Porto de Galinhas is a small beach town, very popular as a weekend getaway for people from nearby Recife. The area is stunningly beautiful with amazing reefs.
Porto is a bustling beach town in summer, with lots of dining places, local “churrascarias” (steak houses) and good seafood. There are lots of beach activities in the area. One of the best attractions is the visit to the “piscinas naturais” (natural swimming pools) in a jangada, a local raft tour to the nearby reefs, where sea water makes natural ponds, and lots of different fish can be seen.
Note that the beautiful reefs are only available at very low tide, for about two hours a day. Ask for information at travel agency or tourism information center for the recommended days and hours to visit reefs.
The closest airport is in Recife/Guarapes (REC), approximately 60 Km north of Porto de Galinhas (1 hour driving). The best way to reach the hotels at Porto de Galinhas is to hire a shuttle van via travel agency (see hotel and transfer information here). Taxis are also available at the airport to take you to Porto de Galinhas.
The town is small and easily navigable on foot. Buggys are available for rent at the village with or without driver and represent a great alternative to traditional car rental.
- Buggy tours
- Take a trip on small boats to the natural pools and swim with the fish (take some kind of footwear as the rocks are sharp!).
- Walk to nearby Maracaipe beach and watch the surfers.
- Visit beautiful Praia dos Carneiros, a white sandy, crystal clear water beach located south of Porto de Galinhas, very near Tamandaré, that can be reached by boat trip.
- Hire a boat and get to Ilha de Santo Aleixo, a Caribbean-style Island in front of Toquinho beach (south of Porto de Galinhas). Ideal for snorkeling and swimming. The excursion takes up to 6 hours.
- Scuba diving can be found at various hotels. Explore the natural reef by scuba diving while you’re there. Travel agencies pick you up at your hotel and take you to explore the natural ponds. A great experience.
The shops in the pedestrian zone in the town center offer local crafts and clothing as well as beach equipment.
Do not leave Porto de Galinhas before trying traditional tapioca!
Places to eat:
- Barcaxeira, (on the corner of Pracinha). The name is a mixture of barco (boat) and macaxeira (sweet cassava). The speciality of Barcaxeira is macaxeira gratinada, baked mashed cassava with meat and cheese.
- Beijupirá. Expensive but delicious. The speciality of the restaurant is beijupirá (filet of cobia). They serve lobster and shrimp dishes as well. Menus are available in English, German, Italian and Finnish.
- Peixe na Telha, Rua das Piscinas Naturais (100 meters from the Pracinha). Seafood at the seaside. “Telha” is a curved clay tile used to roof houses. The speciality of Peixe na Telha is a fish baked in this clay tile. The restaurant is accessible from the road or from the beach. It provides a free shower for people coming for dinner directly from the beach. The restaurant is directly in front of the natural tide pools.