Boutique Travel Experts

Salvador to Recife Road Trip

This 11-day guided beach road trip in Brazil, will take you from Salvador to Recife, along the magical north eastern coastline through the four states: Bahia, Sergipe (the smallest state of Brazil), Pernambuco and Alagoas. The last two are often called the ‘Caribbean of Brazil’ due to their stunning clear waters and a relaxed vibe. This trip is packed with fun activities for every day. Discover beautiful tropical beaches sheltered by tall coconut palm trees, cross rivers which run into the ocean, swim in natural pools created at low tide, snorkel or dive with colourful fish, learn about sea turtle and manatees conservation projects, marvel at the colonial heritage of Brazil and much more. This itinerary is a perfect plan for beach lovers who also like to put a bit of culture in their holiday. This program is a great choice for an active family getaway as well as for couples who like to combine relaxation with discovering new places. Stay in charming small inns and soak in the beach culture of Brazil. This trip can also be done the other way around, starting in Recife and finishing in Salvador. The program is an excellent choice for all ages and good for those who like road trips. We can tailor this itinerary to suit your plans by changing the length of the trip or the order of activities.

11 Days – From £2,600 per person 

*equivalent in USD, EUR accepted

Itinerary: Salvador, Praia do Forte, Aracaju, Penedo, Maceio, Sao Miguel dos Milagres, Porto de Galinhas, Recife, Olinda

  • 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 Salvador (SSA) 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.
  • In September the stretch from Maceió to Recife can be crowded with trucks from sugar cane.
  • 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 - Salvador

Today you will arrive in Salvador. Welcome to the vibrant capital of Bahia, where the colours of the streets and the rhythm of capoeira will stir feelings of joy in your heart. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Take a slow-walk to the historic centre of Pelourinho and try the traditional dish called acarajé, enjoy Bahian music and soak up the local vibe, on the main square of the first capital of Brazil! Bahia is a special state with a special feeling – everything is in slow motion here and one quickly embraces this relaxed pace of life. Put your holiday mood on! Overnight at Solar dos Deuses.

a view of the colorful colonial houses in the historic centre of Pelorinho in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

Day 2 - Salvador to Praia do Forte

Today depart to Praia do Forte (1,5 hours), a lovely beach village, famous for its transparent waters and white sands, where sea turtles lay their eggs. Beaches are sheltered by lush coconut groves and a rich coral reef stretching along the shore. At low tide, colourful fish get stranded in small natural pools that form around the reef. Snorkelling and diving is really great here. Visit the conservation project Tamar, dedicated to preserving the five species of sea turtles native to Brazil. Later on, cast an eye on the ruins of the Garcia D’Avila Castle (1552), the only medieval castle in Brazil. Overnight at Hotel Pousada dos Artistas.

Small turtle on the beach, Brazil

Day 3 - Praia do Forte to Aracaju

After breakfast, continue to Aracaju (3,5 hours), the capital of Sergipe, a sugar-cane region that was strategically important in colonial times. On the way, stop at Mangue Seco, a remote fishing village sheltered by dunes. Take a buggy excursion to explore the beach. Continue to Aracaju which sits on Sergipe River, guarded from the ocean by Ilha de Santa Luzia, boasting many unspoiled beaches. Aracaju is famous for its savoury crabs. Just south of the long Atalaia Beach you will find the popular Passarela do Carangueijo, a row of eateries placed along the waterfront, serving the famous and beloved local dish. Overnight at Aruana Eco Praia.

Santa Isabel Biological Reserve, Brazil

Day 4 - Aracaju to Penedo

Today continue to Penedo (3 hours). On the way, stop at Santa Isabel Nature Reserve, a pristine place with vast coconut groves, deep blue lagoons, lush swamps, big dunes and the ever-present emerald ocean. Enjoy splendid views! Continue to Piaçabuçu and take a river tour. Then, continue to Penedo, known for its colonial history and friendly locals. Built on a hill overlooking the mouth of São Francisco River, the town is one of the finest examples of preserved colonial architecture in Brazil. An array of colorful churches, convents and mansions display the European past. Take a walk through the city and a guided river tour. Overnight at Hotel Sao Francisco.

Brazil

Day 5 - Penedo to Maceio

Today continue to Maceió (2,5 hours), the capital of Alagoas, passing through Praia do Gunga, one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, with a unique blue-green colour that changes with the tides. Then, pass through the laid-back surfer’s town of Praia do Francês. Stop for lunch in Marechal Deodoro, a quaint colonial town overlooking Lagoa Manguaba. Then, continue to Maceió, a city with gorgeous urban beaches such as Pajuçara, Sete Coqueiros, Ponta Verde and Jatiucá. Maceió is also blessed with an offshore reef. The natural pools can be visited by raft during low tide. Fish, shrimp, crab and lobster are some of Maceió´s specialities. Overnight at Villas do Pratagy.

Beautiful turquoise water near Maceio in Brazil

Day 6 - Sao Miguel dos Milagres

Today continue to São Miguel dos Milagres (2 hours), a paradise fishing village with heavenly beaches, located in the north of Alagoas. The reefs create perfect conditions for scuba diving and snorkelling. São Miguel is blessed with emerald waters, lined with swinging coconut trees. This is a perfect place to unwind, escaping from mass tourism.  Relax in a hammock while sipping coconut water. At low tide you can go snorkelling in the natural pools. Enjoy a fresh seafood lunch and tropical drinks. In the afternoon go horse riding, cycling or visit the manatee centre on Rio Tatuamunha. Enjoy splendid sunsets in one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. Overnight at Casa Acayu.

Girl with a hat in the hammock on the beach in Sao Miguel dos Milagres, Alagoas, Brazil

Day 7 -  Japaratinga & Maragogi

Today enjoy the nearby beaches of Japaratinga and Maragogi. Visit the lighthouse near Porto de Pedras, before crossing the river on a ferry. Stop at various points to enjoy the views. The sea is light green, warm and without waves, with a protective reef in the distance. When the tide is low, it is possible to walk kilometers into the sea and dive into the natural pools. Colorful wooden boats adorn the beach, balancing lazily on the surface of transparent waters. You won’t be bothered by beach vendors here. The inns are very charming and homey, and the restaurants serve organic recipes. There are several walking trails for active visitors. Overnight at Pousada Shalom Beach.

Beautiful beach in Japaratinga, Alagoas, Brazil

Day 8 - Praia dos Carneiros

After breakfast, continue to Porto de Galinhas (1,5 hours), a popular beach town in the state of Pernambuco. This region is often called the ‘Caribbean of Brazil’ due to its coconut-aligned beaches with turquoise waters and the laid-back local lifestyle. Before reaching the hotel in Porto de Galinhas, stop in Carneiros for lunch. Enjoy the turquoise sea and the charming green-and-white chapel Capela de São Benedito, located among tall palm trees, right on the beach. What a romantic sight! Once in Porto de Galinhas, check the tide swings and head to the natural pools for snorkeling with colorful fish. Overnight at Pousada Tabapitanga.

Snorkeling with fish in the natural pools of Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco, Brazil

Day 9 - Porto de Galinhas

Today spend a free day in the lively beach town of Porto de Galinhas, which is nestled amid coconut trees along a stunning white sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters and an offshore chain of reefs. It is a popular family destination, therefore the vibe is more eventful compared to the sleepy beaches of Alagoas. During low tide the reef forms natural pools where you can snorkel with tropical fish year-round. It is possible to swim right on to the reefs with natural pools or take a small fishing raft called jangada. After swimming, enjoy the fresh beach snacks and drinks. Overnight at Pousada Tabapitanga.

Colorful jongadas in Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco, Brazil

Day 10 - Recife & Olinda

After breakfast, continue to Recife (1 hour 15 min), the capital of Pernambuco. Take a discovery tour along the streets of Olinda with colourful houses and breathtaking views. The churches are mingling with coconut trees and the skyscrapers of Recife can be seen on the horizon. Pernambuco is a special state in Brazil, preserving a Dutch colonial look, which is different from other regions of Brazil with a predominantly Portuguese or French appearance. Continue to Boa Viagem beach in Recife, passing through old bridges. You will see the contrast between the modern neighbourhoods and the old towns. In Recife the old town is very cute, with canals and colourful houses. Overnight at Pousada do Amparo.

Old Town of Recife in Brazil

Day 11 - 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 you can take a excursion to the north of Recife, visiting Ilha do Itaparica, the Orange Fort, Vila Velha, the Blue Lagoon and the historic town of Igarassu, which is the second oldest town in Brazil. If you wish to continue your stay in Brazil, we recommend discovering the stunning archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, a UNESCO Heritage Site, an island with wonderful marine life and beaches. You can also continue the trip further north, to Natal.

Colonial church in Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil

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