Brazil has an almost endless assortment of natural beauties - especially along its 7,300-kilometer coast. Take Pernambuco, for example. One of the richest Brazilian states in terms of history, it is also home to some of the most beautiful destinations in the country.
This northeastern state is full of surprises for travelers looking for an unforgettable paradise-like experience. To go along with its picture-perfect landscapes, Pernambuco is also home to arguably the most caring people in Brazil. A 2012 survey conducted Johnson & Johnson found that, for 70% of Pernambuco natives, kindness is a central part of life - and impacts upon the quality of their day!
Fernando de Noronha, an untouched paradise
The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is one of the natural jewels of Brazil. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with good reason: its amazing islands and beaches are home to hundreds of dolphins, turtles, fish, birds, and other animals.
Only one of the islands is inhabited, and even then there is a limit to the number of people allowed on it at any one time. Most places in Fernando de Noronha are virtually untouched.
There are many ways to enjoy the sights and sounds of the islands. You can go hiking, horseback riding, driving dune buggies, surfing, or snorkelling. Have you ever swum next to a giant turtle?
Don't forget to watch the exquisite sunset at the Forte dos Remédios, an 18th-century fort.
Reef pools and coconut trees in Porto de Galinhas
Not far from state capital Recife is Porto de Galinhas, a former fishing village. Upon arrival, it is impossible not to notice the many small rafts by the water. They are your ticket to the tidal pools that are formed within the reef barrier.
The smooth ride on calm waters takes you to small paradises filled with marine life, where you can swim and go snorkelling. If what you want is just to enjoy the view, that's OK too! Pull up your beach chair to the sand at Praia de Muro Alto and watch the rafts come and go while enjoying the breeze buffeting the leaves of the coconut trees.
Alternatively, head to Praia da Vila and stay close to the shops and restaurants.
History and nature at Cabo de Santo Agostinho
Another breathtaking place is Cabo de Santo Agostinho and its magical beaches. At Gaibu, you can walk around among coconut trees, historical buildings, churches and ruins, and swim in near-transparent waters. The church of Our Lady of Nazaré, built in the 16th century, is a window into colonial Brazil.
Suape has boat rides with great views. Cliffs are the main attraction at Guadalupe; the tallest ones are almost 15 meters high. Tamandaré (a great place for those who like diving) and Carneiros are close by and are the chosen spots when the locals want to relax.
If all you want (and need) is to relax at the beach and enjoy incredible sights, Pernambuco is the perfect place for you.