In Maragogi and Itamaracá it was easy to notice the precautions took to protect the reef and its life. In Porto de Galinhas no special warning was made.
Maybe because everything happens in a single hole, in a secluded area, where the fish seem domesticated, such is the tranquility they show eating from people's hands, the visual control is easier, and the risk of damage more confined.
The trip to the pool must respect the low tide. This means that you risk to go there at an inconvenient hour, when the sun is high and dangerous (it happened to us, both in Porto de Galinhas and Maragogi.
Without a shade in the reefs, either you use lots of sun protection (not advisable for the fish), or... keep your t-shirt on. It will not take long to dry in your way back.
Searching for open waters
Those (like me) that love open waters with good surf, after a brief appreciation of the calm behind the reefs may feel the nostalgia of waves and try to go further to open sea.
Its dangerous. Walking on the reef it's possible, but its ocean face is 15 meters deep, and with the waves striking it would be a foolish idea. But... what a pity!
Granted, I live in a northern climate, but I work outside every day during the summer and it often gets over 30 for weeks at a time where I work so I thought that the sun was no different than Hawaii, Egypt or any other hot climates that I have been too. Boy was I wrong !!!! This was my first experience with equitorial sun and it is Brutal !!!!!! I wore sunscreen every day and I still burned where I didn't get perfect coverage and I even got a mild burn when I went too many hours batween applications, so be very careful in the sun the first couple of days because it dosen't take long to go from brown to burnt near the equator !!!!
Brasilians speak Portugese and many of them speak or understand Spanish, but it is very true that not many Brasilians speak or understand English, including most hotel and restaurant staff. Not even basic things like numbers. In our hotel we had one person that spoke English, one that kind of spoke English, and one of the owners that understood English but would not speak it or help unless it was an emergency. So I would strongly suggest learning basic numbers and greetings and bringing some kind of simple phrase book(which you should do anytime you visit a foreign country), it may save you a lot of problems.
One interesting thing about Porto in particular is that there are so many Finnish tourists traveling there that your chances of finding menus or signs in Finnish are almost as good as finding them in English.
When you see these flags on the beach it means that there is a strong undertow or rip tide and you cannot go any farther out to the sea than your waist unless you have a surfboard or something else to float on. But, I also write this warning to tell you that if you are like me and make your own safety judgements there are a lot of lifeguard patrols that will tell you to stay out of the water. We saw waverunner, dune buggy, and hotel personel enforce this rule and they are very strict about it and will not give in to arguing.
If you rent a car and someone asks to stop at night, or even during the day, don't stop. In spite of to be a quiet place, Porto Galinhas belongs to a country where high violence is comun. So don't stop. If you take a walk by the beach to south of Porto Galinhas, don't go alone. It's kms without a single person near. In Recife or Olinda try not to show your personal objects. Left watchs and other stuff at home, dress casual, without brands clothes or shoes. Take small quantities of money with you, less than 20 in Porto Galinhas and less than 50 outside. If you see something that you want to buy, you always may get there again to do that. Remember that the minimum income is less than 100 Euros.
CORAL REEFS-DO YOU KNOW HOW DELICATE IS IT?
For those who snorkling is definately not enough,Porto offers more advancing divings,as the dive trip to the submerged grottos!
But,inside the grottos,the coral reefs are fighting for their survive!
People take pieces of them as souveniers,and forget that even a simple touch can kill it.
The coral reef is the house of many kinds of maritime species,and HEY,did you know that some of them live,at least,500 million years,and are the oldest ecossistem on earth!
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