Maceió has a great coastal ambiance and stands out for its beauty - embedded in palm trees, mangroves and the bright green sea. It also has a remarkable culture, reflected in its arts and crafts, cuisine and customs. Like many places in North-east Brazil, the city has initially thrived on the sugar industry. Nowadays, it has a very good touristic infrastructure with excellent hotels, and has become an important destination for national and international tourists.
Maceió's climate is tropical - hot and humid during most of the year. The best time to go depends on your weather preferences. Summer extends from December through March, when temperatures are very hot. May through September is mildly warm, but rains a lot.
- 1 Zumbi dos Palmares International (MCZ IATA), ☏ . Receives flights from every large Brazilian city as well as some international flights.
There are plenty of taxis at the airport's arrivals area. Some travelers on a tight budget prefer to take the bus to the downtown area, then a cheaper taxi ride to their final destination. A taxi from the airport to Ponta Verde runs around R$35.
Taxis are everywhere and you'll have no problem finding them. The initial fee is R$3.35, then it depends how far you go.
The bus system is operated by the company "Transporte Tropical," operating in the "Aeroporto - Ponta Verde" line, which connects the airport to Ponta Verde Beach. The current price is R$2.50 for a single trip. There are no transfers though so each bus you take will require you to pay again.
You can rent a car starting at about R$90/day. This is a great way to explore the nearby beaches on a day trip.
- Museum of the Historical and Geografical Institute of Alagoas. Fine arts and historical objects.
- Museum of Image and Music. Photographic, cinematographic, and sound exhibitions and archives
- Museum of Sport.
- Pierre Chalita Museum. Fine arts.
- Théo Brandão Museum. Folk and primitive arts.
- UFAL Museum of Natural History.
Approximately 140 km south from Maceió there is a very small town called Piaçabuçu, where you can get on a boat and sail through the São Francisco River and see where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. There are vans that can take you there or you can rent a car. The boat ride costs R$30.00 and is absolutely amazing.
- São Gonçalo Belvedere (Mirante São Gonçalo), Praça Rosalvo Ribeiro (next to the São Gonçalo church and the lighthouse). From there, on a clear day, the old city, the harbor and the whole coastline, from Pajuçara up to Pontal da Barra, can be seen.
Maceió is surrounded by beaches. There is no problem finding a nice beach to relax. You can choose between those with a lot of people or the empty ones.
- Cruz das Almas
- Ponta Verde
- Pontal da Barra
- Barra de Santo Antônio
- Carro Quebrado Beach
- Croa Island
- Tabuba Beach
- Barra de São Miguel
- Surfing and bodyboarding are popular in Maceió. The waves are safe and there are no sharks to worry about. There are also no dangerous reefs to worry about. The best place to go surfing near Maceió is at Praia do Frances (Frenchman's Beach). Waves aren't the best in Alagoas; sometimes there are good waves, but that isn't very consistent. There are also many low priced resorts you can stay at for the weekend or for months at a time.
- Watch the sunset from Avenida da Paz.
- Snorkeling in Ponta Verde beach (with low tide). Bring your own snorkel, there are usually none for rent.
- The main tourist attraction in Maceió is the Piscinas Naturais in Pajuçara beach, a naturally shallow area in the ocean about one kilometer away from the shore. You can get there by jangada (a traditional wooden sailboat). This is a good place to snorkel and there are always restaurant boats selling food and drinks.
Concerts are very common.
- Lace (renda) - At Pontal da Barra, near the Mundaú lagoon
- Crafts and popular art, ☏ . At Armazém Sebrae - Avenida da Paz, 878 (Jaraguá). Mo-Fri 10AM to 10PM, Sat 9AM to 1PM.
- Feira de Artesanato in Pajuçara for local arts and crafts.
There are many, many restaurants to choose from. The restaurants on the beaches alone will be more than enough for your stay. There are many different types of food to choose from. Fish and other seafood, a wide selection of fruits, and authentic Brazilian cuisine are very common. Make sure to try a Tapioca, a pancake made of tapioca flour that can be filled with anything from ham and cheese to chocolate. They are sold all along the beach at lunchtime.
- Super Pizza. The most famous (and most oily) pizza in Maceio. Two places: in Iguatemi Shopping or close to the beach.
- Other places where you can eat fast food food: Pizza Fone, Baita Pão and Passaporte Gaucho.
- Massarella, R. José Pontes de Magalhães, 271 (near Jatiúca beach), ☏ . Italian food, pasta, pizzas.
- Maria Antonieta, Av. Doutor Antônio Gomes de Barros, 150, ☏ . Italian upscale restaurant with good wine selection.
- Imperador dos Camarões (Shrimp's Emperor), Travessa Antônio Gouveia, 21, ☏ . Local seafood options.
- Wanchako, Rua São Francisco de Assis, 93 - Jatiúca, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Peruvian food. Highlights are the ceviches made with local fishes.
There are plenty of bars all along the beach. The Jatiuca neighbourhood has a good bar scene. It has two famous places, Skyy nightclub and MaiKai. Another famous nightclub is Middo located in the Pajuçara neighbourhood.
- Albergue Alagamar, Rua Prefeito Abdon Arroxelas 327, Ponta Verde, ☏ . A well-located HI-hostel. Dorm R$ 28, doubles R$ 50.
- 1 Hotel Pousada Gogó da Ema, Rua Francisco Laranjeiras, 56-122 - Ponta Verde, AL, 57035-090, ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. 1 block to the beach, in Ponta Verde neighbourhood. Air conditioning, refrigerator, Wi-Fi, breakfast included (all you can eat). Double room: R$180, Triple room: R$ 220, (High Season).
There are many different hotels to choose from in terms of price. There are many large hotels to find tour guides and most of the hotel staff have a good grasp of English and other languages like Italian. Here are just a few:
- Jatiuca Hotel, Lagoa da Anta 220 - Mangabeiras, +55 82 2122-2000
- Hotel Meliá Maceió , Av. Álvaro Otacílio 4065, Jatiúca, +55 82 325-5656
- Maceió Mar Hotel, Av. Álvaro Otacílio 2991, Ponta Verde, +55 82 217-8000
- Ritz Lagoa da Anta, Av. Brig. Eduardo Gomes 546, Cruz das Almas +55 82 217-4000
Temporary apartments are usually the best if your plan to stay more than a week. They are the cheapest and you don't need a lease or pay any utility bills. Many will allow you to stay less than a month. Each temporary apartment is different though. Not all include furniture, a stove, or a refrigerator. Prices can be as low as R$255 per month.
Maceió is one of the most violent cities in Brazil, together with Recife (PE) and Vitória (ES). There are many poor people wandering around on the street and if you stop for a second, either to look at a map or admire the landscape, they will approach you asking for money. In this case you should say no and start walking away from them, they are mostly harmless. There are less people begging for money in Jatiúca and Ponta Verde, but there are so many in Pajuçara that eating a tapioca by the beach can become an annoying activity.