Once considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, this historic port has lost a considerable dose of its original charm because of the increasingly heavy influx of tourists drawn to the beach's transparent natural swimming pools. If you don't mind sharing the beauty, there is a good variety of accommodation options and restaurants, as well as jangadas (small boats) for hire. The beach, which follows the curve of a bay lined with coconut palms and cashew trees, gets crowded on weekends year-round. You shouldn't expect to spot any chickens—Porto das Galinhas (Port of Chickens) earned its name as a hub of illegal slave trading after abolition, when slaves from Africa would arrive hidden under guinea-fowl crates, and traders would be alerted that the "chickens had arrived." Amenities: food and drink; lifguards; parking (fee); showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: partiers; snorkeling; sunrise; surfing.
70 km (43 miles) south of Recife, Recife, 55590-000, Brazil
Website: Port of Chickens