By Laís Oliveira | Translation/Edition: Joyce Sotter
Lined with coconut trees, from secluded and clandestine to crowded beaches, known for its graceful inns and modern hotels, the coastal state of Alagoas is one of the most popular destinations for tourists – not only from Brazil, but also from all over the world. Its unique artisanal handcrafts, its cultural events and lively nights with traditional folk songs and dance, in addition to the friendly and hospitable people, are some of the features that make this state so attractive to tourists. Although the state economy relies heavily on tourism, they have experienced significant growth, and the annual visitors remain loyal.
The capital, Maceió, which has nearly one million inhabitants (* 2012), has 40 km of coastline, and boasts 22 km of lagoon and canals, arousing passion for its natural, cultural and historical beauty. Not to mention, the conventional tours through the historical districts, to the craft fairs and the hottest beaches, as well as the tasting of typical delicacies that are never forgotten. The capital is home to restaurants with international gastronomic standards.
It is common for visitors of the “Water Paradise” to embark on adventurous ecological tours, projects that are supported by the Alagoas Government as well as private tourism companies that invest heavily in entertainment projects, combining adventure and environmental preservation.
Biodiversity, Tradition and Adventure from North to South
It is in French Beach, in the South Coast, where all begins. The green coast, as it is called, is remarkable for the palm trees that can be seen all along the shore, competing in beauty with the crystal and calm water that breaks against the rocks in one side of the region. On the other side, the same green coast competes with the wildest water, bringing the surfers to the coast. The beach is busy, yet simple –there is no boardwalk or buildings by the sea. If one side is full of families – the sea is calm and protected by barrier reefs forming natural pools, the other side is full of surf lovers, who are always looking for the best waves.
The Gunga beach is a paradise apart. It is so extensive that allows for long walks or buggy ride through a single area delimited by rows of coconut palms, which makes the ride even more beautiful and illusory. In Barra of São Miguel, in the Village Palateia, adventurers can enjoy canoeing, which provides an ecological education about the culture of shellfish. Water sports and sailing are some of the favorite and most practiced activities, which also include surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Rappelling, which is practiced on the coast, inland, as well as the waterfalls Murici and Viçosa has an increasing popularity in the region. The off-road tracks on the beaches of Carro Quebrado (Broken Car) and Barra of Santo Antonio made for jeep rides, are great options for those who like to be in the middle of the natural environment that Alagoas has to offer.
Further inland, we can find the “Costa Doce” (sweet Coast), which passes by the São Francisco River and its famous canyon (*Cover Photo). In that area, the boat riding, super-buggy (car ride on the sand), conventional buggy riding, tyrolean crossing and parasailing are popular activities. Although, many people are happy simply with the contemplation of the beautiful scenery!
On the north coast is the famous “Coral Coast”, the second largest barrier reef in the world. Boasting 130 km of biodiversity and exuberant pools, the small towns are known as great places for tourists because of their hospitality. There are options for every taste, from trails through the mangroves in small villages to the diving into the crystal water.
A great option for people who like ecology, the must-see destination is the meeting of the River Tatuamunha and the sea. Raft rides by the river bring visitors to the Sanctuary of Peixe- Boi (Manatee Sanctuary). The Sanctuary is a preservation project located in Porto de Pedras, and is connected to the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, and the Brazilian Institute of Environment (IBAMA). To avoid any damage to the ecosystem, visits are limited to 70 people per day.
Further north in Maragogi, there is the “Brazilian Caribbean” and its famous and fascinating natural pools, known as “gales”. Diving into the calm, clear and green sea gives you an up-close and intimate view of the coral reefs as you feel yourself surrounded by the beauty of the marine life. To relax, tourists can also find the internationally renowned inns known as the Pousada do Toque, which offer all tourists pleasant stays, surrounded by all the environmental beauty that the region has to offer.
Needless to say, the state of Alagoas and its capital, Maceió, attract thousands of visitors annually and they stand as some of the most popular destinations in Brazil. It is worth the visit!
* Laís Oliveira is journalist and lives in Maceió, Alagoas. Laís loves stories of people and is eager to learn about the different types of culture worldwide. According to the “Alagoana”, learn, knowledge and renovate yourself is essential – firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Joyce Sotter is graduated in Education in Brazil, and is living and studying in New York City. She also freelances as a translator, and works as an Administrative Assistant – email@example.com.
*** Thanks to photographers Anderson Lima Junior Messias, Osvaldo Oliveira, Leticia Marques, Toni Cavalcante, Luiz Eduardo Vaz and the Secretary of Tourism of Alagoas for the courtesy images.
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