Alagoas is one of Brazil’s 27 states located in the Northeast of the country and is particularly known for its stunning beaches. After a beautiful stay in Porto de Galinhas, we drove down the coast stopping along the way to take in the views. We explored numerous beaches and local towns, but there were three in particular that stood out.
1. São Miguel dos Milagres
São Miguel dos Milagres wasn’t initially on my radar. The day before we left though, I posted in a popular travel Facebook group asking for any off the beaten path destinations for foreigners in Northern Brazil and this little beach town was met with praise. While our weather was less than ideal, the beach itself was absolutely lovely and the water was the perfect shade of blue. On a good day, you can take a boat out to the natural pools too. As this isn’t a very touristy area, you’ll have the beach virtually to yourself for a relaxing afternoon. There are also some local, and very affordable, food kiosks scattered along the beach as well.
2. Praia do Gunga
Unlike São Miguel dos Milagres, Praia do Gunga is extremely touristy… but for good reason! Again, our weather wasn’t great while we were in the Alagoas region, but there’s a beautiful lookout over a palm tree oasis and the beach below. It actually only cost about $1 per person, so there’s no excuse not to climb up the stairs! The area is known for its colorful cliffs, easily accessed by renting an ATV for $15/hour. Unfortunately, right as we were going to rent one, it started down pouring with no hope of the weather clearing. I’ve heard that it’s definitely a must-do when in the area though!
While completing this coastal road trip, we decided to make Maceió our home base. Maceió is the capital of the Alagoas region, so we figured what better place to stay! Known for its delicious seafood and sugar exports (it has the largest sugar terminal in the world), we decided to be foodies for our time there. We had everything from the city’s nicest meals to the most local kiosks, and were impressed with everything we ate. I highly suggest going to Janga for an incredible high-end and incredibly affordable dinner (please excuse the crappy iPhone photo!), and to the Milk Bar (which was actually a beach bar right next to our hotel) for phenomenal feijoada on the weekends. Wherever you go along the coast, you’re bound to find many restaurants, kiosks, and live music along the promenade — a perfect spot to stroll or area from which to watch sunset.
Where to Sleep? Flor de Lis Exclusive Hotel
There are many hotels, inns, and hostels scattered throughout this city, so there’s something for everyone. I personally recommend staying at the Flor de Lis Exclusive Hotel, about 20 minutes north of the city; it’s close enough to access any time, yet far enough to avoid the hustle bustle of city life.
Flor de Lis Exclusive Hotel can be found off a side road right along the beach. As we first pulled up, it was nice to see that there was private, gated parking for our rental. Walking in, the reception was beautifully decorated and we were greeted with smiles all around. Later on, we actually learned that all of the artwork was done by the hotel owners brother, who has pieces in the MOMA back in New York ! This is a brand new boutique hotel (not even a year old) with only 14 rooms. There are four rooms with a sea view balcony and, thankfully, we were given one!
Our room was lovely and extremely comfortable (especially the bed!) and, let’s be real, who could ever get sick of that view?! The Flor de Lis Gran Suite had a King-sized bed, TV, WiFi, armchair, mini fridge, sea view and pool view, as well as a balcony with a woven hammock.
The Flor de Lis Exclusive Hotel not only has direct beach access, but also has a beautiful pool with built-in hot tub, a cozy lounge area, and the lovely Lis Bistrô by Jonatas Moreira. Each time we walked into the hotel, it smelled delicious!
Having breakfast a la carte by the pool alongside the beach each morning was definitely a highlight. There was SO much food brought out – sweet and savory – and the perfect start to our day.
Additionally, the fact that the hotel operated on solar power was a plus in my book. Anything that can help reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible is very important in this day and age, and Flor de Lis Exclusive Hotel takes that extra step in the right direction.
Between the fantastic location, gorgeous day trips, and mouth-watering food, Maceió is most definitely the perfect hub to explore all that Alagoas has to offer.