both of these places are known for their “natural pools” (piscinas naturais).
Most of the tourists I saw in Recife were Brazilians from other parts of Brazil; I saw very few foreign tourists, probably only two or three. The usual way of getting to these two beaches is by using one of the local tour companies that host these little passeios (trips). People sign up for them, and they come around your building in the morning in a van and pick up about 10 people, and then you head out for the destination. On both of these passeios, I was the only foreigner. All the other tourists were Brazilians from various cities around the country.
These beaches are beautiful places, and the photos below speak for themselves. If beaches are your thing, you are going to be loving life. It’s a different experience from what I found in Fortaleza earlier this year. What the visitor needs to remember about these places is that they are very tourist-oriented. Everyone is in hustle mode. Make sure you ask questions, and know what you are paying for. And if you hire a local tour company, make sure you ask about all the charges. Some places will advertise a certain rate in their brochures, without telling you that, once you arrive at the destination, you will have to pay extra to do other activities. Our van had more than a few angry Brazilian tourists who were not at all happy to find out about these little games, and believe me, they made their extreme displeasure known. Some of these “extras” are just not worth it: the buggy rides in Maragogi are probably one example.
Make sure you bring sunscreen, flip-flop sandals, and a bag with a bathing suit. I forgot my bathing suit, but went in the water anyway with shorts and a belt on. What the hell. You adapt, and deal with the situation.
Porto de Galinhas
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