I love deserted beaches. Even Cabral when he discovered Brazil didn’t find the beaches deserted. But by traveling to the Coral Coast in Brazil’s Northeast in non-peak season, I have had the run of the place. I can swim in the clear tropical pools of the reef and see a few local fishermen in the distance, or I can cross the path of a few more fishermen spending hours walking the hard packed sands of one or another beach in the area of Maragogi. A bit further down the Coral Coast, twenty minutes or so by car south of the City of Maragogi, one finds only the coconut trees waving at you. Now that’s eerie.
Maragogi is the gateway to a cluster of eight closely knit cities along the northern coast of the state of Alagoas, Brazil called the Coral Coast or the “Costa dos Corais”. Besides Maragogi, towns include Japaratinga, Porto de Pedras and São Miguel dos Milagres, Passo de Camaragibe and Barra de Santo Antonio. Maragogi's twenty-two kilometers of beaches are on a wide lagoon formed by a continuous tropical reef that stretches over 130 kilometers along Brazil’s Northeast Coast between the states of Pernambuco and Alagoas.
Accommodations range from small guest houses, inns (pousadas) to full scale, all inclusive resorts. But, it is the out of the way inns and bungalows that attract my attention. Some of them are very exclusive, catering to the rich and famous. Others are simple and friendly, run mostly by their owners and a few employees. A good selection can be found at BootsnAll and Maragogi Online.
Really deserted beaches and many more accessible ones on the Coral Coast are fantastic, but some need high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles in order to access them. Several companies offer excursions using them. Out on my own in a rented car, as I turn into some of these sandy tracks between the palm trees, I frankly have second thoughts. I have no idea how I will find someone to help dig me out. On a recent drive to deserted beaches, I was lucky to find two locals with hoes.
Between the tropical reefs and the miles and miles of beaches along a warm and clear lagoon, you can decide how much adventure suits your taste.