Porto de Galinhas & Tapioca Crepes
Located in the northeast of the country, Porto de Galinhas is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, because of its mesmerising natural pools and corals. The fishing town is fairly isolated and small compared to its surrounding cities, such as the capital of Pernambuco, Recife, which is just an hour away (63km) by car.
The town has been preserved as a local area from the rest of the world. In consequence, the town is really laid back and can be pretty difficult to find Wi-Fi outside of your hotel, inn or resort. So if you want to tune off from the world and practice your Portuguese, this is the perfect place.
The center is full of colourful and cute open air traditional restaurants, artisanal stores, kiosks and aquatic sports agencies. With the city center situated directly in front of the beach or very close by. I recommend staying at a resort because they have English speaking staff and are ready to help you plan and book your vacation. It might be pricier than staying at a pousada (inn) but it will save you a lot of stress and time. Plus, most of them are located directly in front of a beach, which is the best part of the area.
Porto de Galinhas is a great destination for a family trip, because you can safely let your kids play at hidden low tide beaches, while relaxing by the shore drinking coconut water. The beaches are usually very quiet and pretty empty so you will always have plenty of space and peace.
There are many exciting activities to do like scuba diving by the coral reefs at Praia do Porto de Galinhas, which covers a large part of the ocean shore separating the waters and creating different shades of blue throughout the beach.
You can also have unique adventures, like observe first hand where the guaiamum ( the blue carb) and the uça crabs live at mangroves, where the trees and the beach meet. Take a ride on a buggy, a common transportation in Porto de Galinhas which you can book from your hotel or from the town center. Make sure to ask for a driver that can speak English or your own language. The buggies can take you to different beaches or on a tour around the town. You can also book taxis for a day and go on a day visit to Recife and the beautiful Olinda. The drivers are always very nice and well informed on the region’s history.
At night, the restaurants become even more full with lively Brazilian music, where you can have a fun night out with caipirinhas and dancing. Frevo is the traditional music of the Pernambucan region, so if you go to Brazil during February, make sure not to miss the carnival shows and Frevo dances.
Pernambuco is not only known for their delicious seafood, but also for their tapioca crepes, which is one of my favourite Brazilian foods. ❤
In Portuguese, tapioca (a.k.a cassava root) is the name for both the vegetable and the dish, since the crepe is made only from the starch extract. The root was inherited from the indigenous people that lived in Brazil before it was colonized by Portugal. The great thing about the vegetable, is that it can be made in many ways, with salty or sweet ingredients and it can be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Since the country does not produce a lot of yeast to make bread, Brazilian people use tapioca to make flour, and gain the nutritious benefits needed. Since it’s full of iron, calcium and many other nutrients, with a low level of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Which helps improve blood circulation by maintaining good levels of blood pressure. It also helps lose weight and fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore because of all these benefits, the most common time to have a tapioca is in the morning with ham and cheese to give you energy for the day ahead.
I personally enjoy eating tapioca for breakfast as well and as a desert, with Nutella, banana and cinnamon powder.
The tapioca crepe is incredibly easy to make, once you have the flour, but it can be pretty hard to find outside of Brazil or in other regions, because it’s a regional dish. But in Porto de Galinhas, you can find it at almost every restaurant and café.
Mandioca is another dish that can be made from the tapioca root. It’s also very easy to make, by just cutting the root into medium pieces and boiling or frying it. The side dish goes perfectly with dry meat and roasted onions, which are also typical dishes from Pernambuco.
Best season to go to Porto de Galinhas is at the end of the year when its summer in Brazil. Pernambuco is not as insanely hot as Rio, but you can definitely get a tan and enjoy your days by the beach.