Named after the coral reefs that take the sting out of the waves rolling ashore, Recife is a gleaming city where some of Brazil’s best beach life plays out. A mesh of old waterways, three rivers and a lacy canal network add to the relaxed atmosphere and give the city its nickname as the Venice of Brazil. Sprawling out in the northeast of Brazil, Recife is the Pernambuco region’s capital and boasts a glorious coastal location. With a pulsating Carnaval to rival Rio de Janeiro's, and a charming colonial core, this city is a tropical stop of relaxation, which boasts plenty of old-time splendour and irrepressible energy.
A busy, sprawling city, the golden Boa Viagem beach is the city’s outlet, where workers unload from glittering towers to the sandy embrace of its exhibitionist seafront. Lined by hotels, bars and restaurants, it’s one of Brazil’s longest and best urban beaches, and the city’s spot to see and be seen. The warm waters may tempt you to swim, but beware, as sharks do linger here.
Three rivers run through the city, interlinked by canals and spanned by 49 bridges. Take a catamaran ride along them, to sail in the shadows of opulent colonial-era buildings. This is a city of coconut flesh flavours - whether you’re refreshing with a sweet coconut juice while tanning on the beach, or eating a noodle sauce of coconut and shrimp flavours. Olinda, just to the north, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it sparkles with a collection of colonial architecture and beautiful baroque churches.