If you search about Recife Beaches on Google, probably the first reference you gonna get is one related to a "Shark Attack." Yes, Recife is the city in all Brazil with the most shark attacks, but this doesn't make it an evil touristic destination; actually, Boa Viagem Beach is one of the main attractions of the city, and it definitely should be on your bucket list.
Let's start with the obvious: the beach. Boa Viagem is a 7 km urban beach, starting from the Pina Beach until Piedade Beach. This last is already part of another city, called Jaboatão dos Guararapes (where the International Airport of Recife is located). The neighborhood, at the South Zone of Recife, where the beach can be found is also called Boa Viagem, and is one of the wealthiest regions in the city. There you can find basically everything, from the most exquisite gastronomy, big shopping malls, to dance clubs and public parks. At this area, you will not find old architecture or a historical ambiance. If you're looking for some history, then try visiting the Old Recife.
But, let's come back to Boa Viagem Beach. I started this article talking about the dangers regarding the shark attacks. First thing you have to know about this is that normally people who were attacked disrespected the rules and indications given by the lifeguards. There, it is allowed to get in the water until your abdomen, and in some places which have coral protection, you can even swim and dive. Don't worry at all, at the beach, there are lifeguards spots and red flags indicating where it is ok or not to go.
The beach is not just about the sea, though. There is plenty of activities to do there to enjoy the place, even if you don't get in the water. For example, you can enjoy the local gastronomy at the kiosk along all the beach. If you want to find a beautiful place to sit, there are plenty of places to go to. Keep in mind that is forbidden to charge you for sitting in the sunbeds. Also, it is ok for you to buy food from the random fisherman who passes around selling oyster, crab or shrimps. So, my indication is to go there, choose a nice chair or beach in front of the sea and try the local food, along with a cold beer (you can buy from the kiosks). By the way, my favorite seafood there is the red shrimp.
Another excellent and very traditional food that you should definitely try is the "Caldinho de Feijão", which is basically a black beans soup - yes, we eat this at the beach with olives, small eggs, and bacon. Another gastronomic delicacy is our "Queijo de Coalho," a Brazilian kind of cheese. These, together with good and cold green coconut water or a beer is the best food you can find there. Of course, there is also the Brazilian specialty: Caipirinhas (a mix with cachaça, sugar, and lemon on ice), a fresh and tasty drink to enjoy at the beach.
A romantic thing to do at Boa Viagem Beach is to go there at night when everything is calmer. Sit on the thin and white sand and enjoy the sound of the waves hitting the rocks. A cup of Açaí, which you can buy at the kiosks along the beach, is the ideal drink for your evening experience. By the way, during full moons, you can find groups of meditation. Feel free to join them.
If you are in the mood of beach sports, there are places where you can play beach football or volleyball. Along all the coast, you can find community gyms with functional pieces of equipment and even a basketball and tennis court. Also, there is a cooper track, next to a cycleway at all the beach. Ah, you can use all those for free.
To end this article, I decided to present you a very famous artist from Pernambuco, Alceu Valença, who composed a song about a girl he loved at the Boa Viagem Beach: La Belle de Jour. Take a look!!!
I hope you enjoy as much as I do, and remember, if you want to have a fun experience at the beach, don't forget to bring your sunscreen. Because in the end, at Boa Viagem Beach, the sun might be even more dangerous than the sharks.
Cover Picture © Credits Istock/ Matheus Ferraz
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