Planning Your Time

With three main airports, Brazil's Northeast is one of the most accessible regions to navigate. Most visitors start by choosing one of the hubs (Recife, Natal, or Fortaleza) and branching out from there. Of the three cities, Recife is the most dynamic and warrants at least a few days. Fortaleza is best as a jumping-off point to explore the spectacular dunes and nearby beach towns, such as Jericoacoara. Natal, the smallest of the three, is used by many as an airport access to the idyllic surf town of Praia da Pipa, 84 km (52 miles) to the south.

On the whole, traveling in the Northeast is as laid-back as the state itself, with numerous decent hotels, pousadas, and restaurants to suit all budgets. The best get booked up, so it's worth reserving in advance where possible, particularly on the paradiasical island of Fernando de Noronha.

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