The Brazilian Northeast is still a fairly exclusive destination compared to others such as Rio de Janeiro or Salvador de Bahia.
However, it’s a region you will love exploring as it has many attractive traits, such as a warm climate with 300 sunny days a year and a constant temperature range of 23°C to 31°C! It is therefore a particularly interesting destination if you want to escape the European winter for the holidays, or October and February vacation periods.
Discover all our « a la carte » packages for Northeast
The Awesome Surprising vacation at The Brazilian Northeast
When one thinks of Brazil, we generally imagine vast tropical forests. Yet, a large part of this immense country is covered by a very particular semi-arid ecosystem, the Caatinga, the only biotope unique to Brazil.
You will find a nut tree the Europeans love, the cashew and its cashew nuts. You can also taste its fruit in a delicious local fruit juice. This ecosystem covers almost all the Northeastern region and you won’t find any jungle apart from on a few mountains that get a little annual rainfall.
On the other hand, the coast along the Atlantic ocean boasts immense beaches lined with dunes, and sometimes small cliffs, that go as far as the eye can see, brushed by the trade winds and warm waters all year round. The local vegetation or Restinga, is a coastline version of what grows inland.
With beautiful, wild open spaces and a natural habitat that is still preserved due to few inhabitants, this part of Brazil has a good tourist infrastructure today. You can travel at ease here staying in hotels or pousadas that combine quality services with charming decor.
Explore the surprising treasures of an little known region Northeast
This unique coastline is both the treasure and the main characteristic of this region’s tourism as it means you can actually drive along the beaches, the way the locals get from one village to another, driving through this magnificent wild countryside.
We also suggest discovering a large part of the Northeast coast with our itinerant tours including mini stops of one or two nights to explore the coastline from Fortaleza to Sao Luis or Natal. The main reason of choosing these tours is because they pass through some little bits of paradise which we can’t include in our « a la carte » offers for logistical reasons.
Whether you enjoy just relaxing, surfing, kite surfing or large open spaces and adventure, you will love driving along these dream beaches in a 4X4 or buggy and stopping when you wish! Along the way there are charming little hotels in the small traditional fishing villages that are perfect to relax in or party in as you wish. You can leave from Fortaleza, Sao Luis or Natal and with each stop you will wake up in a different place ready for a new adventure !
And that’s not all ! The Northeast, is also rich in culture, populated only recently by Brazilian cowboys or les vaqueiros. This culture comes from the encounter between the Europeans and the Amerindians, with a life of droughts and a poor rural economy. In this unique culture we often come across the famous Saudade, this unique feeling of nostalgia for the old times and the acceptation of the present situation that the locals feel. You can sense it especially in the local music such as the Foro and the Sertanejo, literally meaning “”the music of Sertao, an almost uninhabited inland of this region.
You will appreciate the colonial culture in the towns of Sao Luis and Olinda that house some beautiful architectural heritage from the early European colonial times and which merit a visit.
Enjoy the wonders of the Northeast from Fortaleza to Sao Luis!
The Northeast is divided into several states, we have divided it into 4 large areas to make it easier to get to know and to simplify your choices . In this section, you will find a description of the places accessible from Fortaleza to Sao Luis.
Fortaleza, the gateway to the most beautiful beaches of the Northeast
Fortaleza is the capital of the Ceara, « la terra da Luz » the land of lights, referring not to the sun but to the anticipated abolition of slavery compared to the rest of the country. This town has seriously developed its tourism since the 1990s.
In 2003 it became the principal holiday destination for Brazilians. With its 2 million inhabitants it has little touristic interest but there are a few remarkable buildings such as the José de Alencar theatre, a small regional museum in the Centro quarter and a cultural centre, the Dragao do Mar. However it is in this quarter not far from the hotels on the Beira Mar Avenue along the sea front that you will find the feverish nightlife of Fortaleza.
For foreign visitors, the main interest of Fortaleza is its International airport, Pinto Martins, which is the shortest way to get from Europe to Brazil. It gives easy access to the amazing Nordestine coast with a daily flight from Lisbon of only 7hrs. The endless fine sandy coast, the sea at 28°c and sunshine all year round, that’s what you will find when choosing Fortaleza as your first holiday destination in Brazil. It is therefore an ideal starting point for a stay in Jericoacoara, Canoa Quebrada, or to go along the “Route of Emotions” as far as Sao Luis.
Jericoacoara, a little paradise and the star of the Northeast
Our flagship destination in the Northeast is undoubtedly the old fishing village of Jericoacoara, it has one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world and regularly tops any listings. You will fall in love with this village that has stayed simple and resisted the temptations of mass tourism.
Inaccessible for standard cars, come and discover a quiet paradise place where you wander the sandy streets lined with craft shops, restaurants and welcoming bars. This little bay is lined by dunes and cliffs and is a haven for kite surfers with spots at Prea and Guriu close by. It is also ideal for relaxing and totally unwinding or for nature lovers with its fabulous landscape.
We suggest reaching Jericoacoara in two half days or a full day in an all terrain vehicle along the beaches from Fortaleza or Cumbuco. If you choose the formula of two half days, we suggest stopping for the night in Guajiru, a superb little fishing village where you can enjoy the calm and magic of the place.
From the incredible Lencois landscape to the Sao Luis facades, discover the ancient French colony of Brazil
Sao Luis is the capital of the Maranhao state. It is a small town famous for a splendid past and is known today for its architectural heritage. It has many buildings covered in small decorated porcelain tiles, the famous azulejos, in the historical town centre and that date back to colonial times.
Its the largest collection of Portuguese colonial architecture in the world and is therefore listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Wandering the streets of this town once called « the Brazilian Athens », referring to the writers that came here at the end of the 19th century, takes you on a dreamlike trip into the prosperous past of this region. The hard climatic conditions have severely damaged the buildings over the centuries, but the local government and private initiatives are slowly renovating this exceptional place in the town centre.
4hrs. from here you will discover Barreirinhas, the entrance to a nature park, unique in the world, the Lencois Maranhenses. 1500 km2 of unspoiled sand dunes dotted with clear rain water lagoons. A breath taking sight, particularly at sunset. It’s the ultimate romantic destination. Be aware, however, that the lagoons are only full of water from May to October after the rainy season. Also note that to reach the incredible Lencois from Barreirinhas, you have to drive along a bumpy sandy track for about 40 minutes, then walk across the dunes for at least 10 minutes to reach the nearest lagoons. You should therefore have a minimum physical condition and mobility to be able to appreciate this place; however this is still an excursion ideal for kids over 6 years old and active retirees. If this is not the case, contact us to discuss.
From Natal to Fortaleza, an amazing experience with red cliffs and golden beaches
Discover two magnificent beaches that are easy to get to on the Northeastern coast in this section that covers our selection of the best vacation destinations between Fortaleza and Natal.
Sea, space and sun, discover the Potiguar coastline !
Imagine leaving Natal and driving along the beach in an all terrain vehicle. These vast deserted beaches lined with dunes and ocher coloured cliffs will take you to the wonderful little seaside resort of Pipa, originally a fishing village and now one of the best vacation spots on the Rio Grande do Norte coast.
An ideal place to try some fresh lobster and other exotic fish whenever you wish. For a relaxing and fun time you can sunbathe on the beach, swim in the warm sea, try out the water sports and relax ! The local night life is a time to party and have fun too !
Canoa Quebrada : discover the enchanting east coast of Ceara
The pretty fishing village of Canoa Quebrada is perched on top of the ocher cliffs facing the ocean at 2hr30 by road from Fortaleza.
Popularized by the hippie youth and backpackers from all horizons in the 1960s / 70s, you will fall under the charm of this magnificent beach protected at low tide by the corals. Today it is a very popular destination for tourists because it is a good alternative to staying in Jericoacoara as it is easier to get to and less expensive.
There are many water sports available and also buggy rides across the dunes, giant zip cording or paragliding. Each evening the main pedestrian street called « Broadway » by the locals, comes alive and is in full swing. An ideal destination to combine days on the beach and festive evenings.
With dolphins, sharks, and stones polished by time, spend a perfect vacation in Eastern Brazil
With Fernando de Noronha and its rich marine life, the ultra exclusive Kenoa Resort in Maceio and the enchanting historical quarters in Recife and Olinda, the soutern region of the Northeast is waiting to seduce you with its amazing treasures. You can find out more on our page dedicated to Recife, Olinda & Maceio.
Swim with marine turtles in Fernando de Noronha and discover your paradise island.
The most exclusive and memorable place you can reach from Natal or Recife is the island of Fernando de Noronha. This paradise island is a reputed ecological sanctuary.
Access and the number of visitors is limited to reduce man’s impact on the environment. Places here are therefore few and expensive.
If you are diving enthusiasts you will spend and exceptional time here thanks to the clear waters full of marine life. Rays, sharks, turtles and many other coloured fish abound here, it’s a unique experience ! The Brazilians say that the « Sancho » beach is the most beautiful in the world ! This looking for relaxation and dream beaches will be ecstatic ! remember however to book well in advance if you want to have a choice of rooms and flights that are not too expensive.
Olinda, the town with aight hills, awaits you to party and charm you with a thousand colours !
If you are coming back from Noronha why not stop off at Olinda, not far from the town of Recife the capital of Permanbuco state.
. Its remarkably well-preserved colonial architectural heritage earned it UNESCO World Heritage status in 1982. You can climb the paved streets that cut through this historic district with a guide and discover all the mysteries of this interesting town. In February festival enthusiasts can walk the crowded streets to follow the carnival and dance to the local « Frevo », music in the dressed up and frenzied crowd. The more courageous can swim off the beaches at Permanbucano, famous for their sharks.
An exclusive stay in the dream setting of Eastern Brazil
A short distance from Maceio, there is a small, charming and exceptional up market resort. This is the result of a collaboration with a renowned architect, Osvaldo Tenorio, and it is a perfect harmony between bare concrete, wood, stone, glass and materials that have suffered the ravages of time.
The Kenoa Resort is an exclusive eco-design hotel offering apartments and rooms as well as a villa with a private external and internal garden, dining room …. all this at the edge of a virtually deserted beach. Each room has its own pool maintained at a temperature of 28 degrees and the chef will be happy to welcome you with his specialties …. If you like exclusive stays or if you want to spend an exceptional moment, discover this privileged place in the state of Alagoas.