Brazil has some of the most eye-pleasing landscapes in the world and this is not a secret. But do you know that in Brazil is one of the top 3 most beautiful beaches in the entire world? Praia dos Carneiros (or Sheep’s Beach) is Brazil’s top 1 when we’re talking about truly beautiful places.
This piece of paradise is located on the Northerneastern state called Pernambuco. Brazil is huge and we all know that, for you to locate yourself in the map, Pernambuco is here:
Praia dos Carneiros is around 2 or 3 hours by car from Pernambuco’s capital, Recife and only 1 hour from the world famous Porto de Galinhas. This beach belongs to the town of Tamamdare and the whole area is filled with natural salt water pools, colorful fishes and huge coconut trees dividing the send from the sky.
How to get to Praia dos Carneiros
For all our non-Brazilian readers, this might surprise you but Brazil is not big on having trains and buses are a good option but the best it will be to rent a car. You can ask our Facebook Group how to validate your driver’s license if you don’t know, we have people from everywhere in the world there. At least one soul can help you with that, we’re sure!
If you choose to get there by bus, get yourself a ticket to Tamandare. If you decide to go by car, which is the best option by far, you can easily rent one in Recife or Porto de Galinhas and drive to Tamandare.
The road is not necessarily bad but has a lot of curves and some people drive like maniacs. We, Brazilians, 100% recommend you to plan this short trip during the day. Especially if you’re not used to driving in Brazil.
A pro tip for the drivers reading this post is to spend a bit more and get yourself a 4×4 since Tamandare is a very small town, some roads are mainly sand. And a normal car with an inexperienced driver can lead to hours stuck in one place. The more traction and power you can have with your vehicle, the better.
If you want to use Google Maps to get yourself from Porto de Galinhas to Tamandare, keep in mind that the road named PE 051 is not the best road in the world and this blog recommends you to take the longer option (PE 072).
What you can do at Praia dos Carneiros
Besides the obvious that is to move there asap, you can easily choose one of the many restaurants there to spend the day. There are some offering a whole package with parking, bathroom, towels, access to the beach, bar, hammocks and of course, typical Brazilian food from the area. It is totally worth it to commit to one place instead of going to loads and loads of them. Plan to spend your day on the beach having fun, drinking your caipirinha and enjoying the wonderful weather. You deserve it!
Our favorite over there is Beijupira. It is the best, the prettiest, the most traditional and with the best food.
We won’t give you the prices here because each day has a different special but you can check all you want on their website.
To enter Beijupira and spend the day there, you have to spend R$60,00 per car. By the time we’re writing this article, every euro is around R$4,50 reais. (april/2019)
When to go to Praia dos Carneiros
All those photos are from the summer of 2017. We went there in January of 2017. The summer is great over there and even though for Europeans the word “winter” sounds harsh, the winter in the northeast of Brazil is kinda like summer in Berlin. So if you’re feeling like you want to go on the high season, go during the summer (Dec, Jan, Feb) but if you are ok with temperatures between 23-30Celsius, the winter there is also great (Jul, Aug, Sep).
Just try to avoid May and June since it is rain season and we don’t want to spend the whole day inside our hotel rooms, right?
“Natural Saltwater pools? WTF?”
Yes, you read it right. If you’re new to Fotostrasse, you don’t know that this blog is done by two Brazilians, but if you’re already following us, you know. I’m just bringing this up because me, Marcela, I grew up going to this part of Brazil. My father was from Recife and most of my childhood I was around Tamandare and Porto de Galinhas. Natural Saltwater pools are a normal thing for me but I know that many Europeans and even other Brazilians are not familiar with the concept.
When the tide is low, due to the way the cost of Brazil is, some pools of seawater are formed. We’re with the Atlantic as our ‘sea’, and for kilometers and kilometers, the depth of our cost is not sooooo deep. So when the water retracts, some of the ‘holes’ become pools. Besides that, Pernambuco’s capital, Recife, is named after the coral/rock reefs that are there. Recife translates to “reef”. Those formations also play a role in the way the bottom sand behaves and helps the salt water pools to be formed and also the sandbanks that you can find it there too!
The water in those natural pools is warm and nice because the sun heats up the whole thing very quickly.
You can easily check the internet to when is the next low tide to enjoy Praia dos Carneiros to the fullest!
Besides all the natural beauty, you will easily find all the foods and drinks you can imagine going to you from the locals. Try ‘agulha’, it is a small deep fried fish that is very typical from there.
The famous and cute church
At Praia dos Carneiros, one of the most iconic views is the cute Capela de Sao Benedito. It is a small and rustic church located right by the sand at Praia dos Carneiros. You may remember this photo from our Instagram.
This church is known by its nickname “Igrejinha”. That literally means “little church” in Portuguese.
Built in 1910, this white with green details church stands out in the immense “coqueiral” of the beach. Coqueiral is a huge amount of coqueiros, in English coconut tree.
The simplicity of this little church’s architecture, coupled with the beauty of the place, never lets anyone go away without taking at least one photograph for remembrance. The coconut trunks, in a row, planted in the sands in front of the church, serve as protection against the force of the high tide.
It is worth a visit for sure but if you want to see it from the best angle possible, consider getting yourself a boat ride.
A boat ride to Praia dos Carneiros
One of the best ways to photograph the Igrejinha is for sure from the water. To get there you can easily by finding one of the many boat rides offered at Tamandare or directly from Praia dos Carneiros.
The prices are around R$80 or R$100 for a 2 hours ride with two people, and larger groups of 5 or 8, you can cut this price in 4. We saw a group of six people getting a boat ride for R$25,00 each, that is around 5 or 6 euros each for over 2 hours enjoying the view and the experience.
Make sure you ask your boat guy to have a bit of time at a sandbank and or at a natural pool. For that, you need to check the tide as we mentioned before.
And also, you can go by boat to Praia de Guadalupe, a beach really close to everything and there you can have a healing and medicinal clay bath! There are a few available and each color has its own properties for your skin and health
- Red: circulation and cellulite
- White: Helps with dark spots
- Green: For our followers with oily skin
- Yellow: Great anti-aging properties
I don’t even know which one I got for myself but I remember it was around R$20,00 for the kit with clay+soap. I don’t recommend using the soap since you can easily rinse off on the sea, but you decide when you’re there.
Where to stay in and around Praia dos Carneiros
Here is a list of hotels we tried and recommendations we got from friends and followers.
Pousada Solar da Praia
Located just 100 m from Tamandaré Beach, this hotel is surrounded by a tropical garden. It features a large outdoor pool with sunbeds. All rooms are air-conditioned and parking is free. We stayed here and we really liked.
Pousada Solar Dos Carneiros
Pousada Solar Dos Carneiros offers accommodations in Tamandaré. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. Every room at this guest house is air-conditioned and is equipped with a flat-screen TV. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom.
We heard loads of folks talking about how much they loved their rooms here.
Flat Carneiros Beach Resort
Offering an outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court, that is complemented with a garden, Flat Carneiros Beach Resort is located in Tamandaré, 2.6 km from Carneiros Beach. Guests staying at this apartment can use the free WiFi and a fully equipped kitchen. Two friends recommended this place.
Club Meridional Carneiros
Club Meridional Carneiros – Flat is located in Praia dos Carneiros and offers a private beach area and an outdoor swimming pool. Guests staying at this apartment can use a fully equipped kitchen. This apartment will provide you with a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a living room. The apartment also includes a bathroom. Another one friends and family highly recommended because of the private beach.