Maceió is the state capital of Alagoas in the northeast region of Brazil. It’s a paradise destination with some of the country’s best beaches, natural pools, and reefs a few meters off the coast.
Coastal neighborhoods have become vibrant tourist areas, offering a wide range of hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Here’s a selection of things to do and places to see in Maceió and its coastline.
1. Urban Beaches
The beautiful Ponta Verde Beach offers blue and warm waters, as well as several beach restaurants, such as Lopana and Kanoa, to sample local specialties. From the beach, it’s easy to get a boat out to the reefs and natural pools. There’s also the Jatiúca Beach with wilder waters, located north of Ponta Verde. Finally, the calçadão (seafront promenade) is great for people watching and for sampling the famous tapioca, an Alagoas specialty sold in the several stalls.
2. Praia Pratagi
Pratagi, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Maceió, is perfect for walks and diving. Many tourists choose to stay in the Pratagy Beach – All Inclusive Resort with beach access.
3. Praia do Gunga
The stunning Gunga Beach is about an hour south of Maceió. The beach is surrounded by coconut trees. There’s a stretch with waves on the ocean side, and another one with calm waters on the lagoon side. While here, take a buggy tour to see some colourful rock formation, and a boat tour to swim in the natural pools.
4. Praia Ipioca
Located 23 kilometres / 14 miles north of Macéio, the Ipioca Beach is not easy to reach if you are without a car. This long sandy beach, with a flat turquoise sea, is still a semidesert coastal strip on Maceió’s coastline.
5. Praia de Pajuçara
The Pajuçara Beach is another urban beach in Maceió. It’s worth a visit for the natural pools off the coast. There are jangadas (rafts) to hire that get you there on low tide. The crossing of sandbanks and reefs takes about 10-15 minutes. Once there, enjoy diving and snorkeling, and admire the tropical fish with striking colours. On the calçadão (promenade), the craft market is filled with stalls selling souvenirs, clothes and a variety of locals products, such as items crafted in wood and coconut fiber, and ceramics.
6. São Francisco River Nature Sanctuary
There are boat tours to hire that get you to where the São Francisco River meets the Atlantic Ocean – this is actually a full day trip. At the river and ocean meeting point, you’ll have the opportunity to walk on the sand dunes, swim in the natural pools, buy some local crafts, and sample the Alagoas cuisine in a local restaurant.