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State of Pernambuco
Flag of State of Pernambuco Coat of arms of State of Pernambuco
Location of State of Pernambuco in Brazil
(and largest city)
Demonym Pernambucano
 -  Governor Eduardo Henrique Accioly Campos
 -  Vice Governor João Lyra Neto
 -  Total 98,311.616 km2 (37,958.327 sq mi) (19th)
 -  2009 estimate 8,810,256 (7th)
 -  2000 census 7,918,344 
 -  Density 89.6 /km2 (232 /sq mi) (6th)
GDP 2007 estimate
 -  Total R$ 62.255.687 (10th)
 -  Per capita R$ 7.337 (21st)
HDI (2005) 0.718 (medium) (22nd)
Abbreviation BR-PE
Time zone BRT (UTC-3)
 -  Summer (DST) BRST (UTC-2)
Aurora street, in Recife Antigo, "Old Recife".
Santo Antônio Church.
Nossa Senhora do Carmo Church.

Pernambuco (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɛʁnɐ̃ˈbuku][1]) is a state of Brazil, located in the Northeast region of the country. To the north are the states of Paraíba and Ceará, to the west is Piauí, to the south are Alagoas and Bahia, and to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. There are about 187 kilometers (116 miles) of beaches, some of the most beautiful in the country, as Porto de Galinhas, Carneiros and Calhetas. The capital, Recife, has one of most beautiful urban areas of the country, Boa Viagem. Together with its neighboring city of Olinda, it is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the northeastern part of Brazil. Both have Portuguese architecture, with secular casarões and churches, and kilometers of beaches and much culture. Pernambuco also has the archipelago Fernando de Noronha. The proximity of the Equator guarantees an entire year of sun, with average temperatures of 26°C (78.8°F).


Physical Geography

Catimbau Valley 2nd largest Brazilian Archeological site
Recife is the capital and most important city of the state.

Pernambuco comprises a comparatively narrow coastal zone, a high inland plateau, and an intermediate zone formed by the terraces and slopes between the two.

Its surface is much broken by the remains of the ancient plateau which has been worn down by erosion, leaving escarpments and ranges of flat-topped mountains, called chapadas, capped in places by horizontal layers of sandstone. Ranges of these chapadas form the boundary lines with three states–the Serra dos Irmãos and Serra Vermelha with Piauí, the Serra do Araripe with Ceará, and the Serra dos Cariris Velhos with Paraíba.

The coastal area is fertile, and was formerly covered by the humid Pernambuco coastal forests, the northern extension of the Atlantic Forests (Mata Atlântica) of eastern Brazil. It is now place to extensive sugar cane plantations. It has a hot, humid climate, relieved to some extent by the south-east trade winds.

The middle zone, called the agreste region, has a drier climate and lighter vegetation, including the semi-deciduous Pernambuco interior forests, where many trees lose their leaves in the dry season.

The inland region, called the sertão is high, stony, and dry, and frequently devastated by prolonged droughts (secas). The climate is characterized by hot days and cool nights. There are two clearly defined seasons, a rainy season from March to June, and a dry season for the remaining months. The interior of the state is covered mostly by the dry thorny scrub vegetation called caatinga. The Rio São Francisco is the main water source for this area.

The climate is more mild in the countryside of the state because of the Borborema Plateau ("Planalto da Borborema", popularly known as "Serra das Russas" or "Russians' Mountain"). Some towns are located more than 1000 meters above sea level, and the temperatures there can descend to 10°C (50°F) and even 5°C (41°F) in some cities (i.e., Triunfo) during the winter.

The island of Fernando de Noronha in the Atlantic Ocean, 535 km northeast of Recife, has been part of Pernambuco since 1988.

The rivers of the state include a number of small plateau streams flowing southward to the São Francisco River, and several large streams in the eastern part flowing eastward to the Atlantic. The former are the Moxotó, Ema, Pajeú, Terra Nova, Brigida, Boa Vista and Pontai, and are dry channels the greater part of the year.

The largest of the coastal rivers are the Goiana River, which is formed by the confluence of the Tracunhaem and Capibaribe-mirim, and drains a rich agricultural region in the north-east part of the state; the Capibaribe, which has its source in the Serra de Jacarara and flows eastward to the Atlantic at Recife with a course of nearly 300 miles; the Ipojuca, which rises in the Serra de Aldeia Velha and reaches the coast south of Recife; the Serinhaen; and the Uná. A large tributary of the Uná, the Rio Jacuhipe, forms part of the boundary line with Alagoas.


Originally inhabited by various indigenous peoples, Pernambuco was first settled by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The French under Bertrand d'Ornesan tried to establish a French trading post at Pernambuco in 1531.[2] Shortly after King João III of Portugal created the Hereditary Captaincies in 1534, Pernambuco was granted to Duarte Coelho, who arrived in Nova Lusitânia (or "New Lusitania") in 1535.

Duarte directed military actions against the French-allied Caetés Indians and upon their defeat in 1537 established a settlement at the site of a former Marin Indian village, henceforth known as Olinda, as well as another village at Igarassu.

Due to the cultivation of sugar and cotton, Pernambuco was one of the few prosperous captaincies (the other notable one being São Vicente). With the support of the Dutch West India Company, sugar mills (engenho) were built and a sugar-based economy developed. In 1612, Pernambuco produced 14,000 tons of sugar; in the 1640s, more than 24,000 tons of sugar were exported to Amsterdam alone. While the sugar industry relied at first on the labor of indigenous peoples, especially the Tupis and Tapuyas, high mortality and economic growth led to the importation of African slaves from the late 1600s. Some of these slaves escaped the sugar-producing coastal regions and formed independent inland communities called mocambos, including Palmares.

In 1630, Pernambuco, as well as many Portuguese possessions in Brazil, was occupied by the Dutch. The occupation was strongly resisted and the Dutch conquest was only partially successful. In the interim, thousands of the enslaved Africans had fled to Palmares, and soon the mocambos there had grown into two significant states. The Dutch, who allowed sugar production to remain in Portuguese hands, regarded suppression of Palmares important, but they were unsuccessful.

Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, count of Nassau, was appointed as ruler of the Nieuw Holland (Dutch colonization enterprise in Brazil).

Nassau's government built Maritania or Mauritsstad (Recife) on delta islands, which have similarities to Holland's topography. This moved the political focus from Olinda to Recife. Nassau's Dutch administration was noted for advancements in urbanism, culture, and science. The Dutch legacy is still recognizable in Pernambuco's people, accent and architecture.

Portugal reconquered Recife in 1654 and Olinda regained its status of political center. However, Recife remained the commercial /port city. If the Dutch were gone, however, the threat of the now unified quilombo of Palmares remained. In spite of a treaty negotiated in 1678 with its ruler Ganga Zumba, a war between the two remained. Zumbi who became ruler following the peace treaty and later repudiated it, fought the Portuguese government until 1694 when soldiers brought from the south eventually defeated him.

In 1710 the Mascate War took place in Pernambuco. This conflict set the mascates (traveling salesman) from Recife against the establishment hosted in Olinda and led by the Senhores de Engenho (owners of the sugar mills, literally: sugar mill lords).

Pernambuco was the site of the most important rebellions and insurrections in Brazilian history, especially in the 19th century.

1817 was the year of the Pernambucan Revolution, a republican separatist movement which resulted in the creation of the Republic of Pernambuco. The main cause of the revolution was dissatisfaction with the colonial administration. The republic was declared on March 7, 1817. After military intervention, the secession ended on May 20, 1817. The current flag of Pernambuco is actually the flag of that Republic.

As a reaction to the Emperor Dom Pedro I dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the Confederation of the Equator was set up on July 2, 1824. The Confederation was another separatist movement which encompassed the provinces of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, and Ceará. On November 29, 1824, the Confederated forces capitulated to the Imperial army.

Pernambuco was the site of the brief liberal republican Praieira revolt in 1848, which was Brazil's response to the European year of failed liberal revolutions. Deodoro da Fonseca, the marshal who crushed the revolt, much later overthrew Emperor Pedro II, and served as the first president of the Brazilian republic.


Dutch Domain

Kahal Zur Israel Synagogue in Mauritsstad (Recife).First Synagogue in all Americas
Dutch invasions in Brazil.
John Maurice of Nassau
Albert Eckhout: a Mameluca woman in Brazil (circa 1641-1644).

In the 17th century, the Netherlands was experiencing a surge of freedom and progress, free from the anchors of delay that lingered in other parts of Europe. Its society, its economy and the arts (which included a painting of great beauty and high artistic level) experienced the benefits of modern capitalism, driven by the ambition of a powerful bourgeoisie. A symbolic expression of this new economy was a branch of the Dutch West India Company - today we would call a transnational corporation - which extended its tentacles throughout the world and controlled large portion of trade between East and West. A Board of nineteen members appointed as Governor of Pernambuco Prince Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau. It was an auspicious choice for Brazil, because he was a lover of the arts, a versatile and competent talent, with a deep interest in the New World. In 1637 he opened his government guidelines quite different from those of the Portuguese colonialists, declaring "Freedom of Religion and Trade. From his entourage contained traders, artists, planners, Flemish and German citizens. There are reports that have been accompanied by six painters, such as Frans Post and Albert Eckhout, but we do not have records of all of them. It was also Nassau who has carefully crafted in Brazil to create an environment of Dutch religious tolerance shockingly new to the Portuguese America and irritating to the Calvinists of his own entourage. Nassau was the first to systematically take care of freeing the economy of the monoculture sugar production to develop the polyculture. It was also in Recife under Dutch rule that an important part of Israeli culture was asserted - many Iberian Jews had previously sought refuge in the Netherlands - and the tradition of the Jews was being developed in Brazilian soil, especially the Sephardim, who here would spread to the northern Americas. There are records that in 1636 a synagogue was being built in the city. Many Dutch Jews were linked to commercial activities of the East India Company, which naturally sent them to the New World. A Jewish scholar from Amsterdam, Aboab da Fonseca, arrived in Recife in 1642, becoming the first rabbi on national soil and on the Continent. In 1643, three years after the Portuguese regained the crown in the metropolis, Father António Vieira - frowned upon, persecuted by the Inquisition and admirer of Aboab - recommended the King of Portugal to betake the capital of the New Christians and Jews immigrants to help The depressed Portuguese finace[3]

In 1630, Dutch West India Company once again turns its interest to the most promissory Captaincies of the Portuguese colony in the Americas. Due to the Iberian Union (1580 a 1640), the so far known Dutch Republic (which was dominated by Spain for a while but became independent afterwards) saw in Pernambuco the opportunity to impose a harsh stroke in Spain, while it would compensates for the loss resulted from the failure of the management of Bahia. In 26 of December 1629, a squad with 66 vessels and 7.280 men left São Vicente, Cape Verde, heading to Pernambuco.

The Dutch conquered the Captaincy of Pernambuco in February of 1630 and established the colony of New Holland.

Nowadays, the majority of the inhabitants of the pernambuco's cariri has Dutch ancestry.[4]


A local inhabitant with carnival clothes.

According to the IBGE of 2009, there were 8,745,000 people residing in the state. The population density was 89.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (232 /sq mi).

Urbanization: 76.8% (2006); Population growth: 1.2% (1991–2000); Houses: 2,348,000 (2006).[5]

The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following numbers: 4,799,000 Brown (Multiracial) people (54.87%), 3,307,000 White people (37.81%), 561,000 Black people (6.42%), 41,000 Amerindian people (0.47%), 31,000 Asian people (0.36%).[6]

Mixed-race (those of mixed African and Portuguese ancestry) predominate in the coast. Mamelucos (those of mixed Amerindian and Portuguese ancestry) predominate in the interior (Sertão). Whites of colonial Portuguese descent are a plurality in some towns and of colonial Dutch descent as well. [7]

Economy of Pernambuco

Gypsum exploration in Trindade, Araripina Microregion

The service sector is the largest component of GDP at 73.2%, followed by the industrial sector at 21.6%. Agribusiness represents 5.2% of GDP (2006). Pernambuco exports: sugar 35.6%, fruit and juice 12.6%, fish and crustacean 12.3%, electric products 11.1%, chemicals 7.1%, woven 5.6% (2002).

Economic Sectorial Composition in 2006 (BR$)[8]
Primary sector  % Secondary sector  % Tertiary sector  % Taxation GDP growth GDP PC R$ growth
2.474 5.2% 10.316 21.6% 34.872 73.2% 7.843 55.505 (100%) 5.1% 6.528 10%

According with IBGE, in 2007 Pernambuco has 2.34% share of the Brazilian economy and 17.9% share of the Northeast region economy. It's the 2nd largest economy of the Northeast and 10th of the whole country. The GDP for the state was R$ 62,255,687,000 (2007), and the per capita income was R$ 7,337.

The economy is based on agriculture (sugarcane, manioc), livestock farming and creations, as well as industry (alimentary, chemical, metallurgical, electronic, textile). The state has the second biggest industrial output of the Northeast, just behind Bahia. In the period of October 2005 to October 2006, the industrial growth of the state was the second biggest in Brazil - 6.3%, more than double the national average in the same period (2.3%). Another segment that deserves to be highlighted is mineral extraction. The pole gesseiro of Araripina is the supplier from 95% of the plaster consumed in Brazil. The pole of data processing of the Recife, Digital Port, despite having started in 2000, is one of the five biggest in Brazil. It employs around three thousand persons, and has 3.5% the GDP of the state.


Petrolina. The largest Brazilian producer of grapes, mangoes, guavas and one of the biggest creators of goats and sheep.
Cowboys Pernambucanos in Cumaru

According with IBGE 2007, Pernambuco has the 2nd largest livestock portfolio in the Northeast region and the 8th of Brazil.

Livestock Table 2007 [9]
Animal or product N. of heads NE Ranking & % BR Ranking & %
Goats 1595069 2nd - 18.48% 2nd - 16.88%
Sheeps 1256270 4th - 13.53% 5th - 7.74%
Cattle 2219892 4th - 7.74% 16th - 1.11%
cow milk 662078000 liters 2nd - 19.86% 9th - 2.54%
Pigs 495957 5th - 7.35% 14th - 1.38%
Chickens 31916818 1st - 24.24% 7th - 2.83%
Chickens eggs 142518000 dozens 1st - 30.56% 6th - 4.81%
Quails 605371 1st - 43.24% 4th - 7.98%
Quails eggs 9390000 dozens 1st - 51.43% 4th - 7.17%
Horses 125976 5th - 8.81% 15th -2.25%
Donkeys 100944 5th - 9.50% 5th - 8.68%
Mules 54812 4th - 7.97% 7th - 4.08%
Buffalos 19239 2nd - 16.04% 11th - 1.70%
Rabbits 2383 2nd - 6.45% 9th - 0.82%
Honey 1177000 kg 4th - 10.15% 9th - 3.39%


Agriculture Table of Pernambuco in 2002[10]
Product S Quantity T NE Ranking & % BR Ranking & %
Tomatoes 207736 2nd - 35.7% 5th - 5.69%
Manioc 483634 4th - 5.91% 13th - 2.1%
Water melons 62820 2nd - 15.61% 7th - 4.22%
Melons 16686 4th - 5.00% 4th - 4.74%
Sugarcane 17626183 2nd - 29.51% 5th - 4.84%
Onions 89082 2nd - 39.78% 5th - 7.29%
Beans 82245 3rd - 9.50% 9th - 2.69%
Rice 17865 7th - 1.93% 21st - 0.17%
Sweet potatoes 25727 3rd - 16.23% 7th - 5.17%
Pineapples 24028 5th - 10.2% 12th - 1.11%
Fava 569 3th - 6.0% 4th - 5.63%
corn 86675 5th - 3.93% 18th - 0.24%
Castor beans 319 3rd - 0.20% 8th - 0.19%
Cotton 1877 8th - 0.32% 15th - 0.13
Product P Quantity T NE Ranking & % BR Ranking & %
Grapes 99978 1st - 53.6% 3th - 8.70%
Guavas 104771 1st - 74.41% 2nd - 32.63%
Mangoes 136488 2nd - 24.74% 3rd - 16.20%
Coconuts 152266+ 3rd - 10.89% 5th - 7.90%
lemons 2965 4th - 4.20% 12th - 0.30%
Passion fruits 5611 6th - 2.71% 14th - 1.17%
Tangerines 5264 4th - 14.34% 11th - 0.42%
Papayas 5358 6th - 0.57% 12th - 0.34%
Cashew nuts 3554 4th - 2.20% 4th - 2.10%
Bananas 367481 2nd - 16.69% 6th - 5.72%
Oranges 5638 8th - 0.34% 22nd - 0.03%
Avocados 1685 2nd - 15.49% 11th - 1.0%
Rubber 706 3rd - 3.59% 12th - 0.48%
Cotton tree 222 4th - 5.41% 4th - 5.41%

S - Seasonal; P - Permanent agriculture; + - Thousands units


Pernambuco State has the 5th highest sugarcane Brazilian production. Brazil is the second largest producer of alcohol fuel in the world, typically fermenting ethanol from sugarcane and sugar beets. The country produces a total of 18 billion liters annually, of which 3.5 billion are exported, 2 billion of them to the US. Alcohol-fueled cars started in the Brazilian market in 1978 and became quite popular because of heavy subsidy, but in the 80s prices rose and gasoline regained the leading market share. But from 2004 on, alcohol rapidly increased its market share once again because of new technologies involving hybrid fuel car engines called "Flex" by all major car manufacturers (Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Peugeot, Honda, Citroën, Fiat, etc.). "Flex" engines work with gasoline, alcohol or any mixture of both fuels. As of February 2007, approximately 80% of new vehicles sold in Brazil are hybrid fuel powered. Because of the Brazilian lead in production and technology, many countries became very interested in importing alcohol fuel and adopting the "Flex" vehicle concept. On March 7, 2007, US president George W. Bush visited the city of São Paulo to sign agreements with Brazilian president Lula on importing alcohol and its technology as an alternative fuel.


Faculty of Law at the Federal University of Pernambuco
Triunfo Theatre

Portuguese is the official national language, and thus the primary language taught in schools. But English and Spanish are part of the official high school curriculum.

Educational institutions

The main educational installations of the state are concentrated in the capital, including the seventh best federal university of the country. Pernambuco had main universities and colleges founded in the 19th and 20th century. Some of them are known nationally. The Faculdade de Direito do Recife, or Recife's Law College, was founded in August, 11, 1827, was the first higher education institute in Brazil. Castro Alves and Joaquim Nabuco, two important people in Brazilian history, studied there. Others important institutions are:

Carnival at São Pedro Square, in Recife.
Frevo dancer.


Carnival in Pernambuco

The four-day period before Lent leading up to Ash Wednesday is carnival time in Brazil. Rich and poor alike forget their cares as they party in the streets. Pernambuco has large Carnival celebrations, including the frevo, typical Pernambuco music. Another famous carnaval music style from Pernambuco is maracatu.

The cities of Recife and Olinda hold the most authentic and democratic carnaval celebrations in Brazil. The largest carnaval parade in all of Brazil is Galo da Madrugada, which takes place in downtown Recife in the Saturday of carnival. Another famous event is the Noite dos Tambores Silenciosos.

Recife’s joyous Carnaval is nationally known and admired, attracting thousands of people every year. The party starts a week before the official date, with electric trios “shaking” the Boa Viagem district.

On Friday, people take to the streets to enjoy themselves to the sound of frevo and to dance with maracatu, ciranda, caboclinhos, afoxé, reggae and manguebeat (cultural movement created in Recife during the 90s) groups. There are still many other entertainment centres around the city, featuring local and national artists.

One of the highlights is Saturday when more than one million people follow the Galo da Madrugada group. From Sunday to Monday, there is the Night of the Silent Drums, on the Pátio do Terço, where Maracatus honor slaves that died in prisons.

Saint John's Day

Festa Junina was introduced to Northeastern Brazil by the Portuguese, for whom Saint John's day (also celebrated as Midsummer Day in several European countries), on the 24th of June, is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Differently, of course, from what happens on the European Midsummer Day, the festivities in Brazil do not take place during the summer solstice, but during the tropical winter solstice. The festivities traditionally begin after the 12th of June, on the eve of Saint Anthony's day, and last until the 29th, which is Saint Peter's day. During these fifteen days, there are bonfires, fireworks, and folk dancing in the streets. Once exclusively a rural festival, today, in Brazil, it is largely a city festival during which people joyfully and theatrically mimic peasant stereotypes and clichés in a spirit of jokes and good times. Typical refreshments and dishes are served, including canjica and pamonha. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (fireworks display and folk dancing). Like what happens on Midsummer and Saint John's Day in Europe, bonfires are a central part of these festivities in Brazil.

Gravatá, in the mountains.

Saint John's Day is celebrated throughout Pernambuco. Nonetheless, the festivities in Caruaru are by far the largest in the state. Saint John's festivals in Gravatá and Carpina are also very popular.

Winter Festival

In the hilly areas of the interior - mainly in areas with a micro-climate of altitude - temperatures that can reach 8°C in the winter. Every winter, when the weather is milder, tourists from neighboring states and other parts of Pernambuco visit cities such as Garanhuns, Gravatá, Triunfo and Taquaritinga do Norte.

The city of Garanhuns holds an annual Winter Festival, in the month of July. The main attractions are concerts, dances, rural tourism, culinary and the relatively low temperatures for a tropical climate.



Guararapes International Airport, the new Recife/Guararapes – Gilberto Freyre International Airport has been open since July 2004 and has 52 thousand square meters of area. The second largest airport in the North and Northeast regions, Guararapes had its capacity expanded from 1.5 million to 5 million passengers a year. Now there are 64 check-in counters, versus the former terminal’s 24. The shopping and leisure area was also totally remodeled, within the “Aeroshopping” concept, which transforms an airport into a center for business, comfort and high-quality products and services. The commercial spaces will be occupied in steps and the final total will be 142 shops. Since 2000, Recife has had the longest runway in the Northeast, at 3,305 meters. Its extension permits operations with jumbo jets, such as the Boeing 747-400, which can carry 290 passengers and 62 tons of cargo, with endurance to fly nonstop to anywhere in South and Central America, Africa and parts of Europe, the United States and Canada.

Pernambuco is also served by the Petrolina international airport, which is responsible for the delivery of fresh fruits from the São Francisco valley to Europe and/or USA. The cargo terminal operates with 6 large coolers[11] with 17000 boxes capacity each plus 2 coolers tunnels. This airports also has daily direct connections between this region ( which includes 53 municipalities from the states such as Pernambuco, Piaui and Bahia ) to major capitals as Recife and Salvador. Its administered by a Brazilian Federal Agency (Infraero) like the Recife airport.

Another states airports but with local administrations are the Fernando de Noronha Airport and the Caruaru airport. The first has daily flights between the islands with Recife and Natal, and the second airport connects the textile industry region of Caruaru with São Paulo plus small and medium regional local cities.


  • Suape port. Suape serves ships cargo 365 days a year without any restrictions in regards to tidal schedules. To assist in the docking operation of the ships, the port offers a monitoring system and laser ship docking system that enables effective, secure control and upholds the same technical standards as the most important ports across the globe. The port moves over 8.4 million tons of cargo a year [12](has increased 7 times since 1992). The liquid granary (petroleum by-products, chemical products, alcohols, vegetable oils, etc.) constitutes more than 80% of the movement. The port can serve ships of up to 170,000 tpb and operational draft of 14.50m. With 27 km² of backport, the internal and external ports offer the necessary conditions for serving large ships. The access canal has 5,000m of extension, 300m in width and 16.5m in length.

Suape has started in the 21st Century to be Pernambuco's motive power toward development. Huge national and international investments are being attracted by its logistic qualities, of which, until 2010, more than US$ 10 billion dollars are expected.

  • Recife Port handles cruises and cargo. National and international cruises are made in this port, mainly of those connecting Fernando de Noronha islands with Brazil, Caribbean islands and South America. The Brazilian and foreign tourists who come to Recife on a cruise ship will use a new Passengers Terminal (2009)[13] with stores, food court and information kiosks. Also, will have an increase in depth from 8.4 m to 11.5 meters deep, what originates will no longer be necessary to do transfer between large and small ships as before.

There are two access channels to the Port, both of natural characteristics. The main one, South Channel, has 260 m of width and 3.4 km (2.11 mi) of extension approximately, with a depth of 10.5 m. The other, denominated North Channel, has little width, about 1.00 km (0.6 mi) of length, and a depth of 6.5 m, and it is used only by small size vessels. Handles an average of 2.2 millions tons[14] of cargo annually, and the main loads are sugar, wheat, corn, barley, malt, fertilizers, clinker and kelp.

Praia Sancho, beyond this beach a reserve for some 600 spinner dolphins is established in Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco.
São Pedro dos Clérigos Cathedral, in Recife.
Recife, the biggest city of the state.
Boa Viagem beach, in Recife.
City of Triunfo , mountainous (serrano) tourism .
Pesqueira, a city in the Agreste region.
Serra Talhada, a city in the Sertão region.
Typical flower in Gravata.

Tourism and recreation

The Pernambuco coastline is 187 km long.

Fernando de Noronha is an isolated group of 21 volcanic islands approximately 340 miles from Recife. The main islands are the visible parts of a range of submerged mountains, islets and rocks. The Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha hosts ecological sites ideal for exuberant marine animal life, due to its geographic location far from the continent and well within the path of the Southern Equatorial Currents, as well as the nature of its climate.
How to get there: by plane from Recife (545km) or from Natal (360). An environmental preservation fee is charged from tourists upon arrival.
It's famous for being one of the most beautiful beaches of the Brazilian coast, due to its landscape. Warm clear water pools scattered around its coral reefs, estuaries, mangroves, coconut trees and a number of other samples of abundant nature richness make Porto de Galinhas a place not to be missed or forgotten.
How to get there: can be reached through Highways BR-101 Sul, PE-060, PE-038 and PE-09.
If you are looking for a good beach but don't want to take a long journey to get there, Boa Viagem is the best choice. Located in the privileged southern Recife metropolitan area, Boa Viagem is the most important and frequented beach in town. It is protected by a long reef wall and has an extensive coastline.
How to get there: Boa Viagem, Recife.
Separated from the mainland by the Jaguaribe River, it has several highly frequented beaches. Among them are Forte Orange, Praia do Sossego and Pontal da Ilha. On the island you can visit the Marine Manatee Preservation Center.
How to get there: you can reach the island through Highway BR-101 Norte, going past Igarassu, Itapissuma, and reaching Itamaracá at km 34.
  • Maracaípe
Beach with big waves. Maracaípe hosts a phase of the Brazilian Surf Tournament. Highly frequented by surfers and neighbor to Porto de Galinhas, Maracaípe.
How to get there: can be reached through Highways BR-101 Sul, PE-060, PE-038 and PE-09.
Small waves and fine sand can be found there. Considered by many as the best beach for bathing and swimming in Pernambuco. Easy to reach from Recife.
How to get there: through Highway BR-101 Sul, PE-060 and PE-076.
Small bay of difficult access. Searched for by many for diving.
How to get there: you can reach Calhetas through BR-101 Sul and PE-060.
  • Coroa do Avião
Famous small island, in the middle of the Jaguaribe River delta, which can be reached only by boat or raft, from Recife or Itamaracá.
How to get there: from Itamaracá only by boat or raft.

Main cities

List of the 25 largest cities in Pernambuco [15]
Ranking City Population (2009) GDP (R$x1000)(2007)[16]. GDP PC (R$)
1 Recife 1,561,659 20,718,107 13,510
2 Jaboatão dos Guararapes 687,688 5,578,363 8,384
3 Olinda 397,268 2,179,183 5,567
4 Paulista 319,373 1,367,111 4,449
5 Caruaru 298,501 1,993,295 6,895
6 Petrolina 281,851 1,932,517 7,202
7 Cabo de Santo Agostinho 171,583 2,813,188 17,244
8 Camaragibe 143,210 492,113 3,608
9 Garanhuns 131,313 742,593 5,941
10 Vitória de Santo Antão 126,399 745,504 6,149
11 Igarassu 100,191 734,430 7,834
12 São Lourenço da Mata 99,945 310,748 3,261
13 Abreu e Lima 96,266 567,474 6,154
14 Santa Cruz do capibaribe 80,330 332,112 4,507
15 Serra Talhada 80,294 434,704 5,705
16 Araripina 79,877 255,578 3,368
17 Ipojuca 75,512 5,354,635 76,418
18 Gravatá 75,229 306,637 4,284
19 Goiana 74,424 457,986 6,379
20 Belo Jardim 74,028 504,735 7,113
21 Carpina 68,070 351,448 5,375
22 Arcoverde 68,000 290,529 4,479
23 Ouricuri 66,978 200,880 3,186
24 Pesqueira 64,454 236,259 3,852
25 Escada 62,604 233,562 3,902
RMR Recife metropolitan area 3,768,902 40,872,963 10,845
State PERNAMBUCO 8,810,256 62,255,687 7,337

Other main cities include:

Pernambuco State Microregions and largest cities.


Arruda Stadium in Recife.

Soccer was introduced in Pernambuco in 1902, when English and Dutch sailors disembarked in Recife and played a game of soccer in the beach. The novelty awoke the interest of the people of Pernambuco, that soon adhered to the game. Recife provides visitors and residents with various sport activities, The city has the main soccer teams in the state of Pernambuco. There are several soccer clubs based in Recife, such as Sport, Santa Cruz, and Náutico.

According with CBF in 08/12/08, the Pernambuco football Federation has the 6th[17] position in all Brazilian states federations just after SP, RJ, RS, MG and PR; and it is the 1st in his Northeast region. The Pernambuco football Federation organizes the state championship and the state cup. The first edition of the Campeonato Pernambucano was played in 1915, and was won by Sport Club Flamengo, an extinguished club. In 2009, 12 clubs has played for the title, which was won by Sport.

In 2009, the state it is represented in the National highest level of soccer (Brazilian Série A) by Naútico and Sport. Also, it is represented in (Série C) by Salgueiro and in (Série D) by Santa Cruz and Central.

Recife is one of the 12 Brazilian cities who will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Brazil.


Lula da Silva - Brazilian President, from Pernambuco



This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

South America : Brazil : Northeast : Pernambuco
Olinda, one of the state's most important historic towns
Olinda, one of the state's most important historic towns
Pernambuco [1] is a state in Northeast Brazil.


Pernambuco's main touristic attractions are in Recife (state capital), Olinda, Porto de Galinhas and Fernando de Noronha. A plethora of other cities and towns are also of touristic interest.

  • Bonito
  • Cabo de Santo Agostinho, beautiful beaches, sugar plantations, and buildings of historic interest
  • Goiana, beautiful beaches and colonial churches
  • Gravatá
  • Igarassu, home to Brazil's oldest church (1535), a beautiful Franciscan Monastery (1588), and an impressive Art Collection (1705)
  • Itamaracá Island, famous for its beaches, nautical sports and the Orange Fortress
  • Lagoa do Carro, famous for its tapestry art
  • Nova Jerusalém, in Brejo da Madre de Deus, home to the world's largest Passion of Christ
  • Porto de Galinhas, beautiful beach town near Recife
  • São Benedito do Sul, with pleasant waterfalls
  • Serrita, were the Missa do Vaqueiro is celebrated in honor of the traditional northeastern cowboys
  • Tamandaré
  • Tracunhaém, one of Brazil's most important ceramic art production centers
  • Triunfo


Besides having some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, Pernambuco also has a rich history (including Olinda, one of the oldest cities in Brazil, plus Portuguese, Dutch and Jewish heritage in Recife, etc.) and a strong popular culture found in its folklore, food and handicrafts. The official tourism site of Pernambuco has some detailed information (in Portuguese only) on the state.

Get in

By road

BR 101 is a main Brazilian Federal road who connects Recife with Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador on the south leg; and Natal, Joao Pessoa on the north leg. The state also has BR232 and BR 408 which connects with another state cities and Campina Grande (BR408).

By air

Recife has a large international airport with daily non-stop flights to Miami, Lisbon, almost all Brazilian state capitals; and also has seasonal charters from Frankfurt, Milan, Paris and Buenos Aires. Caruaru, Petrolina and Fernando de Noronha has regional airports.

By sea

You can arrive in cruise ships at the Port of Recife [2] or at the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago. The cruises come from Europe (usually Lisbon and Malaga) or from the Americas (usually Miami, Buenos Aires and Santos).

By river

You can arrive in Petrolina via the Sao Francisco River. The navigable part of the river covers the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia and Pernambuco.

  • Carnival in Recife, Olinda, Bezerros, Triunfo
  • São João celebrations in Caruaru, Recife, Gravatá, Carpina
  • Paixão de Cristo (Christ's Passion) in Nova Jerusalém, during Easter break
  • Missa do Vaqueiro (Cowboy Mass), in Serrita
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

(There is currently no text in this page)


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun


  1. State in north-eastern Brazil which has Recife as its capital.


  • French: Pernambouc

See also


Simple English

Pernambuco is a state of Brazil. The capital city of the state is Recife. About 8 million people live in the state. About 1.5 of them live in the capital. The economy is largely based on agriculture, its main exports are sugar cane and manioc. It has a mainly tropical climate.

States of Brazil
Acre | Alagoas | Amapá | Amazonas | Bahia | Ceará | Espírito Santo | Goiás | Maranhão | Mato Grosso | Mato Grosso do Sul | Minas Gerais | Pará | Paraíba | Paraná | Pernambuco | Piauí | Rio de Janeiro | Rio Grande do Norte | Rio Grande do Sul | Rondônia | Roraima | Santa Catarina | São Paulo | Sergipe | Tocantins
Federal District: Brazilian Federal District


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