Porto de Galinhas, in Pernambuco, is one of the most sought-after beach destinations in Brazil. Long beaches lined with reefs which form ocean pools, coconut groves, mangroves and some of the best resorts in Brazil await visitors at Porto de Galinhas, which is in reality a district of Ipojuca, Pernambuco.
Great for diving, kitesurfing, surfing or just kicking back and enjoying the sun's journey across the sky, Porto de Galinhas is a top vacation magnet which requires planning in advance, especially in the summer.
Porto de Galinhas Beaches
Located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Recife, Porto de Galinhas goes from Muro Alto to the border with Sirinhaém. From north to south, these are the beaches you will find as you travel south from the capital of Pernambuco and enter this beautiful stretch of the Brazilian coast:
Muro Alto, or "High Wall", has this name due to a reef wall that creates some of the most attractive galés, or ocean pools. Most resorts in Porto de Galinhas are grouped at Muro Alto, which has good diving at Pedra do Ada.
From Muro Alto, you can reach Camboa, whose name in tupi means "clear waters", by foot or buggy. A small, deserted beach, Camboa has calm waters which are great for bathing.
Further south, long Praia do Cupe has dense coconut groves that gradually thin out where summer homes and hotels cluster. In areas with no reefs, the sea can be rough. Divers look for Boca da Barra, distant from the shore.
At Porto de Galinhas, visitors will find the most ocean pools, which are at their best during the lowest tide and require gentle handling as they're fragile ecosystems. Inquire at your hotel about off-limits reefs.
The village at Porto de Galinhas gathers the more affordable B&Bs as well as bars and restaurants. Although not as utterly charming as some other villages on the Brazilian coast, such as Trancoso, Porto de Galinhas boasts some very pleasant places for your stay, your meals and for hanging out at night. One of them is Beijupirá, serving dishes which mix seafood and native fruit and has a romantic dinner atmosphere.
Surfing is big at Maracaípe, with coconut groves and mangroves which are home to a few seahorse species. At the southern end is the mouth of the Maracaípe River. A river and ocean beach, Pontal de Maracaípe affords gorgeous views of the surrounding coast and beautiful sunsets. The beach hosts kitesurfing competitions in July.
Serrambi attracts divers to Gonçalo Coelho and Marte, two of many Pernambuco shipwrecks. The beach has clear, warm waters and some ocean pools.
Head to Toquinho, where Ipojuca borders the municipality of Sirinhaém, for another beautiful meeting of waters - the mouth of the Sirinhaém River.