The north east of Brazil is a big area comprising 9 states so deciding where to go can be overwhelming. It is unfortunately often missed by most international visitors as it requires time but if you do have the luxury of this commodity, do consider visiting some of the region’s highlights as here is where you might have the most authentic experiences. Many of the destinations are still relatively untouched by tourism and conserve their true Brazilian charm. Some others have gone through the transformation from fishermen’s village to holiday destination but do maintain an enchanting allure.
There are also bigger cities like Fortaleza, Natal and Recife but we would suggest to spend only a few nights here, only if and when necessary in between flights or land transfers.
Fernando de Noronha deserves a special mention. An island in the middle of the Atlantic with a fascinating history, stunning landscapes in the interior and heavenly beaches! It is only reachable by flight from either Recife or Natal but it is definitely worth it if you are celebrating a special occasion or you just want to go somewhere that is not so well known to the international traveller.
No matter where you decide to go, Brazil’s north east is all about the sea, sand, stunning landscapes and friendly locals. The accommodation choices are vast: from upmarket resorts to charming pousadas. Do bear in mind that the level of English here can still be pretty basic, especially if you venture to more offbeat destinations, so a little sense of adventure goes a long way here!
States of Alagoas and Pernambuco: here you will be able to visit old colonial towns like Olinda or choose to soak up the famous Brazilian sunshine on the sandy beaches of Porto de Galinhas in Ipojuca or São Miguel dos Milagres.
States of Ceará, Piaui and Maranhão ; think charming fishermen villages, vast expanses of sand and clear blue waters. These states will offer you destinations like Jericoacoara, Atins, Barreirinhas and São Luis. Some places have become more popular but they still have lots of charm. In the state of Maranhão you will also find the uniquely stunning Lençóis Maranhenses National Park.
State of Rio Grande do Norte: the main city is Natal, from where you can catch flights to Fernando de Noronha. But if you do not fancy leaving the mainland, a place like São Miguel do Gostoso is a little gem of a town that will captivate you with its laid back vibe and stunning natural beauty.