Difference between revisions of "Maceió"
Revision as of 15:26, 11 May 2008
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 October through February, 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, specially those in simple jobs. There is a portuguese language school 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.
Taxis are everywhere and you'll have no problem finding them. It first will cost you R$3 to get in the taxi, then it depends how far you go.
The bus system is widely used. The current price is R$1.60 for a single trip. There are no transfers though so each bus you take will require you to pay again.
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.
Concerts are very common.
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 vegetables from the sea, 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.
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.
There are all different types and price ranges. There are hotels, hostels (group living), pousadas (bed and breakfast) and temporary apartments.
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:
A cheaper alternative to hotels are Pousadas, the equivalent of a Bed and Breakfast. They are smaller, family owned businesses and the cost includes breakfast if you wake up in time.
- Pousada Ponto das Velas  The bed and breakfast 'pousada Ponto das velas' is located in Barra de Santo Antonio a place with the most beautiful beaches with white sand, palm trees and famous natural swimming pool only 48 km from the lovely city centre of Maceio.
Even cheaper is the hostel. The price however does come with a loss of privacy. If you don't mind rooming with a few strangers this is a good deal.
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 was a very safe city for Brazil or any country. Today you must watch your wallet in the main places of the city: Centro, Pajuçara or Ponta Verde. If you see anyone wearing a shirt with the phrase: "Comando Vermelho" or "Mancha Azul" keep walking and try to find a secure place to stay. Anyway, there are some areas in Maceio that still safe, like: Farol, Gruta and Fernandes Lima.
The area code is 82. Local numbers have 8 digits