Ipojuca is a municipality in Grande Recife, Pernambuco. It is well-known as home to the Port of Suape, the most important of the state, and beautiful beaches, including Muro Alto, Maracaípe and Porto de Galinhas, the latter being one of the most famous beaches of Brazil, covered in its own article.
The municipality of Ipojuca can be defined as a place of huge inequalities, even for Brazilian standards. On one hand, thanks to the Suape international port, Ipojuca has one of the highest GDP per capita of Brazil, and boasts several luxurious condos on its idyllic beachfront. On the other hand, the municipality's non-coastal towns and villages are extremely poor, with poor urban infrastructure and low quality public services. The typical tourist will, however, almost surely stay at one of the beaches and have practically no contact with the region's social problems.
For going to Porto de Galinhas, check the corresponding article.
Viação Cruzeiro (0800 81 2662, (81) 2101-9000) operates an executive bus line that goes from Recife to the Maracaípe beach. The bus costs R$ 7,10, departs from Avenida Dantas Barreto, in the city center, and passes through the Guararapes airport.
The beaches of Ipojuca can be reached by car, by taking BR-101 from Recife and switching to PE-060. A taxi from the Guararapes airport costs around R$ 140, which naturally varies depending on the beach. Transfer services are typically 5-10% cheaper. Unless you are going to Porto de Galinhas, it is recommended to book transfers in advance.
Commuting between beaches is possible by car, although the state of some roads is terrible and they are almost unusable on rainy days. A 4x4 vehicle will make your life easier.
Hop-on-hop-off buggy tours are offered by several tour agencies. These tours are reasonably priced, but the driver will often try to persuade you to visit the places that sponsor his tour agency. Don't feel pressed to accept, and negotiate the itinerary in advance if there are places that you wouldn't like to miss.
Muro AltoThe name of the beach derives from the natural rock formation (the "wall") that surrounds the beach, forming a natural swimming pool. You can also rent a kayak and explore the "wall". The infrastructure of the beach consists of a few kiosks and many fancy resorts.
ToquinhoThe southmost beach of Ipojuca, next to the Sirinhaém river. Very quiet, it is surrounded by summer houses and accessible only by dirt roads. It has strong waves, but has calmer waters next to the river.
Although Ipojuca has an actual city center, a foreign visitor will almost certainly feel like an alien there. For tourists, the "city center" of Ipojuca is likely the center of Porto de Galinhas, where you can find local handcrafts and all kinds of tourist needs (such as snorkeling gear). If you want to check more varied and reasonably priced shops, you can go to the Costa Dourada shopping mall in the neighboring municipality of Cabo de Santo Agostinho, easily accessible from PE-60.
Porto de Galinhas is the main center of gastronomy and nightlife of Ipojuca, but an alternative is Vila de Todos os Santos, in front of the Maracaípe beach, that contains a number of bars and restaurants. The other beaches, like Serrambi, contain only a few eating options.