The small town of Porto de Pedras, in the northeastern state of Alagoas, is located on the coastline between Maceio and Recife, and is almost surrounded by water from all sides. Framed between two rivers, the Manguaba to the north and the Tatuamunha to the south, I would say that the reason why the place remains unspoilt is due to its natural borderlines.
The 8 kilometers of isolated sandy beach have as many labels you can name: Laje, Gibaba, Tatuamunha, Pataxo…On all its extension, bordered by coconut trees, you´ll spot local fishermen duly looking for their daily catch and, at low tide, several natural pools which become an ideal place to splurge yourself into. Water is clear and warm.
the sururu, a regional delish
But everyone has to adapt to the whims of nature, as long walks can only be done when the tide is low. And even a dip into the gentle sea should be avoided at some peak hours of the day. And be careful if you want to walk barefoot: small shells and stones can easily hurt you.
For those who enjoy exploring, set sail on one of those rafts called jangada, to get to further natural swimming spots where the water is translucid. You´ll be able to snorkel and observe marine life. But remember that tides rule every move and activities of the small communities which are located on the shoreline, including your outdoor schedules.
Just off the beach at Gibaba, some happy visitors may be fortunate enough to float besides a manatee, or sea cow, a large mammal protected by environmental laws. They usually swim freely between the river and the sea with high tides.
Expect to find a mild climate in this region, as even in summer it will never be suffocating and the constant breeze brings the temperatures down. In winter, apart from a few rainshowers, it won´t get cold either.
Besides long walks and snorkeling, eventually going for a horseback riding journey on the beach, there´s not much more to do, except relax in one of the very comfortable pousadas, nestled as close to the beach as possible. By day 2, you´ll be just happy to sip your cashew caipirinha by the pool and enjoy the flavours of the ingredients which are typically from Alagoas, such as carne seca, a kind of jerked beef, and sururu, a seafood which tastes special.
One of the best local pousadas is called Aldeia Beijupirá with very spacious and charming “malocas” ( individual huts) facing the sea. Or try the Pousada do Toque which offers private pools in its more luxurious and exclusive bungalows. Then, just lean back and relax , complying with the local saying, ico aré, which means “ to do nothing” in the indigenous language tupi-guarani. Difficult? Just give it a try.