Recife is the capital of the Brazilian state Pernambuco. The city has a magnificent historical center, which still clearly shows the influence of the various colonial oppressors: you see buildings of Portuguese, Dutch, French and British signature.
More than one and a half million inhabitants live in the city itself, but the entire urban area of Recife and surroundings has more than four million inhabitants.
Recife is located in the northeast of Brazil where the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean. In front of the coast lie magnificent coral reefs after which the city is named ('recife' is Portuguese for 'reef'). Because of its location close to the equator, it's warm all year round. It barely ever gets stifling hot in Recife, thanks to the refreshing ocean wind.
The city harbor was built to transport sugarcane to Europe. Sugarcane still plays a major role in local economy, but nowadays the Brazilians process the sugarcane themselves (sugar and the alternative fuel ethanol is extracted). There is also a lot of electro technical industry and Recife houses many food producing companies.
Tourism is of increasing importance: the city is surrounded by magnificent, wide sandy beaches that are considered the best in Brazil.
The city airport is situated four kilometers south of Recife. Guararapes International Airport (also called: Gilberto Freyre International Airport) is easily reachable by rental car. From the southern suburbs the Avenida Mal. Mascarenhas de Morais leads directly to the airport. The terminal can also be reached via the western ring-road Avenida Recife. The route to the airport is clearly signposted.
Recife has a good and efficient network of bus lines. You can reach any destination in and around the city. This isn't the case for the metro, which only covers part of the city. One metro line runs from the city center to the TIP bus station, and another line connects the airport with Recife's center.
Recife is a busy city, where it can be difficult to find your way around in a rental car. Finding a parking space in the center is often not easy either. It's best to park your rental car in one of the parking garages. A rental car is an ideal means of transportation to visit the beaches north and south of Recife.
Recife has a good supply of accommodation, but most tourist hotels are along the popular beach Boa Viagem, ten kilometers south of the city center. In the Boa Vista quarter, near the train station, you find a concentration of midrange and budget hotels. Because Recife draws many business travelers and an increasing number of tourists, we recommend booking your accommodation well in advance.
For more information about Recife we recommend Google and the following sources: