Close to Recife, Itamaracá is a quiet beach, with the “extra” programs of the mangles, the islet Coroa do Avião, the fort, and the project “Peixe-Boi”. It’s a good detour, for a calm and different day.
With a good beach, less than an hour from Recife, we could eat on the beach in Bar do Zezinho, and visit the atelier of a local handicrafts producer.
It’s a very quiet and safe beach, in both sides of the fort. As an option, if you cross to “Coroa do Avião”, the quality is the same.
Selling in the beach: Cheapest market
It is not so intensive as in Recife, but also in Itamaracá everything is offered in the beach.
For a woman, the challenge is often irresistible.
Coroa do Avião
A small islet facing the fort is well promoted as the highlight of the area.
Well, it’s a good place to bath, seafood is there, (you can see people catching it), the place is absolutely calm, but it has nothing you can’t get inland.
Unless you cultivate loneliness (with a few more dozens) it’s just a place to see, have a drink, and eventually, eat seafood.
Close to the beach, a short boat ride across the mangles is an opportunity to watch its typical life, from fish to birds (here and there under a delicious and welcome shade)
Peixe-Boi (Manatee) project
Next to the fort there’s a curious program to protect a big mammal called manatee, locally named Peixe-Boi.
We may see several tanks where they are created and feed, and each half an hour there’s a projection explaining the project.
Orange Fort – Portuguese Fort
Right on the beach, you have a fort generally called Orange due to wrong connection with Dutch occupation.
It is a Portuguese fort, with the typical Portuguese military architecture, providing good observation points over the beach and Coroa do Avião. Its real name is well Portuguese: Forte de Santa Cruz de Itamaracá.
The confusion is due to the circumstance that the fort was built over the ruins of a prior fort, that one really built by the dutch. Portuguese reconstruction comes from the 17th century, and follows typical Portuguese architecture.
Inside, there’s a small shop.
In our way to Itamaracá, and already in the island, we passed in the place where it was filmed a famous novel called “Slave Isaura”.
It was fun to recognize the site, now in ruins.
Bar do Zezinho – Double recommendation
When I told Suely, in Boa Viagem beach, that we were going to Itamaracá, she gave me a paper with a recommendation to her friend, to treat us well.
When I told the story to our driver Roberto, he smiled, because he knew Zezinho, and it was his idea also.
It was another situation where we could opt between the bar, or to eat right in the beach. This time we choose the beach, and were well served. A reasonable cheap lunch.
A curiosity – I didn’t find in internet any reference to Zezinho in Itamaracá, but there’s a bar and restaurant, with pictures matching exactly my memories, named… Sueli! Sueli, Sueli, what have you done to Zezinho?
Singers in the beach
It’s the only commercial group that may become annoying in the beaches, with their insistence to offer a not requested service. They stand beside you, sing some humorist and sympathetic words, and if you say something or only smile, be prepared to pay.
The first couple, in Olinda, amused me (payed R10) the second (I don’t remember where) was dispatched with R2 just before starting. For the other I found an effective trick: when they were approaching I moved a little away from Fernanda. They know that a separated couple is not a good customer and went to try elsewhere…
It worked in Itamaracá.
Miss wet t-shirt
We laughed with Fernanda’s look, coming out of the water with a transparent t-shirt.
However, after the sun burning in Maragogi, it was the best solution, and that’s an advice: beware with the sun in the tropics – wet or not, the t-shirt works fine.
We took a boat trip across the bay in Itamaracá, along the mangles, to Coroa do Avião islet. Without notice nor request, we were stopped, to visit a craft shop.
No problem, no one pressed us and we are used to it, but didn’t expect it in such a “private” transportation. Tourism traps are spreading also in Itamaracá.
Though taken by surprise to the atelier, we gave a good look around, and talked a while with the artist (and bought something). It’s a young boy, with ideas, and… good hands.
Locally, I was a little confused about the location, thinking in another island, but arriving at home I checked Google Earth and confirmed that it was inland, in the coast facing Itamaracá.