The Brazilian Northeast

The Brazilian Northeast, composed of the larger state of Pernambuco, and its neighboring states Paraiba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceara, Piaui, and Maranhao, is a region famed for its hot weather, historical significance, breathtaking beaches, interesting and unique culture, music, and cuisine, as well as for being the birthplace of the country.
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=> Check our Recife City Guide
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Olinda Mansion
The region is overshadowed by the state of Pernambuco, with its twin cities of Recife and Olinda, and Fernando de Noronha, which is arguably the most beautiful location in all of Brazil.

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Pernambuco
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Pernambuco, with over five centuries of history, is a perfect example of Brazil's characteristic melding of European, African, and indigenous traditions and customs. Recife and Olinda, Pernambuco's coastal cities, offer excitement in music and dance, including the traditional forro, as well as the wild frevo and the frenetic drum beats of the maracatu. The region is particularly noteworthy for its Carnavals and its St. John's festivals. Boasting a population of nearly 9 million, there is something for everyone in Pernambuco, with fabulous surfing and palm-fringed tropical beaches, and the increasingly popular resort town of Porto de Galinhas.

Recife, a city of 1.5 million people, is the capital of Pernambuco, and famed for its pulsing entertainment and nightlife scene. Its smaller neighbor Olinda, located just to the north, is often a more popular locale for tourists, with its charming and tranquil history and colonial architecture. Olinda also boasts one of the finest arts scenes in Brazil, with a heady brew of museums, galleries, workshops, beautiful buildings, and red-tiled roofs.

However, the crown jewel of Pernambuco, and arguably the entire northeastern region, is the Atlantic archipelago of Fernando do Noronha, located more than 500km east of Recife, where you'll encounter incredible beaches, diving, boat tours, dolphin watching, and hiking. An ecological treasure, jealously guarded by the Brazilian government, it is justifiably an expensive locale. Make sure to book your accommodation and make your travel arrangements well ahead of time.

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Around Northeastern Brazil
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Sao Luis, the capital of Maranhao state, is a city of just under 1 million people. Often considered the reggae capital of Brazil, it also features the iconic Bumba Meu Boi festival which features a song and dance routine telling the tale of a bull, a pregnant girl, and a cowboy. It also boasts a fine collection of 18th and 19th century colonial mansions with elaborate painted tiles. While perhaps not the most thrilling locale in Brazil, it does also feature some very nice beaches.Fernando do Noronha

Jericoacoara, meanwhile, located in Ceara state, is a tiny seaside town of 3,000 people, but is quickly becoming a top tourist draw. Located in a far-flung corner of the state within the confines of a national park, it features incredible surfing, diving, and kitesurfing, with a chill and relaxed nightlife, and perhaps the finest sunsets in the entire country. Another popular attraction is dune buggy rides and tours that offered throughout the region.
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