It's the best way to watch the fish, and easy and safe to practice in Maragogi. You may rent an equipment (fins are forbidden in the reef) at the restaurant by R5, and take it with you in the boat, to deliver back in the beach.
Just remember one thing: you are amused watching the fish, feeling cool in the water, but the sun is taking care of your back. Lotion or cream protection is not advisable in the reef, so a t-shirt may work as a good idea.
The big highlight of Maragogi is its natural pools. Far from the coast, they provide a very large area of shallow water, punctuated with reefs, where you can dive, snorkel, bath, or only walk around watching the fish and people's happiness.
Not to be missed, with caution because of the sun.
As long as we arrive at the beach, a restaurant offers its services, covering everything. You may, as we did, reserve your table to lunch in your way back from the pools, choose the menu to have the food ready as soon as you come, and get a ticket to the catamaran operated by the same organization.
No hurries, no stress, no doubts, no wasted time... that's real vacation.
A long, wide, calm warm beach matches anybody dreams. It's safe, it's easy to find some lonely spots under the coconut's shade, as seen in most travelling brochures, or you may prefer an umbrella with gentle service right by the water.
What else can we demand in a beach? Showers? they are there also! A drink? Please don't bother and let me drink my coconut!
It is not often that an agrarian reform project becomes a tourist attraction. But, thanks to some adventurous peasants and their agricultural cooperative, Coopeagro, Maragogi, Alagoas has just such a combination. It is called the Visgueiro Tree - Ecological Trail in the “Assentamento Agua Fria” about 15 kilometers to the north of the center of Maragogi.
The trail winds through five kilometers of a preserved part of the woodlands that once characterized the whole coast of Brazil – the “Mata Atlantica”. Its main attraction is a huge Visgueiro or Faveiro Tree that locals estimate has been growing there for at least three hundred years. I felt dwarfed by the tree and its huge roots. The locals calculate that it takes nine adults with arms extended to circle the tree and I agree.
I walked the trail for about three hours with the head of the local guides, Geraldo who works one of the many small farms that make up the Agua Fria settlement. Since it is off peak season (May), there was plenty of opportunity to use his machete to chop fallen branches and clear some snarled brush. The climb up to the forested hills was not steep and once under the canopy of trees it was cool and damp.
We actually saw several visgueiro trees, some interesting birds and crossed streams and brooks. We also saw some of the farm land on the way back around the circular path that ends near a refreshing running brook with a small man-made water fall or “bica” in Portuguese. It is a fun place to cool off at the end of the hike.
The ecology trail is more of a nature trail in my mind. But, the ecology part is the fact that much of this historic natural forest is threatened with destruction from illegal logging. It brings home to this visitor the painful tragedy of Geraldo’s own neighbors that don’t respect their natural heritage.
My guide only spoke Portuguese, but there is a local, Katja Becker at Maragogi’s Dolphin Guest House (5582 3296 1545 or email@example.com), that brings groups there in both English and German. She also runs fun bicycle tours of the beaches and local trails.
This is a great change of pace from the beach and reef that makes Maragogi the second most visited tourist destination in Alagoas. You’ll need to bring water and snacks as well as insect repellent. I used long pants to protect against the insects and brush. Sneakers or hiking shoes help. Check with your hotel or inn, or call Coopeagro directly at 5582 3296 2010. Their site is www.coopeagro.com.br.
I am really excited about my morning in the forest. I felt renewed and stimulated from the experience.
We stayed in Maragogi only a week. But we didn't stay all the time in the beach!
We visited other beaches "made in paradise" and one "fazenda" in a "buggie" like this on the photo. Our driver - Jo?o - showed us landscapes we only used to see in travel magazines.
In our last day at Maragogi (Sunday) we went to visit the street market - about 1 km from the hotel.
It's a traditional market, where the goods are exposed in the ground, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals. But once more, you feel great among the people. You have nothing to fear!
I bought some "mandioca"! Huumm!
Nearly 2 km from the Salinas' coast, you will find natural pools surrounded by corals, where you can swim with the fishes and even food them with bread. It's a great sensation! The fishes realy eat in your hand!
We went to visit a "fazenda" (farm) with sugar-cane and passionfruit plantations.
Then we enjoyed a small waterfall and even fead some little monkeys with bananas!
This beach is exclusive for the hotel's clients.
The seawater is warm and calm.
Enjoy a nice and fresh coconut's water and relax!