Recife is the capital city of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco and is home to well over 4 million people, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country. It is situated at the point at which the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers meet to make their way to the ocean. This has formed one of the most significant ports on the Atlantic Ocean. The shores of Recife are lined with beautiful coral reefs, which have given it its name. It was officially founded in 1537 by European explorers, but was only incorporated as a city almost 300 years later, in 1823.
Recife is the most important industrial zone of the state it occupies, and one of the main zones of the North / North-eastern region. Therefore, it is a major draw-card, not only for leisure tourists, but also for those travelling to Brazil on business. The North-east region is developing fast, concentrating on its tourist attractions and the infrastructure required to sustain an influx of visitors. Its magnificent beaches are one of its primary lures, Porto de Galinhas being one of the best known and loved. Other popular beaches include Boa Viagem, Pina and Brasilia Teimosa.
Recife is situated along the coast and near to the equator. Therefore, it is generally warm and humid; ideal conditions for its rainforests. However, the cool breeze that blows off the waters of the Atlantic ensures that the temperatures never become extreme, making a visit comfortable for tourists that are not accustomed to searing heat. The Boa Viagem beach (photo) in Recife is one of the most famous urban beaches in Brazil. Visitors get enchanted by the sandy beaches with warm green waters and also by the complete infrastructure of hotels, restaurants and services which surrounds it.
Recife was one of the 12 proud Host Cities™ to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ tournaments. To accommodate the insurgence of millions of football fans over this time, the city has undergoing major revamps and expansions in terms of its transport system, accommodation, sports facilities and attractions.
Read more about Recife: Noonsite
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Recife include:
- Mercado de São José (Market of Saint Joseph) - a very popular market with historic structures nearby for the history enthusiasts.
- Fort Cinco Pontes (Fort of Five Points)
- Museu do Estado de Pernambuco – the state museum.
- The Cathedral São Pedro (Cathedral of Saint Peter) - dating back to 1782. Around this old church are exquisitely restored colonial houses, restaurants, bistros and bars.
- Praça da República (Square of the Republic)
- Casa da Cultura (House of Culture) – once a prison, this has now been converted into a mall and cultural area.
- The Malakoff Tower – built some time in the mid-1800’s as an observatory, this monument (which stands in the Arsenal da Marinha Square) is now reserved as a cultural centre.
- Dois Irmãos Park – an Atlantic Forest Reserve covers 387 hectares and the botanical gardens occupy 14 hectares. Combined, they make up the park. This area is home to approximately 800 wild animals. Guests can walk the many trails or visit the Natural Science Museum for a fascinating look into the wonders of the world.
- Veneza Water Park – young and old alike will enjoy the many water slides and fun activities – a perfect way to spend a Brazilian summer day.
- Ricardo Brennand Institute – this intriguing cultural institute includes a museum, pinacotec (boutique art gallery) and library.
- Olinda – the centre of this historic town has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical and cultural significance.