Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

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Beaches in the southern coast of Pernambuco


Beaches below are listed in geographic order: Piedade is the beach nearest Recife, while Coroa Grande is the farthest to the south (near the border with Alagoas).


The name means "Piety". The Piedade beach, urban, is located in the city of Jaboatão dos Guararapes, which makes border beach of Jaboatão dos Guararapesto the south of Recife. The Piedade beach is an extension of Boa Viagem beach, with many bars, restaurants and other fun options.
A significant difference is that, while hotels in Boa Viagem are separated from the beach by an avenue (Avenida Boa Viagem), the hotels at the beaches of Jaboatão (which also include Candeias and Barra de Jangada) have a direct access to the sand. Another difference is that, because there are fewer hotels (and tourists) in Jaboatão, the beaches are frequented mostly by locals.


Also an urban beach of Jaboatão, Candeias, with 3 km of extension, is also similar to Boa Viagem beach. Candeias has few hotels, but a good number of good restaurants by the beach.

Barra de Jangada

Near Recife, very quiet. Good for those looking for tranquility.


Beautiful beach, strong waves. It used to be a point for surfing, but, because of sharks, the activity was forbidden. Distant 45 km from Recife. Itapuama offers a camping area. Access: BR-101 south, PE-60, PE-29.


This beach used to be of difficult access, hence semi-desert.
In early years of the 2010 decade, a bridge was built linking Paiva to the beach of Jangada, shortening the way in several kilometers.
At the same time, the owners of large plots in Paiva (the family Brennand) started selling condos.
Today, many people take the Paiva road to get to Porto de Galinhas; the distance is about the same, there is a road toll to pay, but the view is much better.
See photos of Praia do Paiva.

Pedra do Xaréu

The name means "Stone of xaréus"; xaréu is a kind of fish which abounds in the area. Semi-desert beach, with a few kioskes offering meals and drinks. Protected by reefs, which causes the formation of natural pools during the low tide. Access: BR-101 south, PE-60, PE-29.

Enseada dos Corais

Enseada dos Corais

The name means "Corals Cove". The beach is protected by the reefs; the waves are small, and natural pools are common. Several condos have been built around this area; the beach becomes busy in weekends and holidays. Distance from Recife: 47 km.
The beaches of Enseada dos Corais, Gaibu, Calhetas and Paraíso belong to the municipality of Cabo do Santo Agostinho (see below).


Also protected by reefs, the beach of Gaibu has tranquil waters, small waves. Many bars and restaurants along the beach. Gaibu was discovered by hippies in past years, and to date maintains an air of freedom.



This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Pernambuco and Brazil. Many palm trees, crystal clear waters. Calhetas is a preferred destination for practioners of diving and submarine fishing. Distant 49 km from Recife. Access: BR-101 South, PE-60 and PE-29.

Cabo de Santo Agostinho

Cabo de Santo Agostinho

Not a beach, but a city many beaches belong to.
There are some observatories, from where one can have a vision of a large part of the coast, from Recife to the Port of Suape.
The city preserves many historic buildings, such as the Fortress of Santo Agostinho (stage of battles between Portuguese and Dutch) and the Church of Nossa Senhora do Nazaré, which date back to the 16th century.
Read more about the city of Cabo de Santo Agostinho.



The name means "Paradise". This is the shortest beach in Pernambuco; it´s a strand of sand, 30 meters long, amid walls of stones; many palms and other trees overlooking the sea. There are bars and restaurants, but rustic.


This beach was chosen for the construction of the Port of Suape, the largest in the State; nearby, the river Massangana meets the Atlantic Ocean.


Semi-desert beach, good for explorers. Pools are formed during the low tide. Distance from Recife: 49 km.
Camboa, Muro Alto, Cupe, Porto de Galinhas, Maracaípe, Enseadinha and Cacimbas are all beaches which belong to the city of Ipojuca; read more about Ipojuca.

Muro Alto

Muro Alto

The name means "High Wall", and is explained by the walls 3 m high which surround the beach. Some of the best hotels in Pernambuco were built in Muro Alto (check out Nannai and Summerville in the hotels of Pernambuco section); the area is receiving massive investments, both public (to improve infrastructure, particularly roads) and private (hotels and resorts). The beach is about 2,5 km long, with natural pools all along. Distance from Recife: 60 km. Access: BR-101 Sul, PE-60 and PE-09.


Near Porto de Galinhas. Many palm trees, and waves slightly higher (because of a gap in the reefs). Sea sater is warm and green.

Porto de Galinhas

turismo IpojucaSeveral Brazilian travel magazines have elected Porto de Galinhas as the most beautiful beach in Brazil. About 18 km long, very low waves, very shallow waters.
Besides the beach, there is also a village called Porto de Galinhas. Not surprisingly, the village suffer from some growth pains, but new hotels, restaurants and services appear everyday; also, the nightlife, with discos and clubs, gets busy during weekends and holidays.
Porto is a basis for tours of boats (to visit the natural pools which form a few hundred meters inside the sea) and buggies (which visit the beaches in the neighbourhood).
Acess: BR-101 Sul, PE-60 and PE-09.
Read more about Porto de Galinhas.


Not protected by the reefs, the beaches in Maracaípe usually have high waves. One of the rounds of the Brazilian Circuit of Surf happens in Maracaípe.
There are a few hotels and restaurants, but visitors of Maracaípe usually use the structure of Porto de Galinhas.
Access: go to Porto de Galinhas and keep on driving.


The name means "Little Bay". A small cove near the mouth of river Maracaípe. Reefs, many trees, quiet waters, areas of mangrove.



Reefs all along. Several condos are being built, making access to the best beaches harder. Distance from Recife: 67 km.
<< See pic of Serrambi.


Waves a bit stronger. Cacimbas has a section of reef which is about 50 meters wide, large enough to have a natural pool inside; see this photo of Cacimbas (credit: Government of Pernambuco).


High waves, sand is fine and white. A few luxury condos built here, making the beach hard to access. Distance from Recife: 80 km.

Barra de Sirinhaém, Guaiamum e Gamela

These beaches are all part of a same bay. There are bars and inns around the area. Nearby, the river Sirinhaém pours into the Ocean. Distance from Recife: 75 km. Access: BR-101 Sul, PE-60, PE-61.


Bay with quiet water, falesias and black rocks. Also, has been taken by several private luxury condos, making access more difficult. Distance from Recife: 80 km.

Praia dos Carneiros

Praia dos Carneiros

The name means "Beach of the Sheeps". Other beach which competes for the title of most beautiful in the State. The beach is near the mouth of river Formoso, which throws its dark water into the Ocean; the river also favors the growth of mangroves in the region.
Access is somewhat difficult, which helps in keeping the beach wild. Distance from Recife: 103 km. Access: BR-101 Sul and PE-60; after the city of Rio Formoso, take 10 km of unpaved road to reach the beach. Visit this site of Pousada Praia dos Carneiros to see some photos of the area.



One of the busiest beaches in the south of Pernambuco, particularly during weekends and holidays. Good support for nautic sports. Distance from Recife: 100 km. Access: PE-60 e PE-76.

Boca da Barra

Extension of the Tamandaré beach, near the mouth of rier Mamocabinha. Quiet waters, reefs and plenty of seaweed. The ruins of Fortress of Tamandaré (built in 1691) can be visited.
Distance from Recife: 97 km. Access: BR-101 South, PE-60, PE-78.

Praia do Porto

Access is difficult, but those who get there are enchanted by a nearly untouched beach. Nature combined sand, rocks and trees to create a wonderful scape.
A few meters into the sea, there is the famous "Island of the Lonely Palm Tree"; the place was used for the shooting of a popular Brazilian soapbox, which added to its fame; this page bring more information about Praia do Porto.
Distance from Recife: 120 km. Access: BR-101 Sul and PE-60, as far as the city of Barreiros; from there, 10 km of a clay road, formerly used by the trucks to transport the sugar-cane crop; go by buggy or 4 wheels driving vehicles. There are no hotels or restaurants in the beach.

Praia da Várzea do Una

Large bay, strong waves. Popular among those who practice submarine fishing.
Distance from Recife: 120 km; getting there requires taking a boat to cross the river Una. Acess: BR-101 Sul, PE-60.

Coroa Grande

The name means "Big Crown"; "crown" is a reference to the rocky formations which become visible during the low tides, trapping the water and forming natural pools. This beach belongs to the city of São José da Coroa Grande; the city is quiet but offers a good structure of hotels and restaurants.
São José is the last city before the border with Alagoas; right across the border, there is the city of Maragogi, one of the most famous and popular in Alagoas; visit the official site of Maragogi to read more information.

Visit also the section about maps of Recife and Pernambuco.

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