By Lindenberg Junior | Translation: Suheila Mouammar
I imagined myself carelessly, lying on a tropical beach full of palm trees and drinking coconut water, snorkeling on a crystal clear blue ocean surrounded by countless colorful fishes, smelling the natural scent of the “mangue” (marshes), eating crab legs, surfing on a long board, meditating on a relaxing place, practicing “ginga” from capoeira, an asana from hatha yoga by the ocean, delighting myself with fresh oysters, drinking a super cold beer at the water’s edge, laughing crazily with my mother-in- law’s jokes and enjoying the most simple and natural things with my wife and son. That is when I then decided to go to Recife and from there to the “Golden Coast” of Pernambuco.
There are people who choose to take a trip because of friend’s recommendations, others that decide through travel agency flyers, and some more intuitively by the light of the moment. In my case specifically, during my most recent trip, I used good judgment and combined the practical with pleasure and my longing for my people for my need to disconnect from the world. I wanted to enjoy Brazil and the city where I was born.
One of the biggest tourist attractions of the Brazilian Coast is the Golden Coast of Pernambuco, known as the Coral Reef Coast and the Land of the Coconut Trees. The Golden Coast is situated on the province of Ipojuca, sixty kilometers South of Recife. It incorporates five beaches and the bay called Porto de Galinhas (Port of the Chickens), recently elected for the third time as the most beautiful beach in Brazil, ideal for those who appreciate tranquility and adventure, crystal clear waters, natural pools and beautiful people. “Paradise, like beaches with nature in its raw state.”
To become familiar with the region it is worth and recommended a trip by a 4 X 4 dune buggy or by a “jangada” (Northeast Brazilian unique style canoe). For the more adven- turous traveler, it is always a great option an ultra-light flight or a surfboard. The majority of hotels and bed and breakfasts are located on the north side on the beaches of Muro Alto and Cupe. And on the South side, as the “stars” beaches you find Maracaipe, considered one of the top five surfing spots in Brazil, and Serrambi an outstanding place for practicing wind- surfing. There are 15 kilometers of coast edged by coconut trees, warm and see-through waters protected by coral reefs from the north and an open ocean on the south.
Inland in the region, the traveler can appreciate the sunset (an incredible spectacle) from the Nossa Senhora da Conceicao Church, a quaint church built in 1765. From this point, the visitor can observe the entire coast in its totality, the rich “mangueirais” (marshes), the small island of Santo Aleixo and dozens of hills covered with sugar cane. In the sugar cane zone, it is still possible to see Engineering from the XIX century, like Gaiapo, restored recently.
The Origins of Porto de Galinhas
Historians say that beginning in 1850 this area was a port where slaves arrived from the African continent in the base- ment compartment of the ship covered by crates of Angolan chickens. The inland ship’s crew created a password to signal the crew that a new ship was about to dock with more slaves, “there are new chickens in the port”. This port gained its name as the chicken’s port.
Site Seeing Options
The site seeing options are endless, but make sure you don’t miss the natural pools, the marvelous canoe trips and definitely do not miss seeing the sea horses on the Pontal de Maracaipe. Take the jeep trip from one end of the beach to other – from Muro Alto all the way to Pontal de Maracaipe, and take a kayaking tour through the marshes. Another trip not to be missed is a visit to the Aquarium and the Project Hippocampus which has many research rooms for the preservation of sea horses.
The Santo Cristo Monastery in Ipojuca is a place for the tourist who enjoys history. You can visit one of the most beautiful ancient monasteries in Brazil founded in 1606. You will find the only unique piece of Brazil, which registers the death of Jesus Christ, crucified with his hands up on a seamless cross.
At meal times, meet the flavor of the region and delight your- self with the countless number of restaurants that base their menu on seafood and tropical local fruits and regional sauces. (See the section, Eat well, in this edition with a recipe from restaurant Beijupira from Porto de galinhas).