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Recife and Olinda stand within sight of each other on Brazil's Northeast coast, one city on a hilltop, the other on a river mouth, one founded by the Portuguese, the other by the Dutch.
Recife, in keeping with the commercial character of its Dutch founders, is busy, flat, efficient. Modern. Recife is the second-largest city in Brazil's Northeast, and aside from a small but pretty historical core, it's not really worth a visit, at least not in comparison with Salvador or São Luis.

Recife is certainly a very beautiful region that gives you several options to educate yourself about the spectacular South American region. It is the capital of Pernambuco which is situated round the northeast corner of the United States over the Atlantic Ocean. Sugar refining and cotton milling are the two primary industries of this fascinating city. Wherever you go, you are sure to find trails, glorious beach cities, and fantastic architectural spots. A couple of museums including the Museu do Homem do Nordeste is spectacular. The Museu Archeologico is exquisite too, while offering a glimpse to the anthropological and cultural glory of Recife.
To the South of Recife, visitors will find some glorious beaches. The sparkling sand and crashing waves of Guadaplupe and Camela helps the beach holiday feel to sink in well. The Horto Zoobotânico allows you to definitely view many animals indigenous South American animals, as well as the lesser known botanical species. Several eateries in town are excellent. Dig into the Lobster and Polo Pina Maxime when here.
Docking and Local Transportation
Cruise ships dock in the commercial harbor and must shuttle passengers from the port facility. No one is allowed to walk through the port facilities and there is no cruise ship terminal and associated services. The shuttle will take you into downtown Recife to a large shopping mall where taxis may be negotiated that are lines up along the river. Cruise liners pier within the Port of Recife. Taxis  take visitors to downtown Recife.
Thing To See and Do
The Museu Archeologico can be a spectacular option about the cultural and historic  legacy of Recife. Situations are displayed from ancient products and Brazilian artefacts to exquisite habitat exhibits and finds from across the country. This museum provides a perception of how a first people of South America lived their life. The background of every native tribe that has resided around the location of Recife has been fastidiously chronicled here.
Horto Zoobotanico, round the Praça p Dois Irmãos is a strikingly zoo and botanical garden which has most likely probably the most exotic creatures anywhere. You'll find hundreds of species here, along with thousands of plants together with an excellent of South America’s extinct species.
The Museu do Homem do Nordeste, at Avenida 17 p Agosto 2223, is divided into three  sections. The foremost is the anthropology exhibit with art shows. Popular Art might be the 2nd section in this particular great facility, and Brazilian artists have brought many of the works. The pieces of art and sculptures are excellent, as well as the architecture in the room is itself a factor of beauty. The Next section is known as the Pharmaceutical room, where all the herbal plants and indigenous South American flowers are displayed. You may be quite surprised if you see the amount of helpful medicinal herbal remedies result from Brazilian forests.
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese and the currency is the Brazilian Real. However, U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Be sure to have an ample supply of small bills to make exact change.
Looking at Recife From Olinda -- Recife is a huge metropolis city of almost 2 million residents. Unlike many of Brazil's cities, Recife has grown outward, rather than upward making for good distances between sights. Recife has a good number of waterways with bridges allowing access for pedestrians and automobiles alike and is sometime likened to Italy's Venice. Make no mistake though, Recife is no Venice. The Old Town area in downtown is quite interesting even if there are. modern building mixed in with the colonial architecture.

Recife enjoys tropical weather year around with temperatures between 75 and 90 degrees. It can be hot and sunny. Be sure to take lots of sunscreen and wear a hat and limit your time in the direct sun based on the amount of exposure that you have had prior to arriving in Recife. Recife receives some rain during their summer months (November through April) but can be very dry, as well.
Where does the ship dock?
Casa de Cultura
The cells of a one-time prison now house 150 craft shops, bookstores and coffee shops and an outdoor patio area now acts as the setting for concerts, folkloric performances and venues for regional cuisine.
The Cathedral in Olinda
A visit to Olinda should be high on your list of things to do in Recife. Olinda is is a UNESCO historic site and dates back to the 16th century.
Olinda Street Vendors
There is lots of shopping for local crafts and arts from both the street vendors and from the various shops in Olinda. It is well worth a visit. Olinda is about a 20-30 minute taxi ride from where the shuttle drops you off at the mall.
Just One of Recife's Many Churches
Leaving Olinda and making your way back into Recife's Old Town, you will pass a good number of churches and interesting squares.
The Golden Chapel
If you are going to only visit one church, be sure to visit the Golden Chapel. It is located in the Capela Dourada (Golden Chapel) and costs a dolltar to enter. It is well worth a visit as the entire chapel is covered in gold leaf and art.
The ceiling of the Golden Chapel is absolutely gorgeous and the more you look at the detail that makes up its walls and ceiling the more you can appreciate the Brazilian Baoque.
Recife's Old Town
Exploring Old Town is also very much fun. Old Town is spread over three different islands and has modern buildings mixed in with the old colonial structures, but there is plenty to see. Old Town is marked with good restaurants, boutiques, shops and other attractions.
Convento de Sao Francisco
One of the oldest buildings in Recife, the 16th-century Convent of Saint Francis is decorated with gorgeous blue, yellow and red Portuguese tiles.

Rua do Amparo Rua do Amparo
This historic street is one of the most scenic and architecturally significant thoroughfares in Olinda, the colonial capital of Brazil and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Oficina Ceramic Ricardo Brennand
A fantasy arising from the fertile imagination of Brazil's famous sculptor Ricardo Brennand, this complex of fountains, gardens and 2,000 sculptures is a must for any connoisseur of contemporary art.
If you would rather go to the beach, just take a taxi to one of Recife's many beaches and enjoy the day. They all offer complete services and the beaches are lined with additional shops and services. It is safe swimming in crystal clear water. In the city center, visitors will find some incredible tropical beaches. Camela is extremely popular, but Guadalupe and Ponta dos Manguinhos are equally magnificent. Really, the second two are often less crowded, and generally have near perfect surf conditions.
Boa Viagem -- The most famous beach in Recife boasts a long offshore reef which keeps the water calm for swimming, even at night, and a wide array of glamorous hotels, restaurants and night clubs.
Wreck divers will be in heaven; at least 15 wrecks are diveable and within easy reach. For excursions contact Projeto Mar, Rua Bernardino Pessoa 410, Boa Viagem (tel. 081/3326-0162; www.projetomar.com.br). Two dives including all the gear cost R$130; a nondiving companion pays R$30.
Stay Alert for Sharks
Bather in this are at greater risk of Shark attack : Reads a sign on Boa Viagem beach. But greater than what, exactly? Those who don't go in the water? The first recorded shark attack occurred on Boa Viagem beach 14 years ago. Since then there have been numerous others, some of them fatal. Locals say the new port built just south of Recife forced the sharks out of their usual habitat and moved them up the coast. Attacks have decreased lately due to more public awareness, but caution is still required on Pina, Boa Viagem, and Piedade beaches. Follow the directions of lifeguards and don't go beyond the reefs.
Eating Out
Centro -- Recife's historic downtown is a bustling and fascinating part of the city during business hours. Most of the restaurants in Centro cater to a business and office-lunch crowd and are closed at night and on weekends. The best spot in the evening is in Old Recife around the Rua do Bom Jesus, where most bars serve full meals or excellent appetizers.
Try a Tapioca Pancake -- Thursday through Sunday from 2 to 10pm, there's a small market at the Praça da Boa Viagem. Though the crafts are nothing special, the tapioca pancakes are worth writing home about. These small pancakes are made from scratch with tapioca flour; it's kind of fun to watch the women pour the tiny tapioca grains on the skillet and see a pancake slowly take form. Served either sweet (with coconut and condensed milk) or savory (with cheese), these are mighty addictive little treats.

Pólo Pina Maxime, at Avenida Boa 21 features the most delectable chicken and ocean food in Recife, so when you are within the vicinity for fresh local sea food, there is no better place. Caught every single day, the seasoned the Spanish mackerel at Polo Pina Maxime is delicious. Calypso can be found at Rua do Bom Jesus 147 which is typically the most popular nightclub in Recife. Featuring a good crowd and thumping music, Calypso really comes to form after evening time. Depois do Escuro, at Rua da Amizade 178, is probably one of the premier bars in Recife. This is often a hangout for youthful residents, and there is a never-ending report on exotic cocktails.

The Performing Arts
 Recife's prime theater venue is the elegant Teatro Princesa Isabel, Praça da República s/n (tel. 081/3224-1020), built in 1850. Just reopened after years of renovations, it's worth checking local listings for events held at this lovely venue.
Clubs & Bars
Recife's historic downtown has undergone a complete face-lift, becoming a cultural and entertainment district. Activities center around the Rua do Bom Jesus; lined with at least 15 bars and restaurants, this is one of the best places in town Thursday through Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Free concerts add to the entertainment, and on Sunday there's a street market.
One of Old Recife's nicest bars is the Arsenal do Chopp, Praça Artur Oscar 59, at the corner of Rua do Bom Jesus (tel. 081/3224-6259). Most tables are spread out over the sidewalk; for a quiet spot grab a table inside. Another great venue downtown is the Patio de São Pedro. Beautifully restored, this square now hosts a variety of free outdoor music events. On Tuesday, locals gather for the Terça Negra, an event with Afoxé music, a style with heavy African influences. On Saturday, a younger crowd gathers to dance to maracatu, mangue beat, and other regional tunes. Events start at 7 or 8pm.
In Boa Viagem the favorite nightspot is Polo Pina, a few square blocks around Pina beach and Avenida Herculano Bandeira de Melo. Recently named the best bar in Recife, Biruta Bar, Rua Bem-te-Vi, Pina (tel. 081/3326-5151; www.birutabar.com.br), features a large veranda looking out over the ocean, making it the perfect setting for a special date. On Thursday, Biruta presents blues bands and on Friday there's forró. Tip: This bar is not easy to find and the small detour cuts through a bit of a dark corner at the end of Pina. We recommend taking a taxi.
For more live music head out to the Uk Pub, Rua Francisco da Cunha 165, Boa Viagem (tel. 081/3465-1088; www.ukpub.com.br). Open Tuesday through Sunday, there is live music (samba, rock, pop) every night except Wednesday. It also has a great beer menu with more than 50 specialties. Cover ranges from R$5 to R$15. The best night for dancing at Boratcho, Av. Herculano Bandeira 513 (inside Galeria Joana d'Arc) (tel. 081/3327-1168; www.boratcho.com.br), is Thursday when DJs play a variety of music, including samba-rock and regional rhythms. Boteco, Av. Boa Viagem 1660, Boa Viagem (tel. 081/3325-1428), is a popular destination almost any night of the week. Serving the best beer in town, the bar is often packed with locals stopping by for an ice-cold chopp. Open daily.
Olinda is not known for its nightlife; most folks settle for wine and conversation over a late-night supper. One of the best spots for a drink or a stroll is the Alto da Sé. On weekends (Sun evening especially), locals flock to this prime view spot to grab a drink or some food from the many stalls and just hang out for an impromptu outdoor party. Olinda's cutest hole-in-the-wall spot is Bodega de Veio, Rua do Amparo 212 (tel. 081/3429-0185). It's just a small bar/old-fashioned convenience store where people put their drinks on the counter or sit on the sidewalk. Saturday features live forró. Note that this is not a late-night place; last round is at 11pm. Another laid-back fun spot is the Casa Maloca, Rua Amparo 183 (tel. 081/3429-7811), an art gallery and restaurant with, at the very back, the lovely Bar Olindita. Guests can sit at a long bar or funky tables scattered about the room. The best spots are on the patio, looking out toward Recife.
Gay & Lesbian Bars -- Metropole, Rua das Ninfas 125, Boa Vista (tel. 081/3423-0123; www.metropoledance.com.br), is a huge gay club for men with a bar, dance floor, and video room. Regular shows include go-go boys, strippers, and drag queen performances; it's open Friday and Saturday from 10pm until at least 5am. Another popular gay venue is the SPTZ, Rua Joaquim Nabuco 534, Graças (tel. 081/3223-9100). Open Tuesday through Sunday, from 6pm until at least 4am.

In Recife's downtown neighborhood of Santo Antônio, the streets around the Pátio São Pedro and in between Avenida N.S. do Carmo and Rua Primeiro de Março are all jampacked with little shops. Some of the alleys are so narrow that they resemble Asian street markets. The best time to explore is weekdays during office hours; in the evening this part of town is deserted. Larger, more fashionable stores are located just on the other side of the Duarte Coelho Bridge on Avenida Conde da Boa Vista. There are large modern malls located out in Boa Viagem as well as the new Paço Alfandega, the restored 18th-century Customs hall in Old Recife.
Olinda's historic downtown also offers prime shopping: Two markets sell excellent souvenirs, and you will find many more galleries and interesting shops once you start to explore the winding streets.
Gifts & Souvenirs -- In Olinda there are two excellent markets for local handicrafts. Mercado Eufrasio Barbosa (also called Mercado Varadouro) is located in the former Customs house at Sigismundo Gonçalves s/n (tel. 081/3439-1415). Open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 6pm, this market has great souvenirs at reasonable prices. Up the hill close to the Praça João Alfredo is the Mercado Ribeira, Bernardo Vieira de Melo s/n (tel. 081/3439-2964), which is open daily from 9am to 6pm. The merchants there specialize in religious arts, paintings, woodcarvings, and regional crafts.
Olinda (a UNESCO Heritage site) also offers great shopping opportunities for passengers interested in local arts and crafts.
Brazil's largest mall, The Shopping Center Recife, at Rua Padre Carapuceiro 777 in Boa Viagem is a must-visit for hard core shoppers and can easily be incorporated into a visit to Recife's beachs in the Boa Viagern area. 

Olinda is jampacked with studios and ateliers that are open to the public. If you like colorful artwork, visit Imaginário, on the Rua Bispo Coutinho 814 tel. 081/3439-4514). This large store displays a comprehensive collection of high-quality local artwork. More expensive but worth checking out is the Estação Quatro Cantos, Rua Bernardo Vieira de Melo 134 (tel. 081/3429-7575).

Typical Shop Selling Local Arts and Crafts in Olinda -- Lace items are quite plentiful and inexpensive, as are local paintings that are sold around all of the major attractions. They are of excellent quality and are offered at give-away prices. You will also find leather goods, clay figurines, wood carved items, collectibles, costume jewelry and bead work and lots more.

In Recife, a great shop with above-average souvenirs is Paranambuco, Rua do Bom Jesus 215 (tel. 081/3424-1689). The best spot for picking up local crafts is in the Casa da Cultura, Rua Floriano Peixoto s/n, next to the train station (tel. 081/3224-2850). Those who are staying in Boa Viagem can visit the large crafts market on the Praça Boa Viagem; Monday through Friday 3 to 11pm and 8am to 11pm on weekends.
Malls & Shopping Centers -- Shopping Center Recife, Rua Padre Carapuceiro 777, Boa Viagem (tel. 081/3464-6123), is a modern mall; all buses heading downtown stop here. Farther along the beach where Boa Viagem becomes Piedade there's another pleasant mall, Shopping Center Guararapes, Av. Barreto Menezes 800, Piedade (tel. 081/3464-2211; www.shopping-guararapes.com.br). The most beautiful mall is the Shopping Paço Alfandega, Cais da Alfandega 35, Recife Antigo (tel. 081/3419-7500; www.pacoalfandega.com.br). Housed in the restored 18th-century Customs building, this is one of the city's prime shopping destinations. The bookstore Livraria da Cultura has an above-average selection of English-language books. Malls are open Monday through Friday from 10am to 10pm and Saturday from 10am to 8pm.
Markets -- A bustling fruit-and-vegetable market in a lovely old iron-and-glass building, the Mercado de São José, Praça Dom Vital s/n, Santo Antônio (no phone), is a great place to browse. Vendors sell locally made hammocks, baskets, ceramics, and lace. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 6am to 5:30pm and Sunday from 6am to noon.

The premier shopping complex in Recife might be the Feira p Arte e Artesanato market on Boa Viagem Street. Here you will find splendid handcrafts, clay sculptures, elegant woodwork, and fine leather items.
The Shopping Mall in Downtown Recife -- Right where the shuttle drops you, there is a large (4-story) modern shopping mall that passengers found quite interesting. There is everything one would expect to find in a large shopping mall anywhere in the world plus some shops selling local arts and crafts.
Recife's Prison Mall --  Also located near the Old Town area is the unique Prison Mall. This was Recife's prison at one time and has since been converted to a shopping mall catering primarily to tourists. The shops are locaed in what were once the cells of the prison. It is well worth a visit.

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