Whilst on a recent visit to Recife we took the 45 minutes journey to the south of the city to the town of Ipojuca where lays the beach resort of Porto de Galinhas. The journey was well worth it.
For 10 years running, Porto de Galinhas had been named the best beach in Brazil as voted for the Brazilian travel magazine Viagem e Turismo Porto de Galinhas is still a small village with only a few of streets with a central square, called Pracinha. The village enjoys great weather all year round with a warm sea and permanent breeze and seemingly endless beautiful white beaches which are easily accessed from nearby Recife.
The town’s name literally translates as Port of Chickens which dates back to the time of slavery when the town was used as a dropping off port for slave ships coming from Africa after the government of Recife prohibited slave ships from landing in the city. As it was forbidden to mention slavery, the word spread as “there are new chickens in the port” and the name of the village was born.
With at least ten beaches, numerous small natural pools and beautiful reefs with plenty of colourful marine life, Porto de Galinhas makes for a perfect beach holiday to Brazil.
Local fishermen ferry tourists in small, flat sailboats (jangadas) to the natural pools created by the ebbing tide as well as to other beaches in the surrounding areas. There are buggy rides available to the more distant beaches such as the stunning Praia dos Carneiros. There is some good surfing to be had in the area and many surf shacks where you can hire boards such as the Praia do Maracaipe where waves generally reach up to 2.5 metres.
For lovers of nature you should visit the Hippocampus Project which studies the breeding and preservation of seahorses. The area also does some fabulous work with sea turtles which migrate from the coast between Pontal Maracaípe to Praia Muro Alto in March each year. A local eco-project helps the spawning and breeding of baby turtles and a common sight in March is to see hundreds of baby turtles making their first steps into the sea before returning in around September. Watching the migrations or eggs hatching is fascinating.
Porto de Galinhas was once a non-descript tourist village. Today, it is a thriving tourist destination. There are luxurious resorts and plush Porto de Galinhas hotels as well as small, homely pousadas (guest houses) along the beach that offer bed and breakfast facilities. The best and most luxurious place to stay is without question the stylish and romantic Nannai Beach Resort on Muro Alto beach.
For couples or families, make Porto de Galinhas an essential part of your holiday to Brazil, it’s beautiful.