After to explore Old Reef and to do almost everything what I wanted to do in Olinda, I chose to dedicate a day to to visit Cape St. Augustine, on one turn around (I like this expression used a lot in Brazil) from Olinda.
It is a promontory located south of Recife, in a region still considered an integral part of the Recife Metropolitan Region; and where, on January 26 of 1500, Spanish navigator Vicente Yáñez Pinzón will have docked - in what, according to some historians, is “the oldest proven trip to Brazilian territory”.
Historical questions aside, Cabo de Santo Agostinho is, along with the Porto de Galinhas region and Praia dos Carneiros Beach, one of the main tourist destinations of the Pernambuco coast.
It is true to say, however, that I have been until the last undecided moment between visiting Itamaracá Island, north of Recife, or Cabo de Santo Agostinho. It was a conversation with Yolanda and Sebastian, the hosts of the house Bed and Breakfast Olinda, which contributed to the decision. It would go south. And so, with no great certainty about the option taken, I decided to make a turn around Cabo de Santo Agostinho with my daughter. In this post, I share some of that experience. Let's do it.
My visit to Cabo de Santo Agostinho
Early morning and Filipe, the driver with whom he had arranged the day before, appeared at the door of the inn in Olinda to take us to Cabo de Santo Agostinho. The sky was gray with a threat of rain, but we decided to risk it; because the heat was very present all along the coast of Pernambuco.
The trip went smoothly, with only one stop in Boa Viagem to change money; so it was not long before it reached Cabo de Santo Agostinho. I asked the Filipe to drop me off at Gaibu Beach and we arranged an hour for the return. Meeting point? The same place.
We crossed Gaibu Beach, enjoying some of the best hostels in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Foot on the sand as the best vacation asks. There was already a delicious smell of grilled fish in the air, but the goal was to reach Calhetas Beach, considered the most beautiful in the region.
For that, we crossed the so-called Pedra de Gaibu and, at a glance, we were on a dirt road on our way to Calhetas Beach. Shortly after, the entrance to the zipline. I still asked the price of slide but since the option of finishing in the water was unavailable, it seemed uninteresting (and I confess that it didn't inspire much confidence).
A couple of beachwear shops and some “handicrafts” announced the proximity of Calhetas Beach. We went down to the beach through the famous Bar do Artur; I asked for the menu to see the prices… and I got scared. I wasn't expecting Cabo de Santo Agostinho to be so absurdly expensive.
I opted not to stay at Arthur's Bar and walked down the beach to a small beach shack. I chatted with the boy, negotiated the price for a fish meal for the two of us, sat on one of the few chairs at the beach bar and went to take a shower.
The water was deliciously hot. To the point of not feeling like leaving there.
And so, between sea baths, a fish lunch, more sea baths and a couple of cold beers, I spent a beautiful beach day in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, in the company of my daughter.
Before we left, I still challenged my daughter to walk to the village of Nazareth to enjoy the ruins by the church. But by this time, largely because of the high temperatures, I was so tired I didn't even want to hear about hiking.
We then returned to Gaibu Beach, in time to drink some very cold coconut water and meet again. Filipe, the driver, to return to Olinda. Needless to say, the infernal traffic from Recife made the return trip take almost three hours.
We got home tired but happy. Despite the heat, visiting Cabo de Santo Agostinho had been a good bet - and despite the inevitable comparisons with what was coming here. The next day we would start exploring the Fernando de Noronha beaches.
In theory it is possible to reach Cabo de Santo Agostinho by bus from Recife. This is the cheapest way to do it, but in practice it may not be the best option.
So, especially if you have to share the expense with, consider hiring a taxi driver or Uber to make the trip. I got $ 200 for a round trip from Olinda to Cabo de Santo Agostinho, with a return for a combined hour. Given the almost 60km distance (in each direction), I think it was a good deal.
Where to stay
I visited Cabo de Santo Agostinho on a turn around from Recife, which is not naturally ideal for exploring the potential of the region. So, if you want to have a quiet holiday in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, I recommend some of the best hotels and inns along the beaches of Gaibu and Coqueiros Cove (there is no lodging at Calhetas Beach).
I especially like the intimate atmosphere of Namoa Pousadabut the facilities of the Hotel Arrecife dos Corais They are not behind you. For my taste, the guesthouse Marine waters is another of the most recommendable inns of Cabo Santo Agostinho. If you prefer a hotel in the more traditional sense of the term, the resort Canarius D'Gaibu It is a four star option to consider (although not my style).
Finally, note that one of the most praised hotels in Cabo de Santo Agostinho - the Intercity Suape Gold Coast - It is not a beach hotel. It is located in Costa Dourada Shopping Mall and is more oriented to business travelers.
Things to Do
Beach, beach and more beach. And rest. Cape St. Augustine is a destination for beach holidays. To relax, to play on the beach with the children of the family; to disconnect from work problems.
It is evident that the most active can walk zipline; take a walk to visit the historic Church of Nazareth; take a clay bath in Itapuama; or do snorkelling at Enseada dos Corais beach. But St. Augustine is, in essence, synonymous with the beach. Enjoy!
A World Nomads offers one of the best and most complete travel insurance recommended by National Geographic and Lonely Planet. Other excellent and cheaper option is IATI Seguros, which has no age limit and allows multivariate insurance (including long-term travel) to any destination in the world. It's the insurance I use in my travels.