Recife is a city that stands out in many respects. Known for its Dutch influence, the “city of reefs”, which today is one of the most developed urban centers, preserves many vestiges of its colonial period, ensuring that a trip through the city reveals not only the natural beauty of the Brazilian coast, as also its historical aspect.
Urban and living in Recife is a unique geography. Islands, bridges, canals and old houses increment the look of the “Venice of Brazil”, where intense heat is an integral part of local life pace. At sea, the background of Recife is Boa Viagem who is successful. The beach, which is the namesake neighborhood, draws attention by the green waters and the natural pools formed at low tide. Sharks? Yes, there are some, but the natives ensure that they are only on the high seas.
Recife and Olinda (the nearby town) form an unbeatable duo when it comes to tourist attractions. Be sure to take time to know the old part of the two cities – go to Igraga da Sé, the Convento São Francisco, Marco Zero, the Malakoff Tower, the Rua do Bom Jesus, the Capela Dourada and the spaces built by prime Brennand where sculptures and antiques fascinate visitors.
The largest city in the Northeast express their values in various ways. On the cultural side, talent of artists like Romero Britto, Francisco Brennand and Nelson Rodrigues; while the sounds, the cheerful rhythms of frevo and maracatu, and the Galo da Madrugada – already considered the largest Carnival group in the world – shake tourists from various parts of the country. For those who enjoy festivals, know Recife and Olinda during Carnival is a must!
WHEN TO GO
Recife is a city that welcomes for tourism and business all year, but the flow of visitors is much more intense in the summer. This is when the beaches are filled; warm water; and the sights, loaded with visitors.
The summer is the driest season with averages temperatures around 28 ° C, while the winter is rainy and records average temperatures around 25 ° C. The heat is constant all year, and there is a very noticeable wobble in relation to temperature – which can be seen easily is that while summer is the driest season, winter is rainy. So, winter (April to August) is not a very suitable season for traveling, because the rain can disrupt outdoor excursions and so desired days in front of the sea.
End of December, January, Carnival and July are periods of high season. For those who have flexibility and can program the trip, we recommend alternative months – as March, September, April and November – when the values of hotels and flights are not as high.
The New Year’s Eve organized by the city of Recife meets Pernambuco and other states artists and offers free concerts to Recife inhabitants and visitors. Every year there are fireworks on the beach and concerts.
Carnival is celebrated in style as much as in Recife and Olinda and travelers during this period need to be programmed. Book a hotel in advance is part of the basic planning.
The Olinda Carnival is world famous for giant puppets, which each year gain the face of new personalities. On the slopes of the historic center, dolls like the Midnight Man, which opens Saturday of Zé Pereira, and the Day of Women make the joy of tourists participating blocks and jump in the rhythms of frevo and maracatu. In Recife, the highlight is the Galo da Madrugada, the largest Carnival group in the world. The capital of Pernambuco is famous for offering space for diverse cultures and demonstrations: samba schools, blocks, maracatus of Olinda associations and shows of various artists are part of the Multicultural Carnival. The great inexpensive is literally the Pernambuco Carnival, unlike other Brazilian cities, no need to pay for fun. It is a democratic Carnival, popular, without beliefs or defined ages, it is the celebration of all.
Travel by plane to Recife is going through one of the most modern airports in Brazil, which serves not only flights from Brazilian capital, but also international. Those who live in the Northeast have the facility to go from one capital to another by car or bus, since the distances are short.
The Recife International Airport or Guararapes Airport (REC) is a very important means to reach Pernambuco state. The airport is well located near the district of Boa Viagem, and serves as a means of arrival for those traveling to Recife and also to neighboring cities such as Olinda, Porto de Galinhas or Maragogi, besides being the connection point to Fernando de Noronha.
The Guararapes Airport is large and has all the services of a tourist needs on the go. Operate at that airport companies like TAM, Gol, Azul and Avianca, and TAP, American Airlines, Copa and Condor for international.
If the distance from the airport to the hotel facilitates arrival at Recife, arriving by bus is quite different. Recife bus station (TIP – Interstate Passenger Terminal) is in Várzea, a farther neighborhood of the hotel area.
WHAT TO DO IN RECIFE
There are several attractions for travelers in Recife! The city has a variety of entertainment, sights, restaurants, bars etc. With so much variety, it is difficult to choose what to do!
Below is the description of available tours in Recife.
Visit the old city center and feel the spirit of the city with all its charm and picturesque sights. Enjoy the Afro-Brazilian culture and food. Salvador is rich in history and emotions. You will feel the energy. Olinda, the very first capital of Pernambuco a city granted by UNESCO as ‘Cultural and Natural Heritage of Mankind’, a discovery of a magical place.
What to consider before traveling?
- As in any other big Brazilian capital, be careful when driving and avoid walking the streets with expensive objects to avoid attracting attention. At night, avoid streets with little movement or “weird” as the Recife like to call the places that can offer some danger.
- Even if Boa Viagem is one of the noblest districts of the city, it is important to overlook when you are there because it is a place of much movement, where there are a lot of tourists and prostitution.
- As in many other tourist destinations, the beach is best at low tide. If you can, travel during a full moon or new moon – periods when the low tide is best. Follow Navy or surf websites to check the tide chart.
- Remember that Recife is an area where there are shark attacks. Avoid going into the sea at high tide. However, there is nothing to be afraid of.
- The vast majority of the sights of Recife and Olinda not charge exaggerated prices, only symbolic. That’s one of the good advantages of a city trip.
- To take a traditional photograph of Recife, go to Rua do sol in San Antonio district , and take a photo with the colorful across the Rio Capibaribe houses.
- The traffic in Recife is very complicated, especially at the beginning and end of shift. If you do not stand in traffic jams, avoid circular with vehicle at peak times such as 8h, 9h, 17h, 18h.