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Beaches of the northeast: Fact file

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Getting local currancy

Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs of Banco do Brasil, Bradesco and HSBC in Recife and Natal using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. ATMs close at 10pm.

When to go

It’s hot with plenty of sunshine all rear round, but most rain falls between Mar and Jul, so the Brazilian summer is relatively dry. Beaches can be busy in the local holiday months of late Dec to Feb.


Brazilian Portuguese, a more languid and musical version of Portugal’s mother tongue.

Time difference

GMT -3 hours. There is daylight saving from Oct to the end of Feb (approx) when clocks are put forward one hour.  

Getting there

Flight time to Recife 12 hours, to Natal via Lisbon is 13 hours 40mins.

Combines with

Salvador da Bahia, Brazil’s most exotic city (1.5 hours by air from Natal, 1hour 20mins from Recife); Lençóis in the Chapada Diamantina, via Salvador and a 6 hour drive.

Key events

Carnival: 5 days in Feb/Mar, variable: 28 Feb – 4 Mar 2014. Olinda’s carnival is world famous and one of the most exotic and colourful.
Football World Cup: 12 Jun - 13 Jul 2014. Cities all over Brazil are hosting games, Natal and Recife among them.

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