Pernambuco is the home of some of Brazil’s most gorgeous beaches, of which there are 187 kilometres. This state, nestled in the northeast of the country, measures 98 311.6 square kilometres or 37 958.3 square miles. It is home to about 8.8 million inhabitants.

Pernambuco is bordered by Paraíba, Ceará, Piauí, Alagoas, Bahia and the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital city is Recife, one of the state’s most sophisticated and nationally diverse places.

Fernando de Noronha, an islets in the Atlantic Ocean, 354 km (220 miles) offshore from the Brazilian coast and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is a special municipality (distrito estadual) of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

The area of Pernambuco was originally the home of native tribes, who would hunt and farm for their survival. Then, during the 1500’s, Portuguese explorers established settlements in the region now known as Pernambuco. There were several clashes between the Portuguese and the French, who were also trying to conquer the area. This was a coveted habitat, as its soil yielded rich supplies of cotton and sugar. In fact, it was one of the few captaincies that were actually blossoming during a time of economic and political struggles.

In 1630, Pernambuco was occupied by the Dutch, who allowed sugar production to remain the responsibility of the Portuguese. 24 years later, the Portuguese regained control over Recife and Olinda was the political centre once more. By the 18th and 19th centuries, Pernambuco was the site for the most significant rebellions of the country. In 1817, Pernambuco was declared a republic as a result of the republican separatist movement. Today, Pernambuco’s population retains its Dutch ancestry. Fernando de Noronha is an island that is more than 530 kilometres off the coast of Recife, but it has been part of Pernambuco since 1988.

The coastal zone of Pernambuco is relatively low in terms of its height above sea level. It is particularly fertile and luscious, displaying dense forests that are home to many different faunal and floral species.

This low area becomes a terraced and sloped incline, known as the agreste region, to the towering plateau, effectively giving this region three different geographical territories

There are numerous mountains with iconic flat tops called chapadas. The agreste area is drier than the coast, and displays sparser vegetation than what is found on the coast. This area also has forested regions, but these trees lose their leaves in the dry seasons, giving the area a characteristically less dense wood. The inland plateaus are drier and hot, subject to droughts and arid conditions. Its vegetation comprises thorny scrub.

The service sector accounts for almost three-quarters of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the state of Pernambuco. This is a massive domination. Industry and agriculture are also significant sectors. The main export of the area is sugar, and this state remains one of the largest producers of this valuable substance in all of Brazil. Significantly, Brazil is the second largest producer of alcohol fuel in the world, and this is made using sugar.

Street view of Olinda near Recife, Pernambuco state Brazil.

Tourist attractions in Pernambuco include:

• Museu Mestre Vitalino – a historical museum that is fascinating for young and old alike
• The Marine Park (Parque Nacional Marinho de Fernando de Noronha)
• The many markets in Caruaru, which ooze sights, smells and tastes of Brazil

Here is the Pernambuco government web site:


Here is the Pernambuco tourism web site:

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