Maceió has a great coastal ambiance and stands out for its beauty - embedded in palm trees, mangroves and the bright green sea. It also has a remarkable culture, reflected in its arts and crafts, cuisine and customs.
Like many places in North-east Brazil, the city has initially thrived on the sugar industry. Nowadays, it has a very good tourist infrastructure with excellent hotels, and has become an important destination for national and international tourists.
Maceió's climate is tropical - hot and humid during most of the year. The best time to go depends on your weather preferences. Summer extends from December through March, when temperatures are very hot. May through September is mildly warm, but rains a lot.
Portuguese as in all Brazil is the official language. If adressed in Spanish or Italian locals may be able to understand. English is not always spoken by those in contact with tourists, especially those in simple jobs. There is a portuguese language school called Fast Forward  300 meters away from the beach.
Maceió's airport is named Zumbi dos Palmares International (IATA: MCZ; Tel. 82 214-4000) receives flights from every large Brazilian city as well as some international flights.
There are plenty of taxis at the airport's arrivals area. Some travelers on a tight budget prefer to take the bus to the downtown area, then a cheaper taxi ride to their final destination. A taxi from the airport to Ponta Verde runs around R$35.
Taxis are everywhere and you'll have no problem finding them. The initial fee is R$3,35, then it depends how far you go.
The bus system is widely used. The current price is R$2.30 for a single trip. There are no transfers though so each bus you take will require you to pay again.
You can rent a car starting at about R$90/day. This is a great way to explore the nearby beaches on a day trip.
Approximately 140Km south from Maceió there is a verysmall town called Piaçabuçu, where you can get on a boat and sail through the São Francisco River and see where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. There are vans that can take you there or you can rent a car. The boat ride costs R$30,00 and is absolutely amazing.
Maceió is surrounded by beaches. There is no problem finding a nice beach to relax. You can choose between those with a lot of people or the empty ones.
Cruz das Almas
Pontal da Barra
Barra de Santo Antônio
Carro Quebrado Beach
Barra de São Miguel
Surfing and bodyboarding are popular in Maceió. The waves are safe and there are no sharks to worry about. There are also no dangerous reefs to worry about. The best place to go surfing near Maceió is at Frances beach. The waves are the best and are good all year long. It has a good surf vibe. There are also many low priced resorts you can stay at for the weekend or for months at a time.
Watch the sunset from Avenida da Paz.
The main tourist attraction in Maceio are the natural pools in Pajuçara. For R$20, you can hire a jangada (tradition wooden sailboat) to take about one kilometer away from the shore where there's a natural shallow area. This is a good place to snorkel and there is every a restaurant boat selling food and drinks.
Concerts are very common.
Lace (renda) - At the Pontal da Barra, near the Mundaú lagoon
Crafts and popular art - At Armazém Sebrae - Avenida da Paz, 878 (Jaraguá). Tel. 82 223-8200. Mo-Fri 10am to 10pm, Sat 9 am to 1 pm.
Feira de Artesanato in Pajuçara for all your arts and crafts needs.
There are many, many restaurants to choose from. The restaurants on the beaches alone will be more than enough for your stay. There are many different types of food to choose from. Fish and other seafood, a wide selection of fruits, and authentic Brazilian cuisine are very common. Make sure to try a Tapioca, a pancake made of tapioca flour that can be filled with anything from ham and cheese to chocolate. They are sold all along the beach at lunchtime.
In Maceió there is a lot of places where you can eat authentic Brazilian food.
Bodega do Sertão: really expensive, but great food. It's next to Jatiúca's beach. "Carne do sol com nata" is a famous dish.
Cuscuzeria: typical cuscuz with carne do sol, pepperoni, cheese and more.
Sá Menina: all-you-can-eat.
McDonalds: You can find McDonalds in two places, close to Melia Hotel (the most expensive hotel in the city) or in the Maceió Shopping.
Super Pizza: The most famous (and most oily) pizza in Maceio. You can try in Maceió Shopping or close to the beach.
Other places where you can eat junk food: Pizza Fone, Baita Pão, Passaporte Gaucho, Sanduba do Careca.
There are plenty of bars all along the beach. An area of Maceió called Jatiuca has a good bar scene. It has two famous places, Skyy nightclub and MaiKai. Another famous nightclub is Middo located in the Pajuçara section of Maceio.
Pousada Cavalo Marinho, 55 Rua Da Praia, Riacho Doce, ☎ (0xx)82 3355-1247, . A small charming pousada away from Maceio city in Riacho Doce. Some rooms have private balconies with hammocks as does the beach bar. Located on a clean and mostly desserted beach in a small village that has mini-markets and some restaurants. Includes breakfast. Perfect place to escape the hordes and do nothing but sunbathe, swim and drink beer in hammocks firstname.lastname@example.orgRs 70-100.
There are many different hotels to choose from in terms of price. There are many large hotels to find tour guides and most of the hotel staff have a good grasp of English and other languages like Italian. Here are just a few:
Jatiuca Hotel, Lagoa da Anta 220 - Mangabeiras, 55-82-2122-2000
Hotel Meliá Maceió , Av. Álvaro Otacílio 4065, Jatiúca, 55-82-325-5656
Maceió Mar Hotel, Av. Álvaro Otacílio 2991, Ponta Verde, 55-82-217-8000
Ritz Lagoa da Anta, Av. Brig. Eduardo Gomes 546, Cruz das Almas 55-82-217-4000
Temporary apartments are usually the best if your plan to stay more than a week. They are the cheapest and you don't need a lease or pay any utility bills. Many will allow you to stay less than a month. Each temporary apartment is different though. Not all include furniture, a stove, or a refrigerator. Prices can be as low as R$255 per month.
Maceió is one of the most violent cities in Brazil, together with Recife (PE) and Vitória (ES). There are many poor people wandering around on the street and if you stop for a second, either to look at a map or admire the landscape, they will approach you asking for money. In this case you should say no and start walking away from them, they are mostly harmless. There are less people begging for money in Jatiúca and Ponta Verde, but there are so many in Pajuçara that eating a Tapioca by the beach can become an annoying activity.
Maragogi a place with the most beautiful beaches with white sand, palm trees and famous natural swimming pool, 125 km north of Maceio.