Brazil travel blog by Mark Berman -
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Penedo was one of my favourite stops on my travels up the Brazilian coast from Salvador to Natal! It's a small riverside town with colonial
architecture and is positioned with beautiful views of the river and surrounding area. A beautifully peaceful place with a relaxed atmosphere and
a welcome break from the big cities and busy beaches on this journey!
Bus from Aracaju
I arrived in Penedo by bus from Aracaju (3hrs 30mins south) where I had spent
the night after being in Salvador for carnival (Salvador is 5hrs south of Aracaju). Speaking of carnival, Penedo's carnival had been the day before
and Neopolis's (across the river) was today!
Where is Penedo (Alagoas)?
Penedo is located on the northern side of the
Sao Francisco River, Neopolis the south. We are talking the north-east coast of Brazil between Salvador and Natal!
The River at Sunrise
I ventured out
early in the morning on my first full day and headed down to the river, the sun was rising slowly over Penedo's cobblestone streets. The river was
very calm with barely a ripple, a motorized canoe passed by, then it went quiet again, the residents were beginning to wake.
The Colonial Center
The streets around the
colonial center are lined with small colorful houses, 17th and 18th century churches stand out at various points among them. The town is well-preserved
and tidy. Near the river, the fish market had fresh catches layed out on tables for view. Restaurants and casual eateries stand along the road in
front of the river around the tree with bright orange leaves. You can eat cheap or spend a little more!
Views, Beach and Grasslands
The pousada where I stayed had beautiful
views over tiled-roofed houses to the other side of the river, in the distance you can see the town of Neopolis. In the other direction I could
see a bright umbrella on a sandy river beach with people swimming. Vast grasslands spread out off into the distance, as does the river.
Boat to Neopolis
to get across the river and have a look around Neopolis! It takes 15-20mins on a passenger boat and costs around $3 Reals ($1USD), boats and also
car ferries leave from the riverfront. The boat ride gives a different view of the skyline of historic buildings in Penedo. There was a crowded
river beach with many colored umbrellas backed by a wall of palm trees just along from Penedo's town. On the side of Neopolis as we came closer,
people swam in the cool waters and horses grazed riverside. Neopolis had a small but fun carnival day. I relaxed under a tree and munched on various
fast-foods. The plaza has some nice gardens and trees and churches at each end. It doesn't however have historic architecture like Penedo. It does
however have more regular buses south to Aracaju and Salvador than Penedo.
Bus North to the Beaches
After visiting Neopolis I headed back to Penedo and did some more exploring
around town. I was thinking about the next morning, to wake up early and head to Maceio and Maragogi
on the coast,
it was time to hit the beach and that I did. 2hrs 45mins north-east in a passenger van leaving at 6am!
NOTE: This is Penedo (Alagoas)
There is another Penedo (Itatiaia) in
Brazil near Rio de Janeiro
which is a Finnish colony, this Penedo (Alagoas) is not that Penedo!