Area: 510 km².
Population: 884.320 inhab. (est.2000).
See also map of Alagoas.
The name "maceió" is of indian origin, and designates the natural spontaneously courses of water which flow out of the soil. Most maceiós flow to the sea, but some get trapped and form lakes ("lagoas", in Portuguese).
There are plenty of maceiós and lakes in this part of Brazil; because of this, the city was named Maceió, and the State, Alagoas.
Maceió is a growing destination among Brazilian and foreign visitors, but the local airport still doesn't receive regular international flights. The main airport hubs near Maceió are Salvador (in the State of Bahia), Recife (in Pernambuco) and Fortaleza (in Ceará).
The capital of the Alagoas State has wonderful beaches, and the color of sea varies from emerald green to blue, but the water is always clear. The sand is white and there are a lot of coconut plantations. This natural beauty combines with its urban coast, with a lot of hotels, restaurants and bars. The scenery é inviting and attracts Brazilian and foreign tourists during all over the year.
The Maceió's sea has natural pools and reefs a few meters off the coast, that can be accessed by many boat or raft sailings. The Mundaú lake is other option to the lovers of sailing and bathing in transparent water. At night, Pajuçara's beach and also Jaraguá's quarter is crowded of people, which have ancient warehouses turned into bars. The famous craft laces from Maceió can be acquired in Portal da Barra, directly from the craftswomen. The restaurants of the city serves dishes of different specialties, mainly those that serve fishes and seafoods. Maceió has good seacoast hotels.
The urban beaches of Maceió are Pajuçara, Sete Coqueiros, Ponta Verde and Jatiúca; they concentrate beach tents, restaurants and hotels. To the north, beaches are quieter, such as Cruz das Almas and Jacarecica, with good waves for surfing. Garça Torta and Pratagi, two of the most beautiful beaches on the northeast coastline, have green and calmer water. Visit this site with info and photos of all districts of Maceió.
From the urban beaches depart many rafts (small embarkation used by fishermen) that take the tourists to the natural pools formed on the low tide. The trip takes about half an hour. It's a great programme to people who like bathing in a transparent sea with warm water. There are also strolls for people who like diving near the reefs. Other option is the navigation on Mundaú's lake, on trips that take you to islands, with a stop for baths.
In some places, the beaches form lakes two kilometres inland, offering opportunities for bathing and trips by raft. The best known of these is the one starting from the beach at Pajuçara with trips on lakes formed by coral reefs and sandbanks that emerge at low tide. Some rafts have been converted into bars where the tourist can enjoy a typical meal. Six kilometres from Maceió is Jatiúca beach, a surfers' paradise and well-served with inns and hotels.
In addition to beaches, Maceió has attractions such as buildings dating back to previous centuries, in particular, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Pleasures, 1840; the Deodoro Theatre, the Municipal Market, the Historical Institute Museum and the Floriano Peixoto Palace, seat of Alagoas State government. Out of curiosity: even though Alagoas is one of smallest Brazilian States, the first two Presidents of the Republic of Brazil (none of them elected) were born in Alagoas: Deodoro da Fonseca and Floriano Peixoto.
Gastronomy: fishes, shrimps, crabs and lobsters are some of Maceió’s specialties. On bars in front of the beaches or on well equipped restaurants, are served seafoods always very fresh, prepared from local recipes. A kind of mollusk, the sururu, is very appreciated in the city and makes part of a lot of typical dishes.
Maceio official site. Maintained by the city government.
Universidade Federal de Alagoas. The Federal University of Alagoas, campus of Maceió.
Maceio. Site in Portuguese.
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