Tours & Attractions
Tours & Attractions

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Boat Tours
Casa da Cultura
>Boa Viagem
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Fernando de Noronha
Museum of Mankind
"Don't break this silence, don't stop my dream"
The walls have phrases of writers and artists, that like, Brenannd, have sought the essence of a universal culture.
Visit our Recife-Olinda Carnaval Guide


High-rises nudge 60 colonial churches in Recife and Olinda. Churches are usually open from 8am to 5pm, with a 2-hour closure for lunch from noon to 2pm

Capela Dourada or
The Golden Chapel  built in 1696 in the Convento de Santo Antonio; The altar is a two-story arch of jacaranda and cedar, all gilt with gold. Christ hangs on a golden cross with gold and silver rays shining out behind his head (oddly topped with real hair). The chapel is part of a Franciscan complex that includes a small Sacred Art museum with a few nice pieces of gold and silver work.  

Buses from Recife will drop you off at the Praça do Carmo where you meet the N.S. do Carmo church. Check out the huge ornate jacaranda-wood altar. The large  public space on the front is known as Praça da Abolição (abolition square). Note the statue of Princess Isabel, who was responsible for abolishing slavery in 1888.

Follow Avenida da Liberdade, and you'll pass by the 1590 Church of São Pedro Apostolo. Set your sights on Igreja da Sé at the top of the steep Ladeira da Sé. T
he Catedral da Sé de Olinda, 1537, dominates the hilltop of Olinda

You can forestall the steep hike by going to the right of N.S. do Carmo and on to Rua Sã Francisco, which leads to the Convento de São Francisco. Built in 1577, this was the first Franciscan monastery in Brazil. Inside is the life history of Jesus in the N.S. das Neves, done in Portuguese blue tile.

From the Convento São Francisco, the Travessia São Francisco leads up to the Ladeira de Se and the Igreja da Sé. Originally built in 1537,a series of photographs and drawings just inside the main door show the church's various incarnations
. Once here enjoy the view, crafts market, food stalls selling  tapioca pancakes and shots of flavored cachaça as well as the church.

Still worth finding:
Church of Misericordia
, (aka Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Luz) Built in 1540 by the Portuguese - it was burned during the Dutch invasion, and rebuilt in the 18th Century.
Mosteiro de São Bento: Built in 1582, this monastery is still home to 27 Benedictine monks. The church is said to be the richest in the city.

Find Avenida da Liberdade, and you'll pass by the 1590 Church of São Pedro Apostolo
Olinda Church Tour by

At Boa-Viagem beach and the historic Guararapes Park is the church N.S. dos Prozeres.  

In Recife  the churches and other colonial buildings create a startling blend of the old and new. Praça da República; the historic Basilica of our Lady of Penha; the Cathedral of São Pedro dos Clérigos with a beautifully sculptured front; the Basilica of Our Lady of Carmo features a very impressive interior.

Church of São Pedro surrounded by restored houses that form a complex called Pátio de São

Church of the Ordem Terceiro de São Francisco.
Featuring a huge oil painting showing Franciscan monks getting crucified. The soldier's responsible were dealt with later by someone who removed their faces.


Barco Peixe Leão starts from the Zero Marker in Old Recife and tours around the harbor, up the Beberibe river and back through Old Recife before returning to the Zero Marker. For reservations call tel. 081/3341-3662 or 081/9107-4433. Catamaran rides through Recife down the Capibaribe River. Day and night rides, from Wednesday to Sunday, boarding at the Cinco Pontas Quay, just off Avenida Sul. [ 50m (164 ft.) past the Forte Cinco Pontas.] You can also ride up the coast to visit Fort Orange and the beaches of Itamaracá.
Address : Avenida sul s/nº, Forte das Cinco Pontas, Boa Vista, Recife.

Catamaran Tours
Cais das Cinco Pontas, S/N São josé
Fone: (81) 3424-2845 Fax: (81) 3424-8930
e-mail: [email protected]


Luck Viagens (tel. 081/3464-4800; offers the full range of bus tours including the top 3

  1. 4-hour city tour that shows the highlights of Recife and Olinda

    Itamaracá island,  where the Dutch built Fort Orange in 1631.

  2. Porto de Galinhas for the best beaches and snorkeling in the area.

Havas Creative Tours offers tours of Maria Farinha, where the Veneza Water Park is located, Porto de Galinhas, Igarassú and Itamaraca, as well as the city itself. Travel Agency
Française || Português ||Español ||    Deutsche 

The Casa da Cultura de Recife:
Recife's cultural marketplace was once a colonial prison. It has since been transformed into a center for traditional arts. Excellent musical and dance performances often take place right outside the building. The Casa da Cultura is an excellent place to obtain tourist information and start an acquaintance with the region's cultural arts.

SCUBA  At least 15 wrecks are diveable and within easy reach. For excursions contact 
  • Projeto Mar, Rua Bernardino Pessoa 410, Boa Viagem (tel. 081/3326-0162;
    Seagate Mergulhos E Aventura (Olinda, PE, Brazil) Phone: 011-55-81-3426-1657
    Fax: 011-55-81-3494-3216
    E-Mail: seagate at

Golf & Tennis

Squash Tennis Center
Endereço: Rua Dr. Luis Corrêa de Oliveira, 375 - Boa Viagem Recife - PE cep. 51030-200
Fone/Fax: (81) 3461-1651

Serra Gaúcha
From Recife. A tourist train with 23 kilometers of passage and a duration of 1h30min.

Visit a fully functioning farm, with an area of 600 Ha. The farm is placed in the rural part of state of Pernambuco,  and the weather is healthy with sunshine all over the year. The owners and more 15 families  live on the farm


Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha--
Along with Natal (the other city which takes pride in its physical proximity to Europe and Africa), Recife is where you catch a connecting flight to the brilliant archipelago of 21 islands.

GETTING THERE: There are regular daily flights from Recife and Natal, which bring 4,000 tourists per month. The flight from Recife, 550km away, takes a little over an hour.
The archipelago is made up of 21 islands and islets, which rise up from the depths of a sea which is 4,000 metres deep. The total area of the archipelago is 26 square kilometers, 75% of which belongs to the National Ecological Park. Only the main island of Fernando de Noronha is inhabited.

Prior to being made a park in 1989, it experienced 500 years of fascinating history, including long periods as a prison and military outpost. An extraordinary haven for snorkelers, divers and naturalists, the rugged volcanic mountainous terrain is surrounded by a wealth of marine species. Scuba gear allows you to take advantage of the excellent visibility of the waters down to a depth of 35 meters. The average water temperature is 78 degrees all year round. Plenty of historical and traditional sun and surf spots are available to choose from. These include Leo Beach, where sea turtles lay their eggs, and the Southeast Bay, where the turtles feed. There are also the spectacular viewpoints at Dolphin Bay, where the dolphins arrive at sunrise.

Atlantis Divers (Fernando De Noronha, PE, Brazil)
Phone: 011-55-81-3619-1371
Fax: 011-55-81-3619-1848
E-Mail: info at

Ilha de Fernando de Noronha (roundtrip  from Recife)
Restaurants || Accommodations || Must See Activities || Nightlife || Off The Beaten Path|| Tourist Traps || Warnings Or Dangers

  • Fernando de Noronha turísticos e culturais! Por Eduardo Santiago.
  • Fernando de Noronha- Fernando de Noronha em 1998. Diário, fotos, dicas etc...
  • Fernando de Noronha  imagens
  • Fernando de Noronha- fotos sobre as praias da Ilha.
  • Galinhas Virtuais  -  Porto de Galinhas, pernambucano. Informações, fotos, mapa,  links...
  • Guia Tamandaré  - infra-estrutura, entre outros. Ponto para prática de mergulho e ecoturismo. Tamandaré, PE.
  • More on Fernando de Noronha in Aforum

    Northeastern Museum of Mankind

    Francisco Brennand's ceramic atelier

    A cultural compound comprising an art museum,  library and gardens. Conceived and set up by the sociologist Gilberto Freire and the exotic world of Francisco Brennand's sculpture park. You will also see the work of the most famous carpet weavers.

    The estate of world-renowned ceramic artist Francisco Brennand. Brennand was born on June 11th, 1927 in Recife, Pernambuco. In Barcelona, Gaudí architecture and sculptures impressed Brennand so much that they became one of the main influences of his work. In 1953, in Umbria, Italy, he became a trainee at a faience factory so that he could improve his knowledge of ceramic art.

    "Everything flows".

    When he returned to Brazil, Brennand started working intensively, doing paintings and ceramic expositions in many museums and art galleries all over Brazil. He created murals for buildings in Recife and abroad. In 1971, he started working at an old brick and roof factory that was purchased for him by his father. The space was enormous, with over 10.000 m2 of buildings alone. From here Brennand  transformed industrial space into a magic chamber of art and mystic atmosphere which has continuously recreated inself through his artistic imagination.

    The massive fortress-museum covered entirely with ceramic is surrounded by pristine forest and just a few kilometers outside of the central city. Olaria de Brennand is a ceramics factory with a display area of thousands of pieces.

    "The alchemists didn't seek for the essence of each material, they produced it through a long purification and transmutation process"
    ---Carl Jung

    "Don't break this silence, don't stop my dream" Brennand Francisco Brennand's atelier of ceramic art is a factory and a museum at the same time. It has temples, galleries and a garden designed by Roberto Burle Marx. The artist creates symbols and allegories from mud, in panels on walls (with phrases of writers and artists) or images in niches. The atelier is one of the most important tourist points from Recife. It has more than 3.000 of Brennand’s creations, a shop store - Bibliopolion - where one can find books about the artist, ceramic art, post cards and t-shirts, and a delicious café, Cantina dos Deuses.

    Address: Bairro da Varzea
    Phone: + 55 81 3271-2466
    Directions: Propriedade Santos Cosme e Damiao Bairro da Varzea - Recife - PE

    * Definitely one of the must-sees of Recife.
    Directions: take a taxi from the Caxanga bus station or even central Recife

    Address: Alameda Antonio Brennand, Engenho São João, Várzea
    Phone: 55 81 32711544
    Visit schedule: from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am till 5 pm.

    The settlement was established by the Portuguese in 1537, as a suburb of the now historic city of Olinda, and remained Portuguese until the independence of Brazil, with the exception of a brief period of Dutch occupation in the 17th century between 1630 and 1654. During this period the first synagogue of the Americas was founded in the city, and for this brief time Recife became one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. The inhabitants fought on their own to expel the Dutch, being helped by the involvement of the Dutch in the First Anglo-Dutch War. This was known as the Insurreição Pernambucana (Pernambucan Insurrection). Most of the Jews fled to North America, originating the Jewish community of New Amsterdam (currently known as New York City).

    Olinda is considered as the birthplace of the Brazilian
    republic and it was the focus of an important cultural
    revival with the foundation of one of the two first
    graduate courses of the country,
    The Juridical Courses, were founded at the same time in
    São Paulo and Olinda in 1827. Today this historic fact is translated as
    "Olinda, the first cultural capital of Brazil"

    After that, during the 19th century, riots spread through the city, when the rich farmers of Olinda and the traders from Recife clashed. Recife had a clear adventage in relation to Olinda: Olinda has no harbour, while Recife's Harbor is one of the best on the Atlantic. This was a decisive factor aiding Recife's success. Recife is now a large city whereas Olinda is a small historical town.

    The state retains many traces of the Dutch occupation, which occurred in the 17th century. The economy is based on agriculture (sugar cane, manioc), the raising of cattle and other animals, and industry (food products, chemicals, metallurgy, electronics, and textiles). Irrigated farming in the São Francisco Valley has achieved marked success with such crops as tomatoes, onions, grapes, and watermelon. Pernambuco occupies an area of 98,937.8 sq. kms. The capital is Recife.

    In 1534, the hereditary captaincy of Pernambuco was granted to Duarte Coelho, who founded Recife and Olinda and introduced the cultivation of sugar cane, which would play an important role in the economic history of the country. Between 1630 and 1654, Pernambuco came under Dutch dominance, which brought major cultural, economic, and social changes during the administration of Prince John Maurice of Nassau. The spirit of nativism and self-government, spurred by the expulsion of the Dutch, finally led to the Peddlers’ War (a derisive reference to merchants of Portuguese origin) between Olinda and Recife in 1711.From this point on, and with the decadence of sugar production, the region entered a period of decline. In the 19th century Pernambuco was the site of a series of separatist uprisings: in 1811 (the Suaçunas Conspiracy), 1817 (the Pernambucan Revolution), 1825 (the Equatorial Confederation), and the last in 1848 (the Beachcombers Revolution).

    LINKS Recife Attractions in portuguese at geocities to english by google

    Playcenter Av.: Agamenon Magalhães s/n - Salgadinho - Olinda - PE

    In Olinda the Folclore Nordestino festival at the end of August is a highlight of dance and music from the entire northeastern region.

    English & Espanol
    "We got to the Cabanga Yacht Club and the crew was waiting. We were going to do another dive on the Vapor Pirapama, but this time in the daylight. At the site, the color and clarity of the ocean reminded me of Bonaire. During the day the wreck was covered in parrotfish, sergeant majors, sea turtles and rays. "
    Pod Diver Radio/Joseph M. Cocozza
    Its contents range from maps to photos to art and household pieces found in the excavations of the building that now houses the museum itself.
    "Fort of Five Points" was originally built by the Dutch in 1630 but that has been replaced by a Portuguese structure built in the traditional square  manner.
    Address : 
    Praça das Cinco Pontas, s/n, Bairro de São José, Recife. Phone: (81) 3224-8492 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat-Sun 1-5pm
    Bus: São Jose
    Working hours : Mondays through Fridays, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    This museum holds more than 3,500 pieces, with special emphasis on indigenous culture and the main aspects of lifestyle in colonial Northeastern Brazil. Its pieces refer back to the colonial period.
    Three sections: anthropology, popular art with superb ceramic figurines; and a pharmacy exhibit about the region's herbal/indigenous medicine. It is considered to be Recife's best museum.
    Av. 17 de Agosto, 2187, Casa Forte, Recife. Phone: (81) 3441-5500

    Plays an important role in helping people do research on Brazilian Carnival. Holds important historic materials from the several Carnival clubs and associations in Recife.
    Address : 
    Pátio de São Pedro, 42, São José, Recife. Phone: (81) 3424-4942

    Mamulengo Puppet Museum Olinda (tel. 081/3429-6214; open Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm; free admission on Rua Treze de Maio). The  three-floor museum assembles puppets [bonecos] used in Northeastern folk drama. Some have hidden levers that cause them to stick out appendages. Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Pernambuco (Museum of Contemporary Art; tel. 081/3429-2587 Olinda)
    Almost next door to the above puppet museum

    Stuffed mammals, insects and reptiles can be found here.
    Address: The City Zoo (Horto do Parque dois Irmãos, Recife.)


    This museum has parts and instruments that were used last century in the construction of the Northeastern Railroad Track. It also presents to the public at large a number of locomotives, English china, pictures of the first trains to run in the region, etc.
    Address: Central Station (Estação Central – Praça Visconde de Mauá, São José, Recife.)
    Admission : Free

    A museum of the State’s history and anthropology. Former residence of the Baron of Beberibe (19th century). Holds important pieces that date back to the time of the Dutch settlement and the Colonial period; frescos commemorating the Battle of Guararapes and Mount Tabocas.
    Address :  
    Av. Rui Barbosa, 960, Graças, Recife. Phone: (81) 3427-9322

    Holds over a thousand drawings and 200 paintings that express Murilo La Greca’s conscious rejection. Visitors will be able to find, among other things, Murilo’s collection of 8 rpm long plays, as well as a few of his personal belongings. Murilo studied painting in Naples with Belles Arts teacher Emílio Notte.
    R. Leonardo Cavalcanti, 366, Parnamirim, Recife. Phone: (81) 3268-8011

    Works in a manor house (Sobrado Grande da Madalena). Founded in 1983, it exhibits in its Memorial Hall a collection of objects which refer back to the 18th and the 19th centuries. It also has an auditorium and an amphitheater, where cultural and educational programs are developed.
    Address :  
    R. Benfica, 150, Madalena, Recife. Phone: (81) 3228-3248

    Exhibition of the works of several Brazilian artists.
    Address :  
    R. da Aurora, 265, Boa Vista, Recife. Phone: (81) 3423-3007

    Founded in 1985, the museum exhibits its collection of English and Portuguese cannons, fire weapons, photos and objects that depict the participation of the Brazilian Air Force in World War II. The museum is located inside the Brum Fortress, built in the 17th century.
    Pça. Comunidade Luso-Brasileira, s/n, Bairro do Recife, Recife. 

    All about Gilberto Freyre’s life; his furniture, personal belongings, books he wrote, etc.
    R. Dois Irmãos, 320, Apipucos, Recife. Phone: (81) 441-1733

    Works of famous Pernambuco artists like Bajado and João Câmara, to name a few.
    R. 13 de Maio, s/n Olinda. Phone: (81) 3429-2587.

    Sacred pieces of art on permanent display. Today, it occupies the former home of the Bishop of Pernambuco.
    Address :  
    R. Bispo Coutinho, 726, Alto da Sé, Olinda. Phone : (81) 3429-0032.

    Permanent exhibition of the artist’s works, including paintings, drawings, photographs, etc.
    R.Hermínio Alves Queiroz, 1416, Piedade, Jaboatão dos Guararapes. Phone: (81) 3341-1932

    It offers public events in the field of science, art and technology. The tower was restored in 1999, but its original characteristics were preserved. It holds a virtual library and an environment for cultural events. It is also the venue for Espaço Ciência.
    Praça do Arsenal da Marinha, Recife Antigo, Recife.

    Cidade Universitária, Recife - PE - CEP: 50670-901
    Fone PABX: (81) 2126.8000 / Fax: (81) 2126.8029

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