Excursions in Recife
Traditional earthenware sculptures, creations of rope and leather craft, are the beauties of Pernambucos Agreste Highlands. These crafts have been a part of local customs for many years. The regional market town of Caruaru, 130 km inland from Recife, has been recognized by UNESCO as the largest centre for figure sculpture in the Americas. The craft market is certainly an unforgettable highlight of the tour. These clay figures, a legacy of the great folk artist Mestre Vitalino, make unique souvenirs to take back from your trip. After Caruaru, well visit Nova Jerusalém, the worlds largest open-air theatre, where Christs Passion is performed every year during Easter Week.
Youll visit the lovely waterfalls of Primavera town, in the southern sugarcane planting region of Pernambuco. Youll take a Toyota Jeep, one of the most popular local passenger transport vehicles, on a trip following tracks through the beautiful sugarcane fields. Well stop to visit a traditional manioc mill and enjoy sugarcane juice before swimming in the waterfalls. A traditional lunch will be served nearby.
Imagine crystal-clear waters of scintillating blue with colored fish among other beautiful marine species and vast coconut groves patterning the beach of Porto de Galinhas, a striking idyllic symbol of natural beauty with the peacefulness of a genuine fishing village. What was once the 19th century underground slave trade port of Porto de Galinhas has become one of todays most appealing Brazilian beach resorts. You can take optional Jangada (traditional fishing raft) tours through the reef pools if the tide is right and buggy trips to the beaches of Pontal de Maracaípe and Muro Alto.
One of Brazils earliest colonial towns, Igarrassu is the location of the church Igreja de Santos Cosme e Damião. Built in 1535, its considered to be the oldest church in Brazil. An exotic coastal island with 84 square kilometers of nature, history and beauty, Itamaracá is a favorite water sport location. Youre free to indulge in a range of optional activities. Theres also Forte Orange, built by the Dutch in the 17th century and the Marine Manatee Centre, a research and conservation centre for one of the most precious endangered species found on the coast of Northeast Brazil. For your pleasure and enjoyment, your tour also includes a catamaran trip to Coroa do Avião, a paradisiacal sand bar and observation point for migratory birds.
The tour begins with a panorama of Recife, including the three sectors making up the city centre: Recife, Santo Antônio and Boa Vista. Youll see the bridge of Maurício de Nassau, Praça da República (flanked by the Governors Palace, Santa Isabel Theatre and the Law Courts) and the Casa da Cultura, a fine building dating back to the 19th century. Originally a prison, today this building is a centre for regional culture, with craft stores and local delicacies for you to indulge in. In Olinda, well visit Alto da Sé, with the churches of Sé and Misericórdia, where youll have a breathtaking view of the twin cities, where in Carnival, joyful revelers will parade down the streets, following after traditional giant puppets like the Homem da Meia-noite (Midnight Man) or theyll join in with the towns colorful carnival troupes such as Pitombeira dos Quatro Cantos and Elefante. Olinda has been declared a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Monument by UNESCO.