If you’re seeking an extraordinary Brazilian escape away from the usual tourist trail, Alagoas in Brazil is your hidden gem. Nestled in the northeastern part of Brazil, the state of Alagoas is renowned for its stunning beauty reminiscent of the Caribbean, featuring crystal-clear turquoise shallow waters, coconut tree-covered beaches, and year-round good weather. While it has become an increasingly popular destination among Brazilians, it remains relatively unknown to international travelers. Alagoas should undoubtedly be on your Brazil travel bucket list as it’s one of the best places to visit in Brazil.
Alagoas is one of the 9 northeastern states of Brazil, a region of Brazil that is above the equator, with high temperatures all year round and a very popular tourist destination for sun seekers and ocean lovers alike.
Another state in the north east of Brazil, you need to visit is Maranhão, where you can find the Lencois Maranheses. You can read all about it in this blog of the best things to do in Lençois Maranheses and find a 7 day itinerary in this blog.
From the best beaches to the most iconic viewpoints and where to eat and drink on the coast of Alagoas – this guide has everything you need to know for an incredible 7-day itinerary in the Alagoas.
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The Best Time To Visit Alagoas, Brazil
Even though Alagoas boasts high temperatures all year round, the best time to visit Alagoas, Brazil, is during its dry season, which typically spans from October to February. This period promises sun-drenched days with 25-35C temperatures, making it the perfect weather to be by the beach! While it’s possible to visit in the shoulder season, higher rainfall may affect water visibility and interrupt many outdoor activities.
As someone who visited just before the dry season and encountered patchy rain, I can say that the weather significantly influenced our trip. I recommend visiting during the dry season.
How To Get To Alagoas
Getting to Alagoas within Brazil is pretty simple, just catch an internal flight to Maceio International Airport (Zumbi dos Palmeiras). There are multiple daily flights from the major cities in Brazil like Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. All three major airlines, LATAM, Azul, Gol fly to Maceio International Airport.
If you’re flying from abroad, particularly Europe, and planning to stay within the Northeast of Brazil, consider flying into Fortaleza or Recife airport from Portugal with TAP Airlines. This saves you from flying down to São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro and then back up, reducing unnecessary travel time.
Getting Around Alagoas, Brazil + Where To Rent A Car
The roads in Alagoas are overall in very condition! Especially the main highways taking you to the different coastal towns, but do keep an eye out for potholes as there are not uncommon.
Now that you’ve got the lay of the land, let’s get to the itinerary!
7-day Roadtrip Itinerary through the coast of Alagoas, Brazil
DAY 1: Arriving into Maceio and driving to Praia do Frances (1hr driving)
After landing at Maceio Airport, your first task is to pick up your rental car. Minibuses/vans are available to take you to their depot at Arrivals; simply follow the signs within the airport.
Your initial destination on this 7-day road trip through the coast of Alagoas is Barra de São Miguel, specifically Praia do Francês.
There are two routes to reach it: either through the city of Maceio and down the coast (via highway AL-104) or by circling around the lake and taking highway AL-424. Traffic is usually better in the latter, but it’s advisable to check Google Maps and Waze on the day. The drive is only an hour long, so with an early morning flight, you’ll have the afternoon to settle into your accommodation and explore the beach.
Praia do Francês is popular, attracting both locals and tourists. Numerous “barracas,” or beach huts, line the long stretch of the beach, offering places for travelers to relax. Prices typically range between R$12-25 per person, and this cost often includes food and drink orders.
After sunset, head up R. Carapeba from the beach to the small town center, where you’ll find numerous charming stores and restaurants.
Restaurants I’d recommend having dinner at in Praia do Francês:
- Restaurante Moai
- Rimini Pizzeria
- Java Restaurane
Where to stay in Praia do Francês:
DAY 2: Praia do Frances & Praia do Gunga (40mins driving)
On this part of the Brazilian coast, the sun rises over the ocean, so if you’re up for an early start, head to the beach to catch the sunrise on the second day of this 7-day road trip through the coast of Alagoas. For the more adventurous, turn this sunrise trip into a morning of surfing or kite-surfing, especially on the far right of Praia do Francês.
Side note: Praia do Francês has several Kitesurfing schools, making it an excellent location to learn. Lessons are more accessible and affordable than in Europe.
To fuel up for the day trip to Praia do Gunga, have an açai bowl for breakfast at one of the stands on the beach. Then, hit the road on AL-101 highway; the trip from Praia do Francês to Praia do Gunga takes about 20 minutes. Parking is available right by the beach.
Praia do Gunga is known for the Mirante do Gunga (Gunga Beach Lookout), offering unparalleled vistas of perfectly aligned coconut trees against the backdrop of pristine, crystal-clear ocean waters. The Falesias do Gunga (Gunga Cliffs) stand out with striking desert red hues, creating a dramatic contrast against the coastal landscape.
To make the most of your day at Praia do Gunga, consider taking a buggy tour to visit Mirante do Gunga, Farol da Praia do Gunga (Gunga Lighthouse), Falesias do Gunga, and Lagoa Doce, a freshwater lagoon. Tours start at R$200 per buggy. Alternatively, if you prefer driving yourself, there’s an option for an ATV tour, though these tend to be more expensive.
DAY 3: Praia do Francês to Japaratinga (3hrs driving)
This is the longest drive of the trip, so set out after breakfast. The drive to Japaratinga takes you through Maceio out onto AL-105 highway. Continue on AL-105 until you reach Porto Calvo, then turn onto AL-465.
Japaratinga itself isn’t necessarily a place to exploreas it’s still relatively underdeveloped. However, it serves as a strategic and budget-friendly base for visiting Maragoggi. The hotels in and around Japaratinga are more affordable and within driving distance of attractions in Maragoggi.
Places I’d recommend staying at in Japaratinga:
Budget friendly hotels in Japaratinga
- Bitingui Praia Hotel
- Pousada Humaita *this is where we stayed! The rooms are quite basic, but breakfast is good and it’s at a quiet part of the beach
- Millie Lounge Pousada
Boutique Hotel hotels in Japaratinga
- Pe na Areia Boutique *this is where I would choose to stay next time I go!
- Pousada San Giovanni
- Pousada do Alto
After a long drive, have some lunch at your hotel or a nearby restaurant (a few recommendations listed below), then take the afternoon to chill on the beach. Praia do Boqueirao has got a bit more going on with a few restaurants and barracas, so I’d head there.
Other beaches in the area:
- Praia do Bitingul
- Praia de Japaratinga
Where to eat in Japaratinga:
- Scalini Restaurante
- Companhia da Lagosta
- Kypá Restaurante
- Pousada Estalagem Caiuia
DAY 4: Day trip to Maragogi (40 mins driving)
Maragogi is what put the state of Alagoas on brazilian travellers radars – this is where the state got the term “Brazilian Carribrean. It’s got a sand bank that they call Caminho de Moises (Moses’s Way) on top of that, so whether you’re religious or not, you’d be tempted to go see what that is!
Before making your way up to Maragogi, it’s best to pre-book a tour for the day. Just ask your hotel for a recommendation, they all have contacts with boat tours and they’re super reliable.
The drive to Maragogi from Japaratinga is short, just 20 minutes up the coast.
The best way to explore Maragoggi is by taking a boat tour as basically all the attractions are either by or in the ocean. The “signature” tour of Maragoggi takes you to:
- Galés natural pools, where you can swim and snorkel amongst the fishies
- Caminho de Moises (Moses’s Way), a sand bank where you can on the ocean and also sit at a bar and have a caipirinha
- Praia Antunes (Antunes Beach) or Praia da Bruna (Bruna beach), a pit stop on land to explore one of the most beautiful beaches in the region
The full tour is around 3-4hrs and there is the option to do the tour on a Catamaran or a speedboat. Catamaran tours are more affordable as they are for larger groups, starting at R$200 per person. Speedboat tours range between R$1300-1500.
If you decide to eat in Maragogi, here are a few recommendations on where to eat in Maragogi:
- Restaurante Tuyn
- Camurim Grande
- Odoia Maragogi
- Meraki Beach
DAY 5: Praia do Patacho & São Miguel dos Milagres (1.5hrs driving)
Today’s adventure takes you to the hidden gems of Praia do Patacho and São Miguel dos Milagres, offering a more tranquil and less crowded experience. The drive from Japaratinga to Praia to Patacho is another short one, and there are two routes you can take, the long way round or via the boat ferry.
The long way round is back the way you came, on AL-465, then down AL-460. The drive is about an hour. The ferry route is shorter, especially if your hotel is near Praia Bitingui; however, as the ferry is small, it can only take 6 cars at a time. If not timed right, you could spend an hour waiting to board. To avoid queues, leave before 8 AM. The ferry crossing takes only 10 minutes.
Set your destination location to Restaurante Sonhos do Patacho as this is the best place to base yourself for the day. It’s a beach restaurant with good food, free (safe) parking, and is where the Jangadas (a famous type of boat in the region) depart to take you on the tour to Patacho’s natural pools (Piscsinas Naturais do Patacho).
The Jangada tour at Praia do Patacho is similar to the one in Maragogi, involving visiting natural pools and swimming with fish) but it’s a very different vibe to Maragoggi as the boat is slower and made for shallow waters, but also simply because it’s not as touristy, so there’s more of a sense of calm. The Jangada is also perfect for anchoring down in the middle of the ocean and sunbathing on the roof. Jangadas can accommodate between 6-8 people, and there’s the option for a group tour or a private tour (circa R$80-120 per person or R$600 for the boat).
To ensure you can take the Jangada tour, check the tide times for low tide the day before, as boats typically start the tour about 1 hour before low tide. The tour lasts around 3 hours.
After the tour, enjoy a late lunch at the restaurant and spend the rest of the day at the beach before heading to São Miguel dos Milagres, your accommodation for the next two nights. There are plenty of accommodations to choose from, as São Miguel dos Milagres has become a popular destination on this coast, especially for big New Year’s Eve parties.
You can find my recommendations on where to stay in São Miguel dos Milagres below:
Budget-friendly accommodation options:
Boutique Hotel accommodation options:
- Naim Milagres
- Paru Hotel Boutique
Luxury accommodation options:
DAY 6: São Miguel dos Milagres
São Miguel dos Milagres is the part of this road trip where it becomes a proper beach holiday. All there is to do here is drive to a beach for a day, find the perfect spot, and enjoy yourself by the beach!
The best beach in the area are Praia do Marcineiro and Praia do Toque.
Praia do Marcineiro is the most picturesque beach but has the least amount of “structure” around. There’s just one part of the beach with chairs and tables, and vendors only sell a few snack-type foods. The rest of the beach is just stretches of sand and palm trees.
Praia do Toque is popular amongst travellers who are looking for a beautiful beach with a beach club. If you’re looking for a more lively vibe, then this is the beach for you.
Praia do Toque is also known for having access to many natural pools, similar to the ones in Maragogi and Praia do Patacho. If you haven’t had enough of swimming in crystal-clear waters, then there’s the option to take that tour here too.
For your last evening, book a table at one of the best restaurants in town (yes, you really have to book in such a tiny town!): No Quintal or Patricia Bistro. Both restaurants are super charming and cute, offering classic North Eastern Brazilian cuisine plates infused with their chef’s own touch.
Day 7: Sao Miguel dos Milagres & Maceio (1.5hrs driving)
I always like to spend the last day of any road trip doing the things I loved and will miss the most. For me, this is going for a last swim in the ocean as I like in a big city so I make sure I give myself enough to do this before hitting the road again to Maceio Airport. Whatever that is for you, find the time to do it!
The only oen thing I’d recommend doing on your last day is to visit the Capela de Sao Miguel dos Milagre as you’re driving out of the town. This is very much just an iconic place of the region as many postcards are landscape images of this little white church. This is definitely skippable if time is of the essence, but the photographer in me regrets not going.
And that’s it! A 7-day roadtrip itinerary for the coast of Alagoas, Brazil.
I hope you enjoyed this Alagoas itinerary and that it inspired you to visit this truly stunning part of the North East of Brazil! It’s an absolute must-visit and one of the best places to visit in Brazil.
Have you been to Alagoas?
What are your top things to do in Alagoas? Anything you’d add to this Brazil bucket list?