Maceio, Great Pitstop at the Northeast Coast
Maceio is not
the most visited tourist destination in Brazilyet, but is becoming increasingly popular. Along the never-ending road between Salvador and Recife, the laidback city of Maceio makes a welcoming stopover. The modern capital of the small state of Alagoas is beloved for its nice city beaches, its beach nightlife and it has also a compact historical centre.
Due to a solid reef in front of the coast, there is hardly any surf. This makes Maceio not a good destination for surfers, but definitely for snorkelers (note: there is great surf in the proximity of Maceio at Praia do Francês). The gorgeous, palm fringed beaches make a good excuse to while away a few days of rest after some hard travelling. Do not expect serenity the third week of November though, when the out-of-season Carnaval festival ‘
Maceio Fest’ breaks loose.
Beaches and lagoons
The city of Maceio has some nice, palm fringed beaches within its municipal boundaries. The best known are Pajuçara, Sete Coquieros, Ponta Verde and Jatiúca. Other
city beachesare often polluted. The coastal, turquoise coloured waters are remarkably calm due to a reef, which is protecting the coast from Atlantic waves. Especially the reef in front of Pajuçara beach is a great destination for snorkelling. At low tide, in about 20 minutes small boats (called jangadas) will set sail to the site from Ponta Verde beach.
At the western side of the city, Lagoa Mundaú is a huge laguna. It is one of the many in this part of the country, hence the name of the state, Alagoas. Maceió is a native word, designating the naturally spontaneous courses of water which flow out of the soil. Some of these get trapped and form the coastal lakes (‘lagoas’). Lagoa Mundaú has some picturesque mangrove islands which can be visited by boat from the southern suburb Pontal da Barra. There are also some excellent seafood restaurants in this former fishing-village (here you organize the boat trips).
Further south, Praia do Francês, about 15 km/ 9.3 miles from Maceio, is the favourite weekend beach destination of the Maceio metropolitan area. Once it started as a pousada run by a Frenchman, hence the name, now it is in this part of Brasil the favourite destination of the surfing community. There are fairly good tourist facilities and during the week the town is as rural as it used to be decades ago.
If you travel more south from here, about 30 km/ 19 miles from Maceio, there is a lovely beach called Praia do Gunga, sheltered from the main road by a lush coconut plantation, one of the largest in the area. After having permission, you can walk to the beach in between the ocean and a large laguna, so you have access to both salt water and fresh water. You can also get to Praia do Gunga by boat from the village of Barra de São Miguel.
Historical buildings and museums
Maceio is a modern city, but preserved its small
historical centre, dating from the 19th century sugar era, well. In the Centro and Jaraguá areas there are some striking edifices. Most notable is the building which houses the Théo Brandão museum, which has a collection of local art and popular culture on display.
Another nice historical site in the proximity of Maceio is the town of Marechal Deodoro, the former capital of Alagoas. The town has some nice cobblestone streets with a few churches and museums and is close to Praia do Francês. Saturday – market day – seems to be the most happening in laidback Marechal Deodoro, at 27 km/ 17 miles south from Maceio.
Would you like to book one of these hotels or perhaps another one?
HotelMaceió – Av Dr. Antônio Gouveia 925
• Ritz Suites – Av Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes 125, Lagoa da Anta
• Pousada do Conde – Rua Nova Brasília 111
• Hotel Praia Bonita – Av Dr. Antônio Gouveia 943
• Ibis Maceió Pajuçara – Av Dr. Antônio Gouveia 277
• Hotel Pousada Lagoas – Av João Davino 246
• Hostel Ponta Verde – Av Dr. Josao Sampaio Luz 169
• HI Maceió Hostel-Pousada – Rua Almirante Mascarenhas 85
• Four – Av Rua Prefeito Abdon Arroxelas 214-A
• Wanchako – Rua São Francisco de Assiss 93, Jatiúca
• Divina Gula – Rua Brandão Nogueira 85, Jatiúca
Where to go out
• Rapa Nui choparia – Av Silvio Carlos Viana 2501
• Lampião – Av Alvaro Otacilio, Jatiuca
You can fly into Maceio from many cities in Brazil. The international airport is called Zumbi dos Palmares Airport (IATA-code: MCZ) and is 21 km/ 13 miles north of the city centre. From Zumbi dos Palmares you can fly directly to Milan and Amsterdam and in season to Buenos Aires, Córdoba (Argentina), Santiago de Chile and Lisbon.
Would you like to book a cheap flight ticket to this city or perhaps another one?
The rodoviária (long-haul bus terminal) is located in the Jacintinho suburb, about 3 km/ 1.9 miles north from the city centre.
Some time indications on travelling by bus to and from Maceio:
|Aracaju :||5 hours|
|Recife :||5 hours|
|Natal :||9 hours|
|Salvador :||11 hours|