By Brazil Nuts Director ADAM CARTER
Greetings Brazil Nuts!
I recently travelled on a site inspection trip hosted by the state’s tourist office, to Pernambuco, one of Brazil’s most culturally rich and naturally blessed states.
This is the second in a series of reports about my findings, and how they would influence the planning of a potential visitor’s travel itinerary.
Porto de Galinhas is a renowned Brazilian beach destination in Pernambuco, some 60 kilometers/ one hour drive from Recife’s airport (Recife itself being a fabled beach AND Cultural destination – see previous blog entry).
Let’s get to the heart of the matter straight away: “PDG” has earned its fame.
Viagem Magazine – the Travel and Leisure of Brazil – named it the best Brazilian beach destination 4 years in a row in recent years. And most Brazilians you will find sing its praises.
Its excellent beaches, funky little fishing village and most of all its iconic “piscinas naturais” (natural pools) that appear directly offshore in the shallow reefs at low tide have made it an icon of the northeast, and perhaps all of Brazil. The pools, reached by a short “jangada” (small balsa wood sail boats manned by local villagers) are indeed delightful, particularly when the sea is calm and the sun is shinning. Pretty darn nice!
The picture postcard appeal has fueled an increase in interest and the attendant growth of the village and surrounding areas. There are now a variety of smart restaurants, cafes, shops etc. all catering to the growing number of visitors, both national and international. Indeed, PDG is on its way to becoming a mega destination in its own right, and notably, most visitors to Pernambuco now spend only 1 or 2 (if any!) nights in Recife before “doing” their vacation in PDG. A surge in charter flights from Europe in particular has meant rapid growth in large, group-oriented hotels along the once deserted stretch of beach.
Having said this, much charm remains in PDG, and by making the right choices in terms of program and accommodations, it can serve as a very excellent 2 nights/ 3 day beach resort getaway. The vastly increased hotel infrastructure offers something for everyone. On the top end of the spectrum we have Nannai, the fabled and very exclusive Polynesian-styled resort favored by honeymooners and those like-minded. If you chose this property, however, it is very much recommend splurging and book a bungalow (does not have to be beach front – a regular one will do!). Staying in the main building is not the same.
Or, you can consider a family friendly, larger resort, usually all-inclusive, like Summerville, Enotel and Beach Class. All three properties are perfectly fine and have great beaches, not to mention tons of activities and lot’s of good, non-stop food.