Brazil travel guide



Recife Travel Guide

The city of Recife

Once a fisherman's village, Recife is now a star that shines over waters far beyond its historic harbor where two rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean after passing by mangroves that form one of the largest urban estuary systems in the world. The city is nicknamed The Brazilian Venice by virtue of its waters, while its formal name comes from coral reefs that run along the shoreline, shaping miles of seashore into natural pools and creating one of the prettiest beach areas in Brazil. Cosmopolitan Recife, where colonial architecture coexists with modern splendor, is the hub of northeast Brazil for excellent art, dining, trade, and education. No visit to Recife would be complete without a stroll through the hills of neighboring Olinda. Built in the early 1500's, charming Olinda is one of the largest and best-preserved Portuguese colonial towns, and was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). A living city full of art shops and galleries, ornate churches and monasteries, museums, cobblestone streets and shady squares, Olinda always has some kind of celebration in the making.

Both Recife and Olinda offer exceptional topside touring as well as a rare diving adventure, all with a sense of history. Over the years there came to be more than 100 shipwrecks off the coast of the cities, 17 of which are now regularly visited in warm and crystal clear waters. These war galleons, steamships, tugs and barges date from 1652 to 1986 and offer a wreck diving experience that is a treasure not to be missed. Countless species of fish and corals will dazzle the senses, aided by excellent visibility and an average water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. As you make your way through these sites you will see some of Brazil's favorite shores between the surfing and snorkeling of Porto de Galinhas, and the sailing and power boating around the islands of Coroa do Avião and Itamaracá.

In the city itself the main areas of interest are the Santo Antônio and Boa Vista quarters on the banks of the Rio Capibaribe. The Polo Bom Jesus, in Recife Antigo, is the main area for nightlife and eating out.

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