recife guide, south america, brazil


 City & Country Guides > South America > Brazil > Recife


Recife on the northeast coast of Brazil enjoys a tropical climate and 12month summer. Being just 8° 06′ South of the equator topical means hot, but the humidity is not too high and Recife benefits from onshore trade winds that make things more comfortable. These great weather conditions can be enjoyed along the 190 km coastline of the state, and beyond in neighbouring states. Many beaches are protected from the Atlantic ocean by reefs that create natural swimming pools at several points during low tide. It is these reefs that gave the city of Recife its name. Sea temperatures make you feel you are in a tropical aquarium. Often a mask. and snorkel are all you need to enjoy the abundant ocean life. The region also offers good deep sea diving experiences for the more adventurous.

Recife, and nearby Olinda are amongst the oldest cities in Brazil and it´s Portuguese and Dutch and colonial past are still much in evidence. Olinda is a hill top town etablished by the Portuguese in 1534 and Recife is the nearby port that was developed by the Dutch. Sugar made Recife the richest city in Brazil and its position was maintaned for several years with the addition of the cotton industry. These industries were largely dependent upon the slave trade giving Brazil its African influence. There is also a significant Jewish influence. They controlled fifty percent of the sugar industry,and Recife is home to the first synagogue in the Americas dating from 1641. It was from here that the first jews in New York originate.

Nearby is Porto de Galinhas, voted number one beach in Brazil by Brazilians. It is a perfect area that offers a mix of safe bathing, water sports and some of the best surf conditions in the country. The waters are an aquatic paradise teaming with ocean life. You can litterally feed the fish here by hand.

All these influences make for a lively and diverse culture, most in evidence during carnival. Carnival here is the most authentic. Unlike carnival in Rio and Salvador, you don´t spectate, you take part, and it is free.

The region is popular with Brazilian tourists from the south who come here in their winter months. There is no winter here in the northeast. Temperatues rarely fall below 26C. It is growing in popularity with foreign tourists but guides and information in English are hard to find. The most comprehensive guide in English is Recife Guide, a website with all you need to know. Recife Guide also offers Guided Tours and other Services.


Getting There

Almost certainly you will arrive by plane either on an international or national flight. There are direct scheduled flights from Europe (from Lisbon on TIP, or from Paris on TAM). Charter flights operate during high season, but usually as package holidays rather than flight only. I would strongly advise against a package holiday to Brazil. There are far better ways to experience the country.

Recifes international airport is the largest and most modern airport in the northeast. It serves the main tourist destinations in the region, Recife (10mins by car), Olinda (30mins) and Porto de Galinhas (1 1/2hrs). For more details see Recife Guide



Almost every type of accomodation is available, from hostel to five star hotel. A nice and very affordable option are beach guest houses called Pousadas. They vary in price and quality but most offer good clean accomodation with breakfast. At the moment the price range of accomodation is from R$26 (8 Euro) per night in a hostel, from R$100 (28 Euro) in a 3 star like hotel, and from R$300 (85Euro) in a luxury hotel. Prices may be higher in high season (Oct - Mar), or less in low season (Apr-Sep). For a comprehensive accomodation guide see Recife Guide. Accomodation is listed by region under the headings Budget (for backpackers) Mid-Price (for average travellers) Luxury (for the more demanding traveller).


Things to do

There is much to do in the region, from days on the many tropical beaches to walking tours of the of historic cities or cultural tours of art galleries and museums. Recife Guide offers a guide to all these attractions. It also details the Walking Tours and Guided Tours they offer in English, German, Spanish, French and Portuguese.



Brazilians like to eat, and in recent years they increasingly eat out. The booming economy has resulted in a thriving restaurant business and with competition the quality and range of restaurants has increased massively over the last decade. You will find regional cuisine, fantastic carverys called Churascarias, amazing seafood, and worldclass modern international cuisine. Recife Guide offers a listing of options by location and by price.


Bars and Clubs

Like the flourishing restaurant business the number of bars and clubs has exploded during the last decade of economic growth. Most bars offer waiter service and several offer high quality food and snacks. There are loud and lively places, quiet and romantic places, and places by the ocean. Recife Guide offers a listing of bars by area.


About Recife Guide

Recife guide is the most comprehensive English guide to Recife, Olinda and Porto de Galinhas. I am an English guy that has been visitng the area for over 12years and living here for over 4years. I established the site to meet the needs of English speaking tourists given the scarcity of tourist information in English. In addition to the online guide Recife Guide offers Guided Tours and other services.

The services include free holiday planning. I will help you plan your trip before you leave, or when you arrive. I can also help you travel light by delivering the shopping for you locally, and delivering it to your hotel on the day of your arrival. We will also make is easy for you to be an eco-friendly and responsible tourist. All our products and services will be designed accoring to responsible tourism guidelines, with consideration for the environment and local population.


Info supplied by Paul Barnett, Recife Guide

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