Around Maragogi (Alagoas region) and Porto de Galinhas (Pernambuco region) you will find one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, some people have even called those regions – “the Brazilian Caribbean”. To get from Salvador de Bahia to Maragogi we spend ten hours by night bus plus another two hours by taxi from Maceio to Maragogi.
The plan was to take a local bus from Maceio to Maragogi but since there was only one bus which was after 4-5 hours, we decided to try our luck and make a deal with some of the taxi drivers. In Brazil, as in all South American countries you need to bargain for everything, so also for taxi. We lost maybe one hour of bargaining in Portuguese, and in the end we found something that was good for us. If you are traveling in a group of at least three people, very often you can go around by taxi, because it is convenient. We paid the taxi around 60 reais per person.
In Maragogi we stayed in Hostel Brazuka, the owners of the hostel were Argentinians and also the hostel was full with Argentinian people. During our trip to Brazil, we met only few people from Europe or another continents, all the other tourists were from South America. Maybe this is the reason why nobody here is speaking english. The accommodation was good, basic and good breakfast, no air conditioning in the rooms. In all the places where we have been, there was no air condition in the rooms, only cooling fans. The hostel was right in front of the beach and in the center of the town, although Maragogi is really small town. From the central square depart all the vans that bring you on the nearby beaches at a ridiculous price of one or two euros. Here immediately we felt the difference in price compared with Rio.
The first day we decided to visit the beaches Praia de Antunes and Praia de Ponta de Mangue. The beaches were really like piece of paradise: palm trees, turquoise blue water and endless sandy beach. Although we were in high season we didn’t see crowded beaches here. To arrive from one beach to another you can walk. The landscape is beautiful, very beautiful, palm trees, coconuts and sounds of waves.
My recommendation is to take with you some sandwich or some food. On the first beach where we went, there was a kiosk selling water, coconut water, beer, chips, but I didn’t saw some food that you could buy.
The second and the last day in Maragogi was dedicated to visit the natural pools. The tour was 90 reais. Honestly was not anything special. Previously I have seen some natural pools in the middle of the ocean and maybe because of this it wasn’t a new experience for me. All groups depart at a certain time, when there is a low tide, there was a schedule for each day when the tides happen. On all the images that we saw before, the pools were presented full of colorful little fishes, but the reality was different, we have seen here and there some small fish and that was all. Swimming in the pools surrounded by corals was a little bit uncomfortable, because if you even touch the coral while swimming, you will feel big pain.
The natural pools are everywhere in these two regions, but they told us that in Maragogi are the best ones. In every place they said the same about their natural pools, like in Porto de Galinhas. After visiting the pools we decided to catch the van and visit another famous beach in the region – Praia de Japaratinga. This place was also nice, many palm trees and a huge beach, but the beach wasn’t very clean. Here we decide just sat down at one of the many good restaurants by the beach and enjoy our caipirinha.
In Maragogi there are several supermarkets, and if you want to eat out, there are a lot of good restaurants and pizzerias by the beach, prices start from 20 reales up.
PORTO DE GALINHAS
Porto de Galinhas is around 1 hour by car far from Maragogi. Also here we took a taxi for 4 people. The price per person was 25 reais. In Porto de Galinhas we stayed 4 days. The hostel where we were staying was La Roca Beach Hostel. The accomodation was basic with breakfast included, but we had the same problem as everywhere, again no one spoke English. In this hostel for the first time during our trip we met a few people from Europe, even a guy with Serbian origin, and also we met people from Uruguay, Argentina and the rest were from Brazil.
The hostel was five minutes away from the city beach, which was crowded. Here we felt for the first time what means high season in Brazil. It was so full that we didn’t even want to spend some time there, so we decided to visit the nearby beaches. The natural pools in Porto de Galinhas were really close to the beach and it was easy to reach them by swimming, but with all that people, better not.
This town was bigger and more touristic than Maragogi, full with local shops, restaurants, cafes, travel agencies and souvenir shops.
Our second day was dedicated to the beach Praia dos Carneiros, which they say is one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. We went to the beach with the tour because someone told us that the beach was part of private property and the only way to get there was with a tour. The price of the tour was 60 reais. At the beach you can see the church of São Benedito. And here when there is low tide you will be witnesses of an amazing landscape. We decided to rent a puddle and we had wonderful experience. Along the beach there are some restaurants and local people who were selling coconut. The weather that day was quite variable but we had also sunny moments and we enjoyed the tropical landscape.
The third day in Porto de Galinhas was dedicated to Maracaipe – famous beach for surfing,. From the city center you can walk on the beach and in about 30 minutes you will be in Maracaipe. Here we saw huge palm trees, everywhere around you palmtress. We stayed in one of the many reastaurants on the beach for almost half of the day, having lunch and watched the surfers chase waves. Before sunset we headed towards the end of the beach where the river meets the ocean, and again there was low tide and the view was amazing.
The fourth day we dedicated for buggy tour which we paid 50 reais per person. The tour takes about five hours and the guide brings you to three beaches Muro Alto, Praia de Cupe and Maracaipe. Our driver was very nice guy, everybody knew him in the city, he is also famous because he knows to surf well. At the end of the tour he took us to the river where we had a unique experience to walk into the water with a variety of insects and huge trees in the water. A great day spent with our guide Juba. If someone travels there I can give you his contact and he can help you about accommodation or tours. Btw he is also a good photographer.
From Porto de Galinhas the road leading us towards Recife, from where we needed to catch a flight to Rio. In Recife we spent only one day and the weather was not so good at all. In the city they say it is dangerous to enter in the ocean because there were many sharks. So the day was dedicated to visiting the old part of Recife and Olinda, which is very famous place during the Carnival. When we went there it was really empty and there was almost nothing to do. In Recife we slept in one of the best hostels during our trip and I warmly recommend it – Hostel Piratas da Praia.