31 places to travel in Northeast Brazil

Nordeste Guia de Turismo
Northeast Tourism Guide

The wonders of northeastern Brazil deserve to be flaunted whenever there is a gap.

And in this case, that’s exactly what we’re going to explore in this post.

Comprising the area from the Parnaíba Delta to the Recôncavo Baiano, the attractions of the northeastern coastline are spread across the beautiful almost 3,000 kilometres of coastline always accompanied by the typical landscapes among its dunes, cliffs, sandbanks and mangroves.

Pontos turísticos do nordeste

The nine northeastern states of Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe, Alagoas and Piauí are full of natural beauty and plenty to discover. Don’t know where to start? 

31 places to travel in the Northeast

1 – Porto Seguro – BA

Porto Seguro – BA
Porto Seguro – BA

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The city of Porto Seguro, in Bahia, is one of the busiest regions of the state. Offering parties, tours, ecotourism and beautiful beaches, this is one of the most popular destinations for those planning their first trip to the Brazilian Northeast.

Centro histórico em Porto Seguro
Historic centre of Porto Seguro

Arraial d’Ajuda is a quiet place and perfect for those who want to enjoy moments of relaxation.

The small town of Trancoso attracts visitors at different times of the year, especially during New Year’s Eve. The place has amazing inns, shops and restaurants.

2 – Morro de São Paulo – BA

Morro de São Paulo – BA
View from the lookout and zip line – Morro de São Paulo – BA

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Morro de São Paulo is located in the municipality of Cairu, in the southern region of the state of Bahia. An island that draws attention for its historical roots and paradisiacal beaches.

You can reach the island by boat from Salvador or Valença. This is a true Oasis for those who want to enjoy a season of rest.

Once inhabited by the Aimorés Indians, Cairú is the only archipelago municipality in Brazil.

Divided basically into five main beaches, Morro de São Paulo reveals a very special atmosphere. Good location: First Beach. The second beach is busy.

Diving is the forte of the Third.

Fourth and Encanto Beach are the quietest, semi-deserted beaches. An incredible tour is the “Volta a Ilha de Tinharé” with departures from Terceira Beach or the pier. There is also the boat trip or the walk on the trail that goes from Cueira to Boca da Barra.

3 – Salvador – BA

Salvador – BA
Pelourinho – Salvador – BA

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The party in Salvador goes on all year round.

The seafront leisure complex Axé Moi, on the bustling Taperapuan beach, guarantees fun every day.

The Pacatá Cultural Corridor, known as Rua do Mangue, is home to charming bars, inns and restaurants and also hosts events, workshops and cultural presentations. An hour from the centre, you can visit the Quadrado de Trancoso or spend the day at Arraial d’Ajuda Eco Park.

The Pelourinho, the Lacerda Elevator and even climbing the Sacred Hill to visit the Bonfim Church and secure your ribbon are the traditional tours that should not be ignored.

From there, you can stroll along Avenida do Contorno and choose one of the great restaurants at Bahia Marina and even find the best hotels in Salvador. Don’t say goodbye to the city without trying the acarajé, the Ribeira ice cream and the sunset at Farol da Barra.

Salvador is recognised for its unique climate and atmosphere. The capital of Bahia has a lot of joy, friendliness and enthusiasm, which attracts people all year round, but it is during Carnival that the city gains even more prominence, when the city becomes a great popular open-air party.

The famous and colourful Pelourinho is a historic district, considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The charm of the place is due to the little streets, alleys and colourful houses.

4 – Jericoacoara – CE

Jericoacoara – CE
Jericoacoara – CE

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Located 300 kilometres from Fortaleza, in the western region of Ceará, Jericoacoara is a village of exuberant and unique nature, much sought after by travellers who are looking for a haven of peace and tranquillity.

Filled with mangroves, lagoons, dunes and beaches, there is no way not to be enchanted by the simplicity of the place and its hospitable people.

5 – Fortaleza – CE

Fortaleza – CE
Fortaleza – CE

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Fortaleza is at the top of the ranking of favourite national destinations for travellers.

Spread over its 34 kilometres of coastline, its beautiful beaches are the meeting point for tourists who find options for all tribes.

The busiest and most famous for its stalls that include massage, beauty parlour and playground is the Futuro beach – already the tip of where to stay in Fortaleza. In Meireles, it is worth taking the opportunity to visit the Central Market and the Beira-Mar Market. For children, Beach Park is a must.

With an excellent infrastructure, in addition to a complete and attractive hotel chain, the place brings together a series of attractions, with lots of music, dancing, parties and natural beauty.

When you are there, visit Praia do Futuro, Praia Meireles and Ponte dos Ingleses, which is on Praia de Iracema.

6 – Aracati – CE

Aracati, Ceará
Aracati, Ceará

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Land of the Potyguara Indians, Aracati has a rich heritage of beautiful buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Its colourful cliffs and coconut groves are as famous as the title of “best carnival in Ceará”.

Canoa Quebrada Beach is one of the most popular. The gigantic tents on the left side concentrate the excitement and the smaller kiosks on the left corner are for those looking for more tranquillity.

It is worth taking the buggy ride to Ponta Grossa and also visiting the Golden Refuge in Majorlândia.

7 – Canoa Quebrada – CE

Canoa Quebrada – CE
Canoa Quebrada – CE

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On the east side of the Cearense coast is Canoa Quebrada. The region is famous for its contact with nature.

One of the most famous activities that is considered a must is the Buggy ride to glimpse the famous colourful cliffs, with the right to walk along the beachfront.

8 – São Luís – MA

Centro histórico de São Luís, Maranhão
Historic centre of São Luís, Maranhão

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Owner of the largest architectural complex of Portuguese tiles in Latin America, São Luís is home to around 3,500 beautiful buildings in its charming historic centre.

The mixture of the Northeastern culture with the eccentricity of the Northern region is another strong mark in its customs and traditions.

You can see much of this history at Casa do Maranhão and Casa de Nhozinho. Take a day to enjoy the sunset in front of the Palácio dos Leões.

9 – Lençóis Maranhenses – MA

Lençóis Maranhenses – MA
Lençóis Maranhenses – MA

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Located 250 kilometres from the capital of Maranhão, São Luís, the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is home to the phenomenon of interdunar lagoons by the sea.

The fine white sand marks the unique and perfect scenery, which fills the eyes of those who have the opportunity to visit it.

10 – Barreirinhas – MA

Barreirinhas, Maranhão
Barreirinhas, Maranhão

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In the largest municipality in the region, the meeting point is Avenida Beira-Rio which brings together most of the restaurants, bars and craft stalls.

In July, the city celebrates with the traditional Vaquejada festival.

Barreirinhas is also the main gateway to the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. It is worth remembering that to enter the reserve it is necessary to be accompanied by a guide. To explore the sandy trails and rivers of the region, only with 4×4 vehicles or by boat.

11 – João Pessoa – PB

Vista aérea de João Pessoa
Aerial view of João Pessoa

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The friendly capital of Paraíba boasts a thrilling sunset, especially to the sound of a bolero.

At Praia do Jacaré, every day at 5pm saxophonist Jurandy do Sax performs ‘Bolero de Ravel’ on a small boat, while the sun sets. Underwater, the natural pools of Seixa and Picãozinho are a must for snorkelling enthusiasts.

In Tambaú you can find typical products at the Paraíba Handicraft Market, especially the umbu liqueur.

A city with a slow and relaxing pace, João Pessoa has natural pools, such as Picãozinho, and quiet, greenish beaches, such as Bessa, Cabo Branco and Tambaú.

The region is also home to some striking and postcard-worthy monuments such as the Cabo Branco Lighthouse and the Cabo Branco Station, designed by Niemeyer.

12 – Recife – PE

Recife Antigo
Recife Antigo

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Gateway to the Brazilian Northeast, the city is considered the first gastronomic centre of the region.

Weekends become even more special with the programmes Recife Antigo do Coração – every Sunday the Bairro do Recife is transformed into a large open-air park; and the Recife Tourist Awareness, where free catamaran rides, bike rides, hikes and more are offered.

13 – Fernando de Noronha – PE

Fernando de Noronha – PE
Fernando de Noronha – PE

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The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is a traveller’s dream for many people.

With 21 islands, the destination is perfect for people of all ages. At 540 kilometres from the capital of Pernambuco, it is a region that certainly holds surprises and an incredible experience.

14 – Porto de Galinhas – PE

Porto de Galinhas – PE
Porto de Galinhas – PE

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The state of Pernambuco offers much more for its visitors, such as Porto de Galinhas – one of the most beautiful regions of the state and the Northeast.

Coral reefs protect most of the beautiful beaches of Porto de Galinhas.

Porto de Galinhas
Porto de Galinhas

To explore its coastline, the buggy ride is the most recommended.

Maracaípe is the meeting point for water sports.

Muro Alto is a paradise and has the deepest natural pool in the region (10 metres).

The beach of Porto de Galinhas village is very busy and it is from there that the rafts leave to take you to the natural pools. And tradition is to visit the Ateliê do Carcará and taste the typical Pernambuco cuisine at João Restaurante.

Travelling there is a remarkable experience and you cannot fail to be dazzled by its beautiful landscapes.

15 – Praia da Pipa – RN

Praia da Pipa – RN
Praia da Pipa – RN

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Travelling to the state of Rio Grande do Norte, you can visit and enjoy places like Praia da Pipa, located in the municipality of Tibau do Sul, 75 kilometres from the city of Natal.

This is the main resort on the south coast of the state and is much sought after by surfers and people looking for entertainment.

16 – Natal – RN

Natal – RN
Natal – RN

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Whether it’s the “City of the Sun”, the “Land of the Shrimp”, or even the “Buggy Capital of the World”, the beautiful city where forró was born has attractions as far as the eye can see.

On the sands, the fun is concentrated on the beaches of Ponta Negra and Forte – where the Fortaleza dos Reis Magos is located.

To the north, at Praia da Redinha, you can visit the Natal Aquarium, the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes and have a “ginga com tapioca” at the Public Market.

Natal represents the balance between a big city and nature.

With dunes, beaches, rivers and green waters, the place brings together what many people are looking for when closing a new trip.

Going to Natal is synonymous with excitement and spending hours in attractions, such as the buggy ride, for example, in addition to enjoying the local cuisine and the bustling nightlife.

17 – São Miguel do Gostoso – RN

São Miguel do Gostoso – RN
São Miguel do Gostoso – RN

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Still in Rio Grande do Norte, São Miguel do Gostoso is a small town that offers the privilege of enjoying days of peace and serenity.

The bucolic and even solitary climate of this region is what attracts visitors who wish to rest, reflect and relax, but without forgetting to enjoy beaches and the natural riches of our Northeast.

18 – Aracaju – SE

Ponte dos Coqueiros em Aracaju
Ponte dos Coqueiros in Aracaju

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There is no shortage of attractions in the capital’s 35 kilometres of coastline.

On the banks of the Sergipe River, the waterfront of Bairro Industrial is one of Aracaju’s new tourist attractions.

There is also constant movement at Atalaia Beach, where the Oceanarium, the Art and Culture Centre and the Passarela do Caranguejo are located, always animated with lots of forró. For those seeking tranquillity, the village of Mosqueiro, further south along the coast, is the ideal place.

Natural pools, dunes, beaches, culture and delicious cuisine. These are some of the reasons that lead so many travellers to visit the city of Aracaju, in Sergipe.

This region is famous for its coastline, with warm sea water and stunning landscapes. Discover beaches such as Barra dos Coqueiros, Praia dos Artistas, Praia do Atalaia and Praia do Saco.

19 – Maceió – AL

Maceió – AL
Pajuçara in Maceió – AL

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Bathed by lagoons and a blue-green sea, the capital of Alagoas is also known as the “Brazilian Caribbean”.

Its incomparable landscapes can be explored with a ride along the cycle path from Pontal da Barra Beach to Jatiúca Beach.

The boat trip on the Mundaú and Manguaba lagoons, and the raft ride to the natural pool of Pajuçara are practically obligatory. To indulge in the flavours of cajá or graviola ice cream, or the delicacies of Riacho Doce Beach such as macaxeira cake, beiju and cocadas.

Maceió is one of the most paradisiacal destinations, not only in the Northeast, but in all of Brazil.

Pajuçara Beach is the heart of the city, a must-visit place for tourists.

The greenish waters and natural pools leave nothing to be desired for Caribbean destinations.

Praia do Francês - AL
Praia do Francês – AL

Praia do Francês and Praia do Gunga are other must-see places for those travelling through this place.

20 – São Miguel dos Milagres – AL

São Miguel dos Milagres – AL
São Miguel dos Milagres – AL

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For those looking for more peace and quiet, São Miguel dos Milagres is the right choice.

The place has an extensive coastal area with a sea of warm and calm water. With different inns by the sea, the destination is perfect for couples.

21 – Maragogi – AL

Maragogi – AL
Maragogi – AL

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Here, the beachfront inns are already a separate attraction.

The other spectacle is the Galés de Maragogi: the set of three natural pools that form the main postcard of the city.

To discover the other beauties of the north coast of Alagoas, the buggy ride covers about 20km (of the 22km of coastline) on a two-hour tour. Tip from the locals: to see the galleys the ideal is in full moon phase and avoid the rainy period between April and July.

And in October there is the Lobster Festival and the weather is perfect for sailing sports.

Maragogi is located between Maceió and Recife and, therefore, it is very common for people from these regions to visit the place.

This destination has become very famous and sought after thanks to the beauty of the natural pools, which appear at low tide and enchant with the aquatic life that appears at that time.

22 – Olinda – PE

Olinda – PE
Olinda – PE

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One of the most popular destinations for those who want to enjoy the northeastern carnival is Olinda.

Located in the state of Pernambuco, this destination is famous for its hillsides, colourful houses and the giant dolls that mark the streets during the festivities.

Olinda is considered a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco. Take the opportunity to enjoy the local culture and its beautiful churches and architectural buildings.

23 – Ilhéus – BA

Ilhéus – BA
Ilhéus – BA

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One of the oldest cities in Brazil, Ilhéus attracts many visitors.

There are 100 kilometres of coastline with white sandy beaches and an annual temperature of, on average, 24ºC.

Known as the Romance City of Bahia, it became world famous thanks to the famous writer Jorge Amado.

24 – Maracajaú – RN

Maracajaú – RN
Maracajaú – RN

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Located in the municipality of Maxaranguape, in Rio Grande do Norte, Maracajaú is a small fishing village with landscapes that enchant anyone.

There, it is possible to do a series of activities such as buggy rides and snorkelling.

25 – Chapada Diamantina – BA

Chapada Diamantina – BA
Chapada Diamantina – BA

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Chapada Diamantina is the perfect option for those who want to enjoy a different experience in Bahia.

With stunning scenery, this region is home to caves, waterfalls and breathtaking natural pools.

26 – Serra da Capivara – PI

Serra da Capivara – PI
Serra da Capivara – PI

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Serra da Capivara National Park is located between the municipalities of Canto do Buriti, Coronel José Dias, São João do Piauí and São Raimundo Nonato, in the state of Piauí.

This is the perfect place of archaeological conservation for those who want to know about the history of mankind.

27 – Itacaré – BA

Itacaré – BA
Itacaré – BA

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Itacaré is one of the favourite places for those who like surfing. The place is home to paradisiacal beaches, Atlantic forest, as well as the joy and fun that only Bahia can offer.

28 – Tibau do Sul – RN

Tibau do Sul – RN
Tibau do Sul – RN

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Nature, peace and quiet. If you want to enjoy these three things on your next holiday, visit Tibau do Sul in Rio Grande do Norte.

The beaches of this city are located under high cliffs and have landscapes of soft white sand, coconut palms and weak waves, perfect for relaxing.

29 – Icapuí – CE

Praia da Peroba em Icapuí - CE
Praia da Peroba em Icapuí – CE

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If you like dunes, crowded beaches and canyons, choose Icapuí as your next destination.

This city has beaches like Praia da Redonda and Peroba with great infrastructure and incredible beauty.

30 – Barra Grande – PI

Barra Grande – PI
Barra Grande – PI

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To complete our selection, Barra Grande, in Piauí, is located 400 kilometres from Teresina.

This is a place with a marvellous tropical climate, magnificent beaches and lots of fun, besides giving its visitors and residents a beautiful sunset.

31 – Teresina – PI

Teresina, Piauí
Teresina, Piauí

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The only capital of the Northeast that is not on the coast has charms that go beyond the imaginary.

The modern neighbourhoods of São Cristóvão and Fátima concentrate the best restaurants and nightlife.

At the Encontro dos Rios Environmental Park, you can relax and savour the local cuisine at the Floating Restaurant while admiring the landscapes of the meeting of the Poti and Parnaíba rivers.

The Poty Velho neighbourhood is the stronghold of ceramics with a multitude of handmade products.

Northeast Tourism and Travel Guide

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