I'm very excited to show to you one of my favorite places in Brazil: Porto de Galinhas. It's a beach located in the northeast of Brazil, 1h (60km south) from the state capital, Recife. The beach is famous for its bright water and natural pools, located very close to the coast. So if you don't know where to go on your next vacation, I have the solution. :D
The history of its name is kinda funny. First of all, the beach was called Porto Rico ("rich port") until 1850 when people started bringing slaves to work in the fields of sugar cane. To avoid the control of illegal business, slaves were transported together with chickens and phrases were created by the traffickers. In Portuguese: "Tem galinha nova no Porto" - "There are new chickens in the port". So that is why Porto de Galinhas is called "Port of Chickens".
This is a very interesting fact, but now let's talk about the best part of Porto de Galinhas...
Porto de Galinhas is considered one of the most beautiful destinations in Brazil and it has the most beautiful natural pools with a very easy access. The tickets departing from Vancouver- Canada can cost $1,300 CAD - $2,500 CAD. The price will depend on the date, season of the year (December - February are the most expensive) and the airline company. The best season to go to Porto de Galinhas is the summer (from December to March). Actually, you can go anytime during the year, but if you wanna see the water incredibly clear and warm, go on summer.
Once you arrive at the airport you can take the shuttle from your hotel or the public bus (195 – Recife/Porto de Galinhas - Opcional). The tickets cost R$15.60 - USD$5.00. As soon as you arrive in Porto, the first thing you should do is: Go to the natural pools. If you need a map, click here
You have three ways to access the natural pools:
1. Free Diving:
The pools are very close to the coast of the beach, so swimming is not a problem (If you know how to, of course). Be careful with the tide (check the tide before you go) and always go with someone. Don't forget to bring your snorkeling equipment or if don't have it, you can rent it at the beach for R$20.00 - USD$9.00 (1h) or R$50.00 - USD$15.00 (All day).
BFF @bubyr Miss you <3
2. Projeto "Praia Legal" ("Cool Beach Project")
Before the creation of this project, which it was created by the government, the reef platform had free access. Every day, lots of people could dive and stand on the reefs for long period of time. At the end, the corals were suffering from the trampling and if it continued all the ecosystem could suffer even more and we would not have the most beautiful attraction of Porto de Galinhas. So, right now there is a limited number of tourists allowed to visit the pools per day, and some areas are permanently protected. Only researchers and authorized people have free access.
Groups of up to 50 people receive a returnable bracelet (for free) and are accompanied by a tourist guide to the natural pools, where they receive guidelines on how to behave in the reefs and how long they can stay over there (around 20 minutes). They start giving the bracelets at 9 am and goes until they reach the maximum capacity. Sometimes, especially during the weekends, the wait in the line to get your bracelet can be very long. So, please, go to the line 30 min before they start the process.
This place used to be my "office" haha. I did a research about coral reefs when I was finishing my graduation in Biology last year. I used to go to these natural pools every month to check the corals' health conditions. After writing this post, I feel homesick. :( I really miss my "office" and I can't wait to go there again!
3. Jangadas (by Rafts):
The easiest and fastest way to go to the pools is getting a raft ride. Especially if you are with kids and don't wanna get your phone wet. haha.
Tickets: The ride cost R$25.00 for each person. USD$8.00.
AGAIN: Don't forget to check the Tide Table before you go. Doesn't matter how you're going but if you don't know when the tide will be low or favorable, you won't be able to see and enjoy the pools. Also VERY IMPORTANT: When you go to the reef always use your flipflops. The reef platform is full of sea urchins. To avoid step on these animals, please use your sandals.
things to do:
1. Buggy Ride:
If you are at Porto de Galinhas and want more to do, the buggy ride is the best opition. In only one day you can go to the beaches around Porto and have a very fun day. The ride can last 4h to 8h and you can bring your own beverages. Our ride was 4h and we could see almost everything.
Prices: 4h ride R$200; USD$60.00 for 4 people;
8h ride R$300; USD$90.00 for 4 people;
Buggy Driver: @Aldo_luiz_. If you are interested, please contact Aldo on his instagram page @portoconect for more information.
2. Maracaípe Beach:
Just next to Porto de Galinhas, Maracaípe is perfect to watch a nice sunset after a long day at the beach. You can go with your buggy ride (if you choose the 8h ride), by car, walking (30min), taxi or by bus. I used to go by car and I like to spend the whole day there. They have a very nice restaurant called "Bar do Galo" . The bar is located in the mangroves of maracaípe and the food is very good. Such as fried fish, crabs, shrimps and very cold beers. :D
Directions: Click here
After a long day of lots of fun and sun, nothing better than eating good food in the restaurants. You can find any type of food in the center of the village: seafood, italian food, japanese, steakhouse and restaurants with local desserts. Huuum you need to try "Bolo de Rolo" ("Roll Cake") it is a local dessert and I'm pretty sure you will love it.
My favourites restaurants are:
Caldinho do Nenem;
Bar Pontal do Cupe;
Restaurante Estrela do Mar (Maracaípe Beach);
For more restaurants, click here
"In the sand of the beach leave only your footprints"
4. Visit ECOASSOCIADOS
Ecoassociados is a non-governamental organization that helps the preservation of sea turtles in the coast of Porto de Galinhas. They monitor every year the sea turtles that appear on the coast to spawn and protect the nests until they are ready to hatch. What they do is increrible and if you wanna know more about this amazing job, visit the museum located in the village of Porto de Galinhas. Also, you can follow them on Instagram (@ecoassociados) and be part of a very nice experience, the opening of the nests. I can guarantee, It's beautiful!!! They always post one day before it happens, the time and location of the nest so you can watch all the little sea turtles going to the ocean. :D
Diractions: click here
Ecoassociados - Porto de Galinhas - Brazil (Photos by Drielly Melo)
Porto de Galinhas has a very nice hospitality. You can find all the types of hotels, including 5 stars resorts to hostels. The most popular are those in the center of the village, but if you are looking for something more quiet and relaxing, you can stay in the resorts or hotels in the others beaches around Porto de Galinhas. Most of the times that I went to Porto I did not sleep in there, but I've been to two places to spend my vacations.
Remember: If you are thinking in going to Porto soon, you need to do your reservations ASAP. December and January are very busy and you can end up without a hotel or staying far away from the beach.
1. Xalés de Maracaípe
If you are looking for a place very calm and with lots of coconut trees, this hotel is perfect for you. It's just 15min from the village of Porto de Galinhas and is located at Maracaípe beach. With very cute xalés (houses) that you can stay and feel at home. They also have xalés for more than 4 people.
Prices: Unfortunately I don't remember how much we paid for this one (I think it was USD$40/night) but you can check the princes in here.
Directions: Click here
2. Resort Enotel
This resort is amazing if you are looking for something big. They have very nice pools and accommodation like apartments. Great for family and kids. When I stayed in this hotel I was working as a model haha Yeess I used to be a model a long time ago, when I did not have my fat belly :( haha So I did not have to pay anything to stay in this nice resort. If you guys need more info about prices and reservations, please, click here.
Directions: click here
Sorry about the quality of the photos. They are old :(
To check all the hotels at Porto de Galinhas, please, click here.
If you are thinking to go to Porto de Galinhas and wanna take good photos underwater, you should definitely check this amazing photographer @thiagocavalcantifotografia and do a photoshoot with him. You are gonna love his photos for the rest of your life :D Check out his instagram account for more information.
Another thing that is very important: don't forget to drink lots of water and to use a very strong sunscreem. The sun in Brazil is so strong that you can possibly think that we have two suns instead of one. hahaha
I hope this post was helpful and useful for you guys. Most of the websites that I tagged are in Portuguese, but if you need any help just send me an email or DM me in my instagram @driellymelo.
I'm very happy to share this place with my followers and if you guys like it, I can bring more posts like this.
A big THANKS to my friends @siqueiraray and @vihfernandes for helping me with the edition of this post. Love you!!! <3