Private Tour Guide for Recife?

Old Feb 26th, 2016, 11:07 AM
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Private Tour Guide for Recife?

We are on a cruise ship stopping in Brazil....English speaking senior Americans....would like a private guide for a day tour of Recife and Olinda. Would be grateful for any recommendations.
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Old Feb 27th, 2016, 06:40 AM
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I can't recommend a guide, particularly one who speaks English, but can say that it is easy enough to get to Olinda by taxi or bus. That would be my first stop. If you taxi to the base of the hill on which the Colonial part of Olinda is located, there are usually guides for that area touting their services. Again, you do not necessarily need a guide (read or bring the relevant pages of a guidebook if individual buildings' history interest you); if you walk Olinda on your own, have the taxi drop you at the top of the steep hill and walk DOWN. It might take you several hours to do so at a leisurely pace. Get some lunch there.
The next place on my list (before Boa Viagem, Recife Velho, or anything else) would be the unique Olaria Brennand. (located on the other side of Recife from Olinda, but worth the trip, again by taxi-- see if the driver will wait or come back for you--not a lot of traffic out there). You can see this spectacular sculpture park and ceramic studio of a very quirky artist in videos on YouTube. I've never seen anything quite like it in my world travels.
The oldest synagogue is in Recife Velho, an area of picturesquely rundown classic Colonial buildings, but there is only a small part of a ritual bath left of the original structure.
Boa Viagem is a stretch of high rise apartments and hotels, some bars, and a lovely but non-swimable (posted for shark danger) beach; you can be driven past or stop at a kiosk for a coconut water. At the very end in Brasilia Teimoso is the pleasant Biruta Bar restaurant overlooking the water. A causeway, onto the reef and the Casa dos Banhos restaurant opposite Recife Velho, begins there.
If I can help with any more information, please post again.
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Old Mar 1st, 2016, 08:11 AM
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Thank you as this does help; we may try this. I worry some about the taxi as we do not speak any Portuguese...can hold our own with Spanish and French but at a total loss with Portuguese!
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Old Mar 1st, 2016, 09:26 AM
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Get a dictionary/phrase book to carry.
You really only need a few words for the taxi. Write them down, even ahead of time, for the driver to understand better (if he can't understand your pronunciation). Perhaps keep a tiny spiral notebook and pen/pencil handy. Mostly you would be giving commonly known destinations.

Learn the words "porto cruzeiro" (POHR-too crew-ZAY-roo ; cruise port).
and "obrigada" (ohb-ree-GAH-dah, thank you, spoken by female)
and "por favor" (poor fah-VOR, please)

Maybe if you go to the Olaria, learn "pode ficar?" (pod fee-CAR?, can you stay?) or "pode voltar" (pod vohl-TAHR, can you come back?), "as" (insert number) "horas" (AHZ x OH-rahz, at x hour, at x o'clock)


Any driver who chooses to pick up tourists at the cruise port or at a major attraction like Olinda has to be prepared to deal with (have patience with) foreign tourists who don't speak Portuguese.
Maybe try to share a taxi with another couple who might add to your comfort level. There must be a few cruisers who are more independent minded than those who take the ship's tour.
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