Dancing Umbrellas, Sharks & a Reef

Recife is situated in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, Brazil. This city has many canals and a little island, and, because of this, was once known as the Venice of the north east. Recife is the fourth-largest urban agglomeration in Brazil with 3,995,949 inhabitants, the largest urban agglomeration of north eastern states.


The town dates back to the 16th century. It was constructed on an island in the harbour. This city was invaded by different people. The city was built under the sea level, and is surrounded by a natural reef; ‘Recife’ means reef in Portuguese. Recife stands out as a major tourist attraction of the northeast, both for its beaches and for its historic sites, dating back to both the Portuguese and the Dutch colonization of the region.


To the south of the city, the  popular Boa Viagem Beach is sheltered by reefs and lined by tall apartment blocks, modern hotels and restaurants. This beach has shark infested water, which to my knowledge is very unusual for a Brazilian beach. I loved the beach, but I wasn’t brave enough to swim there.

Recife, Olinda, Brazil


Only a short ride away from Recife, you can reach the little town of Olinda. It’s beautiful, with lots of colonial buildings.



Olinda was built on top of many hills, so if  you decide to visit this area high heels are not advisable. I would wear flat shoes. This town has 18th century architecture, baroque churches, convents, monasteries and brightly painted houses.


Olinda is also famous for its Carnival. It has a unique way of dancing, to a special kind of music called Frevo, using big umbrellas, and folkloric masks with I think must be hard work going up and down the hills dancing, but a good workout though!


Recife is a great place to visit in the northeast of Brazil. I really enjoyed exploring this unusual city. If you have time, watch this little video, so you will have an idea of the Carnival in Olinda.

25 thoughts on “Dancing Umbrellas, Sharks & a Reef

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  1. The old beautiful buildings are in stark contrast to the modern concrete buildings of the city. Your photos are a reminder to all of us to preserve our cultural heritage in the world. Thank you for your informative post on a city that until today I did not even know existed!

    Liked by 1 person

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