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October 31, 2007

Recife - Pernambuco


Recife - Pernambuco - Brazilian Cities

Recife wins over its visitors' hearts with its multitude of attractions, making it a truly unique place. The city is a growing metropolis, which can be readily seen on a trip along Boa Viagem Beach or to the sophisticated commerce. It is, at the same time, a place of historical and architectonic heritage, demonstrated by the several 17th and 18th Century constructions, an inheritance from Portuguese and Dutch colonizers.

Pernambuco's capital also stands out for its modernity. It offers an excellent structure for business events, having large and small installations that are well equipped and ready to hold congresses, Expositions, Fairs and national and international company meetings in all areas.

Recife Pernambuco

Within an area surrounded by the Capibaribe, Beberibe and Jordão Rivers, the city reveals many different facets. The traffic is facilitated by the many bridges, which gave it the nickname of the Brazilian Venice. Just like Pernanmbuco, one of the richest States in culture, Recife presents several unique popular habits and traditions that can be found on every corner of the city, enchanting and entertaining its visitors.

Recife”s street Carnaval is considered one of the best and most joyous in Brazil, attracting multitudes of people. It starts on a Saturday with a Galo da Madrugada group parade and continues under the heat and hot February sun for three days, at the rhythm of frevo and maracatu (typical Brazilian dances).

There are several tours around the city and its neighboring areas. There are rafts leaving Boa Viagem Beach and boat rides along the beautiful Pernambuco coast. Another excellent destination is Olinda [link para Olinda], a city granted the Heritage of Humanity, just a few miles away from Recife.

The ocean waters are warm and the beaches are visited by tourists throughout the year. There are also several restaurants serving the best typical and international cuisine as well as modern and diversified hotel chains. At night, it is time for bars and outdoor shows, located in remodeled old buildings in Old Recife, another must stop.

For scuba diving lovers, the city offers some must be seen places for underwater adventures. Recife is one the best destinations in the country in this segment, with many natural pools along its coast and a shipwreck yard with more than 30 boats.

Submerged old embarkations, located in depths from nine to 58 meters, still keep some historical remains, as well as fish, algae and coral that have grown on them over time. In order for the tourist to explore all these underwater wonders, the city has an efficient support structure comprised of several qualified and experienced diving companies.


Carnaval (Carnival)
Recife's joyous Carnaval is nationally known and admired, attracting thousands of people every year. The party starts a week before the official date, with electric trios “shaking” the Boa Viagem district.

On Friday, people take to the streets to enjoy themselves to the sound of frevo and to dance with maracatu, ciranda, caboclinhos, afoxé, reggae and manguebeat (cultural movement created in Recife during the 90s) groups. There are still many other entertainment poles spread out around the city, featuring local and national artists.

One of the highlights is Saturday when more than one million people follow the Galo da Madrugada group. From Sunday to Monday, there is the Night of the Silent Drums, on the Pátio do Terço, where Maracatus honor slaves that died in prisons.

City facts

State: Pernambuco
Region: Northeast
Population: 1,422,905 inhabitants
Area Code: (81)

Brasília: 2.223 km (1382 miles)
João Pessoa: 125 km (78 miles)
Maceió: 266 km (165 miles)
Natal: 288 km (179 miles)
Fortaleza: 799 km (497 miles)
Salvador: 842 km (523miles)
Belém: 2.044 km (1270miles)
Rio de Janeiro: 2.357 km (1465 miles)
São Paulo: 2.643 km (1643 miles)

Accommodation / Restaurants
Accustomed to receive thousands of visitors every year, Recife is well prepared and well structured in terms of lodging as well as gastronomy. There are several lodging options – from simple and cozy inns and camping grounds to luxury and sophisticated hotels overlooking the sea. The city”s restaurants, bars, snack bars and cafés do not disappoint the tourists.

How to get there

By Air: Guararapes Airport receives regular daily flights from all Brazilian capitals, and also several international flights.

By Highway:
Starting from Rio de Janeiro: BR-116/ BR-101
Starting from São Paulo: BR-116/BR-101
Starting from Brasília: BR-020/BR-116/BR-101
Starting from Salvador: BR-101

City Hall: +55 (81) 3232.8117 / 3232-8614

Dial-Tourism: +55 (81) 3232-8409

Tourist Information: +55 (81) 3462-4960 / 3224-2361

Guararapes Airport: +55 (81) 3464-4188

Bus Station: +55 (81) 3452-1999

Subway: +55 (81) 3455-4533

Restauração Hospital: +55 (81) 3421-5444

Bank Agencies

Recife has branches for all national banks as well as some international banks.


Recife District
This was where Recife first started, the city”s initial settlement and, at present, its historical center. This important neighborhood displays several remodeled centenary constructions that have been used as bars, restaurants, theaters, museums, art galleries, shopping centers, as well as other architectonic complexes of priceless value.

The first synagogue of the Americas is located on the blocks that form Old Recife, as it is also known. Built in the 17th century, Kahal Zur Istrael maintains some of its original characteristics, like flooring and walls, and it is a cultural center and small museum. Malakoff Tower was erected in the 19th century to serve as an astronomic observatory. At the Brum Fort, from 1630, there is the Military Museum, where one can find high quality bars, night clubs and restaurants, which is transforming the place into a night life pole.


Our Lady of Carmo Basílica and Convent
It was built at the end of the 18th century. Its baroque style has an altar with gold engravings and crowns of gold and precious stones. One of the rooms is covered with Portuguese titles. It opens daily for visitation: from Monday thru Friday, from 7AM to 7PM; on Saturdays from 7AM to 12PM; and on Sundays, from 8AM to 12PM and from 6PM to 9 PM.

Golden Chapel
This is one of the most beautiful baroque style churches in the country. Built between the 18th and 19th century, it displays an altar with gold covered engravings and beautiful paintings on the ceiling. It is integrated to a complex of buildings erected by the Franciscans, and it also has a convent, with religious tiled panels and the Franciscan Museum of Sacred Art, with a collection of images and sacred objects. It is open for visitation from Monday thru Friday, from 8AM to 11:30AM and from 2PM to 5PM. On Saturdays it is open from 8AM to 11:30AM.

Saint Peter of Clerics Cathedral
Built in 1782, it is a replica of the Great Santa Maria Sanctuary in Rome. Its altar is made of rosewood and the pulpit is engraved in gold. The main chapel”s wooden ceiling is sculpted with Saint Peters weapons and the image of the Twelve Apostles and the 4 evangelists. It is located on Saint Peter Square, a charming square that gathers some historical constructions.

Our Lady of the Rosary of the Black Men
The church was erected by slaves in the 18th century, with its main wooden altar engraved in gold. The lateral altars display images from the 18th century. It is located in the Santo Antonio district, on Rua Estreita do Rosário. Its opening hours are from Monday thru Friday, from 9AM to 1:30PM and from 2:30PM to 6PM, and on Saturdays from 8AM to 12PM.

Holy Sacrament (Saint Anthony Mother Church)
It is a baroque style church, from 1790, also known as Saint Anthony Mother Church, who is its patron. The interior is decorated with an enormous crystal chandelier and images of Saint Anthony and Saint Sebastian. It is located on Praça da Independência, in the Santo Antonio district. It opens daily from 7AM to 12PM and from 2PM to 6PM.


Boa Viagem, do Pina, Candeias and Piedade
Recife's beaches are urbanized and on the avenue along the coast one can find bars, restaurants and hotels. Boa Viagem Beach, the most popular, has natural pools of blue water, formed on the strip between the sand and the reefs. Bathing is recommended only in places protected by the reefs; surfing is prohibited in that area.


Northeastern Man Museum
The broad collection describes Pernambuco culture starting from three main themes: the sugar-cane production cycle, the northeastern man”s life style and the folkloric and religious manifestations.

Ricardo Brennand Institute
Set up in a building that reproduces a medieval style, it has a collection of pieces from the Dutch domination period in Recife, as well as daggers and armors.

Francisco Brennand Ceramic Shop
Francisco Brennand, one of the most important names in contemporary sculptures in Brazil, displays his ceramic works in enormous open sheds, between monuments and gardens. It is set in an old brick factory that belonged to the sculptor”s family.

Gilberto Freyre Foundation
The farm house, from the 18th century, was Gilberto Freyre's old residence. Artworks, arts and crafts, book collections and objects that belonged to the Pernambuco writer and sociologist are displayed there.

Recife City Museum
Set up in a room in Cinco Pontas Fort, it shows pictures, reproductions of old paintings and objects that describe Recife since the period of Dutch rule.

Scuba diving

San Martin Arreiro
It sank 12 meters deep as it was leaving Port of Recife.

Two years after it collided with Vapor Bahia, it sank in 1889 six miles from Recife Port, to a depth of 23 meters.

Vapor 48
It was an unknown shipwreck that sank 48 meters deep. It is richly inhabited by several sea species.

Servermar X
It was intentionally sunk 27 meters deep for scuba diving tourism.

Alfama de Lisboa
Am almost totally destroyed Portuguese galleon. It sunk 10 meters deep and it is possible to find porcelain pieces stuck to corals.

It was intentionally sunk 37 meters deep for scuba diving tourism.

B 18
This is a B18 aircraft that fell into the sea after an unsuccessful takeoff. There are still some bigger pieces of its structure.

Vapor Bahia
In March 1887 it collided with the Pirapama , sinking 12 miles from Itamaracá Island. It is 26 meters deep in one of the best scuba diving points in the country.

This cargo ship collided with a coral bank near Olinda, totally loaded, sinking only 8 meters deep.

Vapor Flórida (Tow ship)
It was an English steamer that sank during a storm in 1910. Several crew members died. It is located 12 miles from Recife Port and is 31 meters deep.

Tow ship intentionally sunk for scuba diving tourism. It is 32 meters deep.

Arts and Crafts (ceramic, sisal, leather, wood, straw, bilro lace)

Pernambuco Culture House
Recife's old Detention House was remodeled in 1975 and transformed into a regional culture center. Set up in old cells, one will find the Frevo Museum, arts and crafts stores, snack bars and tourist information stands. It is located on Rua Floriano Peixoto, in the Santo Antonio district. The telephone is +55 (81) 3224-2850 and its working hours are from Monday thru Saturday from 9AM to 6PM, and on Sundays from 10AM to 5PM.

São José Market
It is located on Praça D. Vital, in the São José district. It opens from Monday thru Saturday from 6AM to 5:30PM, and on Sundays from 6AM to 12PM.

Boa Viagem Arts and Crafts Fair
It is located on Praça da Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem. The fair is one of the oldest in the country, having, at present, 212 stands.

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