Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

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Beaches in the northern coast of Pernambuco

«Beaches of Recife and Pernambuco
«Porto de Galinhas beach.

Beaches below are listed in geographic order. Carne de Vaca is the beach farthest to the north, near the border with Paraíba; Casa Caiada is in the urban area of Olinda, very near Recife.

Carne de Vaca

The funny name means "Meat of Cow" in Portuguese. Because of the proximity of river Goiana, the waters of this beach are a bit dark. There is a village of fishermen, where some rustic restaurants offer meals; infrastructure is poor, but the area is growing fast (real estate is still very cheap, attracting many investors). Distant 70 km from Recife; access via Br-101 and then PE-49. The beaches of Carne de Vaca and Ponta de Pedras (see below) are part of the city of Goiana, a city with a very rich History; read more about Goiana.

Ponta de Pedras

The name means "Point of Stones". Small waves, good for bathing; occasionally, a large amount of seaweed washes into the beach. Distant 70 km from Recife; access via BR-101 and PE-49.

Ilha de Itamaracá

ItamaracáThe Itamaracá Island comprehends several beaches, most of which with clear water and small waves. This was the area where the Dutch disembarked, when they invaded Brazil back in the 17th century; the Forte Orange (Fortress Orange), built by the Dutch, was turned into a museum open to visitation.
The small island of Coroa do Avião (Crown of the Airplane) is also located in Itamaracá; despite being very small (you can walk around its entire borders), the place has a good infrastructure of bars and restaurants.
Itamaracá is distant about 50 km from Recife. Read more about Itamaracá.


Gavoa is a beach with calm waters and fluffy sand, located between Itamaracá and Maria Farinha. Gavoa is departure point of many boats which sail to nearby beaches, such as the Coroa do Avião. Distant 49 km north of Recife. Access via BR-101 and then PE-35.

Veneza Water Park, Maria Farinha

Maria Farinha

The name means "Mary Flour". The beach is shalow, waves are small; one can walk several meters into the sea and have the water by the waist; good for children.
Filled with restaurants and piers, Maria Farinha is an excellent place for nautic sports; a project by the government of Pernambuco will turn Maria Farinha into the largest nautic center in Braziian northeast.
Also in Maria Farinha, adults and children can have fun at Veneza Water Park (see photo), one of the largest water parks in Brazil. Maria Farinha is about 25 km north of Recife; easiest way to get there is via Olinda.
The beaches of Maria Farinha, Conceição, Pau Amarelo and Janga are all located in the city of Paulista, in the northern coast of Pernambuco.


Small, clean beach, with white sand. The reefs in the sea and the palm trees which line up along the beach make it a good place for bathing and resting.

Pau Amarelo

The name means "Yellow Wood". Also with palm trees and reefs, which create natural pools. Many kioskes along the beach selling food and drink. Another attraction is Forte do Pau Amarelo, built in 1719, and open to visitation.


Janga is an urban beach, with plenty of bars. The beach is known for having groups dancing ciranda, a traditional rythm of the region.
For more information about Janga, visit this non-official site: (in Portuguese only)

Nossa Senhora do Ó

This beach is just one mile long, but is filled with bars and kioskes. Near the center of Olinda, it´s visited by many olindenses for a bath and a beer.


Rio Doce

The name means "Sweet River". The region has many piers, where the fishermen anchor their small boats when they return from their sea trips; in one of the piers, there is a statue of Iemanjá.
Rio Doce and Casa Caiada are beaches in the urban area of Olinda; as this is a densely populated area, the beaches are more subject to polution. The avenues along the beach have plenty of bars and restaurants, attended by olindenses, recifenses and foreigners.

Casa Caiada

Right in the middle of Olinda. Many people jogging along the walkway.

Photos by: Governo do Estado de Pernambuco.

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