I spent about two weeks in Rio de Janeiro before heading to Maceió for Carnival, which is ironic, because as an American in Rio during Carnival, the expectation is certainly not for me to leave right when the festivities start. I feel like I got fast-tracked to being jaded about all the crowds, which is about right since most crowds give me panic attacks that lead to me randomly pushing people and then feeling like a monster afterwards.
Back during my last trip, we had made plans to spend the week with friends in Maceió and visit some of the surrounding beaches. I didn’t really know much about where we would be visiting, but the scenery looked gorgeous, I knew the company would be good, and it would be warm.
For the trip, we made Maceió our home base and scheduled visits to other beaches like Maragogi, Frances, Dunas de Marapé, and a few others. The mornings were early. For Maragogi, we left around 6am since it was roughly a two-hour drive to arrive. (I took Dramamine like vitamins.)
On the first day, we started with Barra de São Miguel and booked a trip out to the natural pools in the area. The water was clear and warm, both unheard of for my more familiar Jersey beaches and the beaches in Rio.(Rio is hot, the beaches are cold.)
Out past the natural pools, there was a little sand bar with a restaurant on a boat that brought drinks, seafood, and açai for some morning snacks before we scooted over to Praia do Gunga where we did a buggy ride through a ton of coconut trees, stopped at a little mountain formation that reminded me of Arizona, and took a quick dip in a fresh water lake (which freaked me out because I hate swimming in fresh water after some mildly traumatic Girl Scouts camping trips).
In Maceió, we picked a few restaurants beforehand so we knew where we wanted to eat in the evenings, since each of the beaches had restaurants on site. My absolute favorite restaurant, hands down, was Basilico, an Italian restaurant with a delicious cheese and jam board, wonderful wine list, and a whole separate vegetarian menu.
Maceió, for a vegetarian, is a lot like eating out in the US about fifteen years ago, when I first stopped eating meat. There were options, but most of the time, the vegetarian option was french fries or side salad. I think I’ve met my quota of queijo coalho for the next decade at least. So a restaurant with a separate veggie menu? HALLELUJAH. Plus, the owner was adorable and sweet and knowledgable and I love this place.
I have a ton of pictures, so more to come 🙂