With high temperatures and sunshine throughout most of the year, the Northeast is the favorite destination for Brazilians during their holidays! Check out a backpacking itinerary through the Brazilian Northeast

Peaceful, breathtaking natural scenery, high temperatures almost all year round and beaches with warm and transparent waters. Is there a better destination to enjoy the holidays? THE North East it houses some of the most beautiful places in Brazil. The region that receives the most tourists within the country, with 9 states in all, is full of attractions and tours that range from beaches, waterfalls, deserts and much more.

This is a script for those who want to make a backpacking in the northeast and discover the main destinations in 30 days, starting with Bahia and then traveling through the states of Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Piauí and Maranhão.

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Although the distance of the entire route seems to be long, the capitals of all states are most often very close, the Maceió x Recife route for example takes only 4h30min, so most trips are not so tiring. A tip is to make all the bus trips at night, that way you don't waste your day on the road and still save on accommodation.

Northeast bus route

The roadmap to make your backpacking in the northeast passes through all capitals except the city of Teresina in Piauí, in this state the traveler will only pass through the city of Parnaíba, the second largest in the state that is between the capitals of Fortaleza and Maranhão, below is the distance and duration of travel (via bus) Northeastern capitals:

Salvador vs Aracaju: 316 km – 6h 20m
Aracaju vs Maceio: 275 km – 5h 30m
Maceio vs Recife: 258 - 4h 30m
Recife vs Joao Pessoa: 120 km – 2 hours
João Pessoa x Natal: 189 km – 3 hours 
Christmas x Fortaleza: 520 km – 8h 30m
Fortaleza vs Parnaiba: 476 km – 10h
Parnaiba vs Sao Luis: 489 km – 7 hours

In the itinerary we have added some of the attractions most sought after by tourists who go to the North East in order to enjoy a lot of beach, discover different cities and stay in extreme contact with nature, being:

2 nights in Salvador – Bahia
2 nights Morro de Sao Paulo – Bahia
1 night in Mangue Seco – Bahia
2 nights in Aracaju – Sergipe
3 nights in Maceió – Alagoas
2 nights in Maragogi – Alagoas
2 night in Porto de Galinhas – Pernambuco
2 nights in Recife or Olinda – Pernambuco
2 nights in João Pessoa – Paraíba
1 nights in Pipa – Rio Grande do Norte
2 nights in Natal – Rio Grande do Norte
2 nights in Fortaleza – Ceará
2 nights in Jericoacoara – Ceará
1 night in Parnaíba – Piauí
2 night in Barreirinhas – Maranhão
2 nights in São Luís – Maranhão

Backpacking in the Northeast: Morro de São Paulo

When you land in Bahia, take advantage of your first day to discover the streets and alleys of the famous Pelourinho, in two days it is possible to visit some neighborhoods of the city and still enjoy a beach in the city, a tip is to enjoy Porto da Barra Beach. Once in Morro de São Paulo, book your days to walk on beautiful beaches and explore the famous island of Morro de São Paulo.

Despite being small, the capital of Sergipe is full of attractions, on the first day in Aracaju take the opportunity to get to know the historic center of the city where there are several tourist attractions, such as museums and symbolic buildings. In the afternoon, enjoy the edge of the city, one of the most structured in Brazil, and enjoy an evening tasting local food to the sound of forró pé de serra.

Journey through the Northeast: Sergipe and Maceió

The second day set aside to get to know the Xingó Canyon on the São Francisco River, one of the most different scenarios you will see during your backpacking in the northeast. Take advantage of the way to reach the attraction and complete the trip to Maceió, the Capital of Alagoas.

The advantage of staying in Maceió is the distance from the attractions, the coast of the state is surrounded by great beaches with incredibly clear waters and coconut trees that are lost to sight. Many tourists stay in the capital which is located almost in the center of the coast of the state, it is a great point to explore both the beaches further south and further north.

Backpacking in the Northeast: Alagoas and Pernambuco

The distance is so short that there are several options of circular buses that take you to other cities in a few minutes, such as Barra de Sao Miguel, which has one of the most beautiful beaches in the state: Praia do Gunga. Other essential attractions are the beaches of French, Broken Car, Ipioca, Pajuçara Ponta Verde and Jatiúca.

the snippet of maragogi until Port of Chickens is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beach routes in the North East, in Maragogi, take a day to visit the natural pools, also known as Galés de Maragogi and another day to discover the 10 beaches of the municipality on a buggy tour offered by local agencies.

Backpacking in the Northeast: Porto de Galinhas, Olinda and Recife

In Porto de Galinhas, book a day to visit the paradisiacal Praia dos Carneiros in tamandaré and another to take a tour of the city, usually the excursion is done by buggy starting at the natural pools of Porto de Galinhas and then going through the beaches closest to the charming village such as Muro Alto and Maracaípe beaches.

As they are just a few kilometers away from each other on this stretch of backpacking, you can choose between staying in Recife, or in the colorful streets of the historic center of Olinda, from both destinations it is possible to stroll in the other city without wasting much time. The tip is to enjoy the cultural scene of the state and visit the incredible museums of Recife, listen to a street maracatu and enjoy a little beach in Boa Vista.

Backpacking in the Northeast: Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte

In Paraíba be sure to check out the beaches of Costa do Conde, a tourist route that passes through the best beaches on the south coast of the state, the beginning of the route is in the city of Conde, just 37 km from João Pessoa.

THE Praia da Pipa can be considered a refuge in Rio Grande do Norte, home to dolphins and sea turtles the beach belongs to the municipality of Tibau do Sul and became famous in the 80s through surf lovers. The nightlife in the city of São Paulo is an attraction in itself, the nightclubs in the village work until the sun rises and bring together people from all over the world.

The capital of Rio Grande do Norte also receives many compliments from tourists who visit the destination, in addition to the natural landscapes close to the city, it is possible to take a day trip to the Genipabu Dunes and ride a camel along the white sand banks that meet the coast.

Backpacking in the Northeast: Ceará, Piauí and Maranhão

When passing through Ceará, take the opportunity to visit some beaches and the historic center of the capital Strength and go to Jericoacoara, a small fishing village in the middle of a tropical desert full of beaches and crystal clear lagoons.

This last part of the backpack was affectionately baptized as Route of Emotions, the name could not be better: the landscapes from Jericoacoara to São Luís in Maranhão they are simply breathtaking. The first stop is the city of Parnaíba, the second largest municipality in Piauí. The tourist attraction of this region is the Delta do Parnaíba, the largest in the Americas, they are scenarios formed by mangroves, dunes, lakes, wild animals, rivers and beaches with paradisiacal landscapes.

Then the city of Barreirinhas is the gateway to the National Park of Maranhão sheets, after making the excursion to the gigantic desert full of lagoons formed by crystalline waters, separate the other day in the city to take the tour along the Rio Preguiça. THE road map it has stops at freshwater beaches, fishing villages and a peninsula that separates the water from the river and the ocean, an essential program for anyone passing through the region.

In our last destination road map the tip is to get lost in the streets of the historic center of São Luís, one of the largest in Brazil. If you still have the mood, get to know the city of Alcântara, a small town full of charming historic mansions that is less than 1 hour from São Luís from the Port of São Luís in small catamarans.

Beach in Morro de Sao Paulo. Photo: Rafael Gonzaga

Tourists take a canoe trip through the Xingó canyons, on the São Francisco River. Photo: via Flickr – carola2000

Coqueiral at Praia do Gunga in Alagoas. Photo: Jose Oliveira

Natural pools are 6km out to sea in Maragogi. Photo: Traveller's Talk

Paradise view at Praia dos Carneiros in Tamandaré - PE. Photo: Thiago Santos

Natural pools in Porto de Galinhas. Photo: Hotel Village

Backpacking in northeastern Brazil itinerary

Backpacking in the Brazilian Northeast itinerary: Historic Center of Olinda and the city of Recife in the background. Photo: Claudio Maranhao

Backpacking in northeastern Brazil itinerary

Backpacking in Northeast Brazil itinerary: Coqueirinho Beach on Costa do Conde, Paraíba. Photo: Cacio Murilo

Backpacking in northeastern Brazil itinerary

Backpacking in the Brazilian Northeast itinerary: Baía dos Golfinhos in Pipa – RN. photo: Shutterstock

Backpacking in northeastern Brazil itinerary

Backpacking in the Brazilian Northeast itinerary: Dunas de Genipabu, attraction located near Natal. Photo: Leandro Macedo Gonçalves


Backpacking in northeastern Brazil

Backpacking in Northeast Brazil: Flight of Guarás during a tour in the Delta do Parnaíba. Photo: Karol Moreira

Backpacking in the Northeast:

Backpacking in the Northeast: Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. Photo: Ricardo Mendonça Ferreira

backpacking in the northeast

Backpacking in the Northeast: lazy river in Barreirinhas. Photo: trip2gether

» 10 routes to backpack through Brazil
» Travel on a budget: discover the cheapest cities to backpack
» Itineraries for backpacking in South America
» The best destinations for backpacking

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