South America Living

Pernambuco, Brazil: The Hidden Gem State

A Street in Olinda, Brazil

A mixture of history, culture, and beautiful beaches, Pernambuco is a state located in the northeast region of Brazil.

Usually overlooked as a destination because of more well-known places like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, or Santa Catarina, Pernambuco is a hidden gem perfect for a honeymoon destination or a family vacation.

Here are the top 3 places to visit when traveling in this beautiful part of Brazil.

  1. Pernambuco, Brazil

    The fifth largest metropolitan of Brazil and the capital of Pernambuco, Recife is lined by sandy white beaches and a major port to the Atlantic Ocean. Best known for its numerous cultural and entertainment value, especially during Carnaval, it is often called “Venice of Brazil.”

    Visit the Boa Viagem district, Brazil’s longest urbanized beachfronts and a mesh of both reef and sandy beaches. For a more cultural experience there is Casa da Cultura where traditional dances and music shows are performed daily. Once a colonial prison, this House of Culture also accommodates the largest arts and crafts collection in the state. Finish the day at one of the local favorites like Chica Pitanga, a self-service restaurant with a wide range of delicious, quality food.

  2. Olinda, Brazil

    Explore the historical section of Pernambuco at Olinda. A well-preserved colonial city, Olinda has been named in 1982 as a heritage site by UNESCO. This endearing city exudes both history and culture. Take a walking tour to explore the numerous museums and churches that pepper this region of Pernambuco. Some sites to explore include the Do Amparo, Centro Historico, Brazillian Imaginary Arts, or Basilica de Sao Bento. Stay at the Hotel Pousada Sao Francisco, for a closer location to most of the touristic sites in Olinda or if looking for a closer beach location Hotel Costeiro is a great choice. Restaurants abound in this colonial gem.

    Olinda’s culinary delights showcase the mix of international influence on the local cuisines. Try the pumpkin filled curry at the Oficina do Sabor or a light snack and entertainment at the Estacao Café. The city is usually overlooked by most tourists yet as the 3rd largest Carnaval in Brazil, Olinda is a place worth stopping for.

  3. 2. Ipojuca, Brazil

    A municipality of Pernambuco, Ipojuca’s name derives from the native Indians that once settled this area. Meaning “dark waters,” Ipojuca is famous for the numerous beaches that encompass this tourist friendly region. This region is the perfect beach vacation spot for anyone escaping the winter blues. Visitors usually stop first at Porto de Galinhas, voted eight times in a row as Brazil’s best beach and renowned for the natural pools and clear, bright blue water.

    Another beach spot to explore is Muro Alto. Snorkeling is one of the favorite activities to explore the diverse and beautiful marine habitats, especially the coral reefs. Ride on a jangadas; cleverly built wooden rafts that were once used as fishing crafts, but are now popularly used to give tourists a different way to explore the area.

    Relax at one of many luxurious resorts or bed and breakfast such as Nannai Beach Resort. Located in a premier location, it has bungalows for those looking for a more romantic and secluded atmosphere.

More travel destinations in Brazil, some with complete travel guides of where to stay, eat and things to do, can be found here: Destinations and Travel Guides.

Photograph courtesy of Linda Olinda.

Logo Header Menu