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Penedo (Alagoas) & Neopolis, Brazil - Riverside Town With Colonial Architecture

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Map location: Penedo and Neopolis, Brazil
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Brazil travel blog by Mark Berman - February 2017   » View Photoset (51 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for over 12yrs!
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

I wanted 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!


View all photos in the Penedo (Alagoas) & Neopolis Photoset

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My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Penedo (Alagoas) & Neopolis, Brazil:

Pousada Estilo, Penedo, Brazil - Large Photo
Pousada Estilo, Penedo, Brazil (February 2017 - 2 nights) - A great place to stay in self-contained rooms, some have aircon. The views over the river from the patio are beautiful! Costs $60 Reals, half the price of the nearby hotel, the owners Jose and Ana are very nice, welcoming and friendly. The buffet breakfast in the morning is great too! 2 nights was not enough! Recommended.

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Penedo (Alagoas) & Neopolis, Brazil - Riverside Town With Colonial Architecture. Penedo is a great place to stop between Salvador and Natal. It's a small riverside town with colonial architecture and is positioned with beautiful views of the river and surrounding area!