Boutique Travel Experts

Natal to Recife Road Trip

This 12-day guided beach road trip will take you from Natal to Recife, along three Brazilian states: Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba and Pernambuco. This itinerary combines a mixture of adventure, relaxation, gastronomy, history and culture, including famous sites and surprising hidden gems. You will discover an array of different beaches, from popular surf spots to quieter coves with calm waters. Take a boat trip in Pipa to spot dolphins and further south in Baia da Traicao go searching for turtles and manatees. Learn about the culture of Potiguara indigenous community and visit the small picturesque colonial towns of Areia and Olinda. In the cities of Natal, Joao Pessoa and Recife discover the north-eastern urban vibes. Apart from beautiful tropical beaches, the Northeast of Brazil holds many wonderful secrets in its little-known interior, in the midst of wild landscapes shaped along millions of years. Visit the wonderful sites of Cariri, Pedra da Boca and Pedra do Inga. This is a fantastic and mystical experience for those who have interest in geology and paleontology. In general, the program is an excellent choice for those who like nature and adventure, for couples, for families travelling with children, for a group of friends or couples, as well as for senior travellers. The program includes accommodation at small boutique hotels with a lot of comfort and charm. You can start either in Recife or in Natal, and we will adjust the trip depending where you arrive. We can tailor this itinerary to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities.

12 Days – From £2,480 per person 

*equivalent in USD, EUR accepted

Itinerary: Natal, Pipa, Pedra da Boca, Cariri, Baia de Traição, Joao Pessoa, Olinda, Recife

  • Price is per person, based on two people sharing in a double/twin room
  • Accommodation with breakfast (Select from more hand-picked Brazil Hotels)
  • All the excursions mentioned in the itinerary 
  • All transfers by car on a private basis
  • Entrance & guiding fees to all the mentioned National Parks
  • All mandatory local taxes
  • Visa, where applicable
  • International Flights (See Flights to Brazil)
  • Domestic Flights 
  • Personal Expenses
  • Insurance
  • Tips & Gratuities
  • Meals not mentioned in the description.

International flights are not included in the package price. We give you the freedom to book the flights yourself, use miles and choose your preferred airline, and if you are stuck we can help you find the right connections. Return flights to Brazil start from £800 per person, depending on the connections and time of the year. Fly to Natal (NAT) or to Recife (REC).

For families and groups (starting with 5 pax), we can book domestic flights in Brazil, during the high season, and if the trip is part of a more complex itinerary. This is to ensure a seamless travel and no complications.

Send us a message on WhatsApp or email us at brazil@boutiquetravelexperts.com to check availability, discuss your preferences and get a quote.

This is a sample itinerary and prices are correct at the time of writing. We can tailor it to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities. More days can be added. Other hotels can be chosen, according to your liking. You can also combine this trip with other sights in Brazil, like the cosmopolitan Rio de Janeiro, the exciting Amazon rainforest, the fascinating Pantanal or the deep canyons of the south. For more travel inspiration check these itineraries.

Best time to visit: year round. It is best to avoid February and the weekends when the beaches are very crowded.

  • November to March are the warmest with less rain.
  • April to May it is still warm, an excellent time to go
  • June and July in general are the months with most rain, which means that the sea water can become slightly colder and not as clear as usual.
  • August is the windy month, but it is still beautiful.
  • October a pleasant climate and without many tourists.

To avoid unpleasant weather surprises, we recommend to check our Brazil Weather Guide to plan your trip in the right season. Click on the month you want to travel in and see the tours which are best for each month of the year. 

Day 1 - Natal

Today you will arrive in Natal, the capital of Rio Grande do Norte state. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. After some relaxation take a picturesque buggy tour around Natal. Cross the river and visit Genipabu with its towering dunes and a freshwater lagoon. Continue to the star-shaped Forte dos Reis Magos, a 16th-century Portuguese fortress. After lunch, visit one of the largest urban parks in Brazil, Parque das Dunas. Its picturesque mix of lush rainforest and tall, golden sand dunes creates a unique landscape. End the day at Ponta Negra. The beach is home to Morro do Careca, a beautiful 120-metre-high dune. Overnight at Vila do Mar.

The sand dunes in Natal, Brazil

Day 2 - Natal to Pipa

Today depart to the quaint beach village of Pipa (2 hours). On the way, pass by Piranga do Sul and visit the biggest cashew tree in the world. The impressive intertwining branches are part of a single twig planted by a fisherman in 1888, which gave birth to a small forest of 8500 sqm. Continue to Dunas de Búzios, then to the wonderful  Lagoa Arituba and Lagoa Carcará with blue water. For lunch, discover the restaurants of Rua dos Golfinos in Pipa. Then, take a walking tour along Praia do Madeiro, a surfing spot, Baía dos Golfinhos a dolphins spot and Praia do Centro,which has natural pools at low tide. Continue to Praia das Minas, a semi-deserted beach with cliffs, dunes and natural pools. It is a nesting area for turtles. Watch a beautiful sunset over the ocean. Overnight at Île de Pipa.

cashew tree with fruits

Day 3 - Gastronomic Boat Trip

Today take a gastronomic tour by boat. Embark on this adventure to discover the beaches of Pipa from another perspective. The traditional schooner with the capacity of 10-25 passengers leaves Praia do Centro at 10:30 am, heading towards Lagoa de Guaraíras, and then returning back at sunset, with a beautiful sundowner in the background. During this trip, snorkelling stops will be made, including at the famous Baía dos Golfinhos. For lunch you will have delicious oysters and mussels, skewered shrimps, grilled fish with fruit salad, a nice dessert and caipirinhas. Have the evening at leisure. Overnight at Île de Pipa.

Gastronomic boat trip in Pipa, Brazil

Day 4 - Buggy Tour

Today take a buggy tour to the south of Pipa (6 hours). Visit Praia do Amor, a surfing spot, then continue to Chapadão Hill, the red cliff contrasting with the green ocean. Enjoy panoramic views of Praia de Sibaúma, a relaxed beach with natural pools, Barra do Cunhaú with calm transparent waters and natural pools. Visit the fishermen town of Baia Formosa and Lagoa da Araraquara, which is also called the Coca-Cola lagoon, believed to have healing capacities. Finish at the deserted beach of Praia do Sagi, on the border between Rio Grande do Norte and Paraíba. Return to Pipa and spend the afternoon at leisure or try yourself at surfing. Overnight at Île de Pipa.

Boats in the bay of Pipa, Brazil

Day 5 - Pedra da Boca & Cariri

Today visit the inland. Stop at Passa e Fica (2 hours) to admire Pedra da Boca, a granite hill with a prehistoric shelter. Marvel at the fantastic panorama from the top. Continue to Cariri (3,5 hours). At Sítio do Bravo visit the lakes and the enormous round boulders perched on the hill. The site contains enigmatic relics such as rock art, flint tools and fossilized bones of mega-fauna such as mastodons, giant sloths and smilodons from the Pleistocene era. Continue to Cariri. At sunset, visit the fantastic site scattered with huge rocky boulders, once inhabited by early tribes. For dinner try an indigenous meal cooked in an earth oven. Experience the starry night of the sertao. Overnight at Pai Mateus Ranch.

Giant boulder in Cariri, Brazil

Day 6 - Areia & Pedra do Inga

After breakfast, depart to Areia (2 hours), a small colonial town with colourful architecture. Then, visit Pedra do Inga (1 hour), a huge monolith, unprecedented in the world, and the largest archaeological site in Brazil. Beautiful prehistoric petroglyphs, carved thousands of years ago, guards secrets not yet deciphered. The carved figures seem to represent animals, fruits, humans and constellations, such as Orion. No one can explain the presence of such an elaborated and complex inscription in a region where no form of communication was known, apart from the oral one. After lunch, continue to Baia de Traicao (2,5 hours). Overnight at Pousada Yemanjá Toré.

Pedra do Inga, Paraiba, Brazil

Day 7 - Trekking to Coqueirinho

Today discover Baia de Traição, a natural reserve with pristine beaches and the home of Potiguara Indigenous people. The tribe resisted the Portuguese colonization for a very long time and recovered their territory in 1988. Today there are 29 villages spread over three communes. Take an easy beach hike to the picturesque fishing village of Coqueirinho, along fantastic white sand beaches. Coqueirinho has a long half-moon shaped cove with calm waters. From the small church of Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes continue to the mouth of Sinimbu river for swimming. Stop in a local restaurant for a succulent lunch with oysters, prawns and tasty crabs from the reefs. Return to the lodge in the afternoon. Overnight at Pousada Yemanjá Toré.

Praia do Coqueirinho, Paraiba, Brazil

Day 8 - Potiguara Culture

Today discover the north-east of the Potiguara reserve. Visit the cliffs of Praia do Forte, a historic site with panoramic views. Stop for swimming at the beautiful beach of Barra de Camaratuba. Then, visit the indigenous village of Sao Francisco to learn about the dances and songs of the native Brazilians. Get a traditional body paintings with genipapu, a fruity black dye that remains imprinted for about ten days. In the afternoon, reach the source of Rio Gozo, a spring pool where the water gushes from the subsoil to form a small stream with clear and frozen waters. It is an enchanted place full of charm where you can also swim. Return to the lodge. Overnight at Pousada Yemanjá Toré.

Potiguara Face Painting, Brazil

Day 9 - Turtles & Manatees

After breakfast, head to the port of Camurupim, located on Rio Mamanguape. Here, the small restaurants serve tasty dishes with fish, prawns and clams. Discover the mangrove forest by boat, searching for turtles and manatees. First head into the open sea, to the coral reef. At low tide, climb the rocks and spot sea turtle swimming around. Then, stop at Barra de Mamanguape beach, in front of a large natural pool with calm waters, where turtles often swim around. Take a refreshing dip. Then, search for manatees in the mouth of river Mamanguape. The curious and docile mammals live in freedom here, emerging from the water and watching the visitors. What a spectacular day. Return to the lodge. Overnight at Pousada Yemanjá Toré. 

Manatees, Paraiba, Brazil

Day 10 - Joao Pessoa

Today continue to Joao Pessoa (1,5 hours), the third oldest city in Brazil. It is often called the green city, because right in the heart of the urban metropolis there is a protected area of ​​the Atlantic Rainforest. Visit the recently restored historic center, with colourful architecture, representing a mixture of baroque and art deco styles. Visit Centro Cultural Sao Francisco, one of the most beautiful monasteries in Brazil, which has a golden chapel, Capela de la Ordem Terceira de São Francisco. Continue to Estação Cabo Branco, a cultural center built by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Spend the afternoon at leisure. Overnight at BA’RA Hotel.

Historic center of Joao Pessoa and river Paraiba, Brazil

Day 11 - Recife & Olinda

Today depart to Recife. On the way, stop at the paradisaical beach of Praia do Tabatinga (45 min), then continue to Ilha de Itamaraca (1,5 hours) to visit the historic Fort Orange. In Olinda, take a guided tour starting at Nossa Senhora do Carmo church built in 1580. Go up the colourful streets to Convento de Sao Francisco and Alto da Sé. Descend to Museum of Contemporary Art installed in a former prison. Continue to Marco Zero square and the colourful Rua do Bom Jesus with the oldest synagogue in Latin America, all located in Recife. Visit Patio de Sao Pedro and Praça de Republica with the impressive baroque church of Capela Dourada built between 1696 and 1724. At sunset, enjoy a beijo de tapicoa in Olinda. Overnight at Pousada do Amparo.

Colonial church in Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil

Day 12 - Departure

Today is your departure day. After breakfast, the transfer to the airport will be organised according to your flight. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the relaxing moments. Time permitting, if your flight is in the evening, visit the historic town of Igarassu, which is the second oldest town in Brazil. It is located around 30 min drive to the north of Olinda. If you wish to extend your stay in Brazil, we also recommend discovering the stunning archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, a UNESCO Heritage Site, an island with wonderful marine life and beaches. Alternatively you can continue further south, to Salvador.

colonial church, tall palm trees and the turquoise see in Olinda, Brazil

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