Let’s start with the most obvious one: the Porto de Galinhas beach. This is probably the first one you will notice as it’s right in front of the town center and its fine, white sand stretches for miles. It’s the beach the majority of tourists to Porto de Galinhas visit yet it’s so big that it rarely gets crowded and you will find yourself with plenty of space if you want to get away from it all. The part of the beach which connects to the town is catered for by several bars and restaurants which serve drinks and food on the beach, while the rest of the beach is untouched and backed by palm trees and vegetation. The natural pools teeming with marine life can be found at Porto de Galinhas beach and make wonderful snorkeling spots.
One of the main attractions at Porto de Galinhas is the Praia dos Carneiros beach which can only be accessed by boat trip. The beach there is eye-catching and not just because it’s a typical paradisical shore of golden sand, turquoise sea, and backed by rows of coconut trees. In the middle of the beach right on the sand is a small white church that dates back to the 18th century. Sometimes it’s open, sometimes it’s not – the opening times are sporadic. However, if you arrive on a day when it is open, make sure to go inside to check out the well-preserved architecture.
Just north of the Porto de Galinhas beach is Cupe beach which is the popular surfing spot among locals. The large waves and strong currents will challenge even the more advanced surfer so if you are a beginner surfer or don’t feel confident about swimming, take extra care when in the sea there or opt for enjoying the peace and quiet of the beach and watch the surfers there instead. There are several hotels and guesthouses nearby so there are some simple restaurants and bars close by if you are feeling peckish.
With powdery white sand, sky blue water, and natural rock pools full of small tropical fish, Toquinho beach is stunning and remains free from the tourist crowds that gather on the main Porto de Galinhas beach. However, one of the main attractions of Toquinho Beach is not the beach itself; rather, it’s what lies in front of it. Just across the sea and only a short boat trip away is the uninhabited island of Ilha de Santo Aleixo which, with its Caribbean-like scenery, is one of the most beautiful places in Porto de Galinhas yet surprising isn’t that well-known.
Muro Alto Beach has succumbed to some tourist development in recent years and the once untouched beach now has several large hotels, bars, and restaurants to cater for the growing number of visitors to the area. Despite this, the beach hasn’t totally lost its natural qualities and is still lined with palm trees and has warm, crystal clear water stretching out in front. It’s a great spot for watersports such as jet-skiing or kayaking and is a good beach for children as the sea is usually calm and the water by the shoreline is shallow.
With its crystal clear sea and powdery white sand that is so fine that it squeaks when you walk over it, Maracaipe Beach is easily one of Porto de Galinhas’ most beautiful beaches. Located south of the main Porto de Galinhas beach, it is a popular weekend spot for locals and residents of Recife who come down to enjoy the unrivaled beauty of Maracaipe. The beach seems untouched and boasts gorgeous natural landscapes, yet tucked in between the coconut trees are a few simple bars and restaurants ready to cater for beach-goers.
At the end of Maracaipe beach is the Maracaipe Pontal where the sea meets the river. The area is known for its ecological diversity and with pure white sand, miles of crystal clear water, and boxed in by palm trees, it is an untouched natural gem. Besides its beautiful scenery, one of the highlights there is its wildlife and mangroves. Near the shoreline, it’s possible to find dozens of crabs and if you take a jangada (small sailing boat) to a particular part of the mangroves, you can go snorkeling with wild seahorses. Maracaipe Pontal is also a popular spot with kitesurfers.