São José da Coroa Grande, in Pernambuco, was one of the surprises of our trip along the Coral Coast.São José is also known as the Land of Natural Pools.
The city is 1 hour from Porto de Galinhas, 30 minutes from Tamandaré (Praia dos Carneiros), very close to Maragogi (less than 10 minutes) and has many similarities with its famous neighbour.
This was the last city on our itinerary along the Costa dos Corais, an environmental protection area that stretches over 120 km along the coast of Alagoas and Pernambuco.
But is it worth it?
São José has more than 3 km of natural pools, very close to the beach.You can even go walking, at very low tide, or by boat.But the city has several other surprising attractions.
Check out below what to do in São José da Coroa Grande, the main tourist attractions and why you need to include this city in your travel itinerary between Alagoas and Pernambuco.
What to do in São José da Coroa Grande, Pernambuco – 7 Reasons to Visit
Discover the Land of Natural Swimming Pools, an unmissable destination on the Coral Coast
Our itinerary on the Costa dos Corais visited several famous destinations, such as Porto de Galinhas, Praia dos Carneiros and Maragogi.São José da Coroa Grande would be the last place on our trip.
After the beauty of Maragogi, it’s really hard to find anything that beats the Caribbean Sea at beaches like Antunes and Barra Grande.And it’s not that São José still managed to enchant and surprise us.
One of the advantages of São José is that the city is much quieter.Forget the super tourist movement of Maragogi, which bothers some tourists, due to the excess of visitors.
But that’s only on weekdays.On weekends and on vacation, the city is very popular among the people of Pernambuco, who already know this paradise.
Check out below 7 reasons to include São José da Coroa Grande in your travel itinerary.
Save to Pinterest for later reference
1 – Close to Maragogi
São José da Coroa Grande is located on the south coast of Pernambuco, on the border with the State of Alagoas.
Because of this proximity, many people stay in São José da Coroa Grande to visit not only São José, but also Maragogi.This is because Maragogi has a greater demand from tourists, which can be reflected in higher prices.
But the great advantage of staying in São José is the structure of the city centre.Everything is concentrated in a small square, as in an interior city.This is where you can find the Igreja Matriz, the square, the central beach and a good range of restaurants.
The center of São José is more organized than the center of Maragogi, for example.Stay tuned that we will still present some gastronomic options in the city.
Even if you are staying in Maragogi, we recommend that you stop by São José for dinner.
You can also watch our video on YouTube with the Top 10 Costa dos Corais.
2 – Pousada Pé na Areia
In this itinerary we took along the Coral Coast, we only chose inns on the sand.In São José it was no different.
The Pousada Vivenda Oriente is gracefully decorated, with many regional objects and even a plaque painted by Carcará, the same artist as the chickens of Porto de Galinhas.Everything combines harmoniously with the common areas, facing the pool and the sea.
The gardens also hold some surprises.Children love the many bunnies that roam around the inn area.Ângela, the dear owner of Vivenda Oriente, tells us that the dog Tufão takes very good care of the bunnies.
It’s this atmosphere and service of a home that you find at Vivenda Oriente.We were super comfortable, and we loved the pool and the oceanfront location.
The inn has 3 categories of accommodation.
If you can, experience the master bedroom, which has a spa bath overlooking the sea.There are two master bedrooms in the inn.
The room has a living room, large bedroom with balcony, bathroom with shower and delicious bathtub.Ideal for romantic trips and to relax.
Bar and Restaurant
The breakfast at the inn is exquisite, and a curiosity is that it starts to be served very early.Order the Tapioca da Mainha, an invention by the owner Ângela, which was delicious.But the breakfast buffet is very varied and has other typical Pernambuco dishes, such as the top hat.
The restaurant overlooks the pool and offers a good variety of dishes, with an average price of R$60.00.One of the highlights is the home-style fish (grilled fish with seafood risotto, R$ 70.00 individual and R$ 120.00 for two people).
A differential is that the restaurant also offers kids dishes, at half price.
Facing the sea is the inn’s bar, in a busy atmosphere. by some coconut trees by the sea.Beers start at R$9.00 and caipirinhas from R$12.00.
TECHNICAL DATA SHEET:
- Hotel: Pousada Vivenda Oriente
- Location: São José da Coroa Grande
- How to get there : 1h30 from Recife and 10 minutes from Ponta de Mangue Beach, in Maragogi
- Main Amenities: foot in the sand, swimming pool, bar, restaurant and fully equipped rooms
- Prices: from R$ 250.00 with breakfast
3 – Land of Natural Pools
São José was a district of Barreiros, PE, before being emancipated in 1962. from the patron saint of the city, the Caetés Indians had already named the region Puirassú, which means “big crown”.
So part of the name of the city, “Coroa Grande”, comes from its waters.At low tide, sandbanks and coral reefs appear, some in crown shapes.The other part comes from your patron saint.At the junction, this long name remained, but it translates well to the city.
To discover these beauties, there are different types of boats, the best known being the Blue Amazon Catamaran, with a capacity of 55 people.
It is worth mentioning that there are three groups of natural pools, Prainha (which is the most popular and closest to the centre), Lagoa Azul and Areinha (in Praia do Gravatá).
Blue Amazon Catamaran
The catamaran has different itineraries, but the most famous is the tour to the natural pools, which lasts 2 hours.
We took the tour at the invitation of Michelle Belo, owner of the catamaran and who was our guide through all the wonders of São José da Coroa Grande.
At the end of week, the catamaran has live music performances and there is also a bar inside the boat.We really wanted to check it out, but the tour of the Blue Amazon Catamaran even has a saxophonist playing at sunset.
But we were delighted with the natural pools of São José da Coroa Grande.As they are very deep, the marine life and the variety of corals is very interesting.
When the tide is high, the Catamaran offers another schedule, with sailing on the Una River and stopping at Fantasia Island.
- Tour: Blue Amazon Catamaran
- Duration: 2h
- Features: Live music, capacity of 55 people, shower and bar on the vessel
- Price: BRL 50.00
Today, many articles on the internet are impersonal.The authors did not actually make the trip and work with content inspired by other sites rather than their own experiences.
Would you get travel tips from someone who hasn’t taken this trip?
Give credit to authorial work.All Viagens Cine articles are based on real experiences and on places we actually visit.The photos and videos are our own.
4 – Crazy for Diving
With so many beauties under the sea, nothing better than scuba diving, right?
The problem is that I had a little trauma from the dives.I’ve scuba dived on a few occasions, and I’ve always had problems, sometimes with instructors without much patience, sometimes with decompression, which inflamed my ears.
The catamaran tour with Amazônia Azul can be combined with this diving experience and that’s what we agreed with Alexandre Galindo, from @loucos_por_mergulho (R$ 180.00 for 30 minutes, boat trip included).
Stay tuned because Viagens Cine followers have a 15% discount on this diving experience in São José da Coroa Grande.
Cleber took the lead, and since he’s a fish, there’s no problem.On the contrary, instructor Galindo was the one who had trouble keeping up with him, as Cleber gets very frantic under the sea.One of the differences from the dive we did in São José is that the instructor lets you loose, to better enjoy the experience.
The sea calls for calm
It’s my turn.One of the advantages in São José is that the sea is very calm and we started at a point where I could reach the ground.We did everything very calmly and serenely, and little by little I was already under the sea, enjoying nature.
I would like to thank Galindo for his professionalism and patience.And for having “healed” my trauma with diving.
The dive can be up to 8 meters deep, but each one goes at their own pace, and Galindo made me feel free to go down or not, depending on my conditions.I went down to 5 meters and it was already too good.
But the coolest lesson Galindo left me is serenity.Under the sea, everything is slower, calmer, slower.This should also be reflected in those who dive.Slow movements, deep and paused breathing, attentive look at all the details.
The sea asks for calm and when you reach that calm, it returns you various rewards.
Remembering that Viagens Cine followers have a 15% discount on diving in São José da Coroa Grande.It’s a must.
5 – Praia do Gravatá
One of the most famous beaches in São José is Praia do Gravatá.It is possible to find day trips there, either from Maragogi or Porto de Galinhas.
But as we were staying in São José, we didn’t leave this beach out of our itinerary.
The beach is a little further away and isolated, and as we know, this has its benefits.Upon arrival, a long stretch of heavenly coconut trees and the structure of a restaurant on the sand are the highlights.
As the beach is close to the mouth of the Una River, the water is not so crystal clear.To be honest, the beaches on the north coast of Maragogi are much more beautiful.
But as it is practically deserted, the heavenly climate is certain to be found there.
On the beach are Antônio’s Restaurant and Pé na Areia Beach Club (day use from R$15.00).
6 – ATV tour
It was at Gravatá beach that we started our quad bike tour with @quadriciclo_saojose_oficial (R$ 140.00 per vehicle).
Our first stop is at the mouth of the Rio Una, where some catamaran tours also stop.One of the differentials of Rio Una is that it runs very close to the sea and has several river beaches and sandbanks.
Our stop was quick, just for photos, contemplating the Fantasy Island that is right in front (a sandbar) and some drone takes and we went to our next stop.
The Ponte do Amor is a very picturesque place, which makes for incredible photos.A bridge crosses a stretch of the river and advances towards the mangrove.
To close, we went up with the ATV to a higher area of the city, with an incredible view of the city.Perfect way to end the day in São José da Coroa Grande.
We didn’t have much luck as we arrived a little late, but the place is great for enjoying the sunset in the city.
7 – Bars and Restaurants
The day is over, but the night continues in São José da Coroa Grande.
Compared to the center of Maragogi, São José is much more interesting.The central square features the Igreja Matriz de São José and some bars and restaurants in the surroundings.
Next to the central square, there is also an outdoor food truck-style food court, which concentrates several more informal and cheaper options.Also worth checking out.
Cia da Macaxeira
Don’t miss the pizza at Cia da Macaxeira for anything.The restaurant specializes in pizzas with cassava dough.In addition to the differential of the dough, the fillings are delicious.
And the atmosphere at the pizzeria is just charming.Inside, the colorful decor contrasts with charming straw chandeliers.
When we visited, there was not yet a nice area of the restaurant that mimics a small town square, creating a very picturesque atmosphere.We were able to see a preview, but we are looking forward to checking out the area when it opens.
The large pizzas range from R$45.00 to R$50.00, with different flavors such as Cia da Macaxeira, with mozzarella, dried meat and pout pepper.
The sweet pizzas are amazing too, but save room for dessert.
Artisanal Ice Cream Gelatom
Next to Cia da Macaxeira, another must-see is Gelatom Artisanal Ice Cream.Working in the self service system, the ice cream shop has several original flavors and works with pasta with little added sugar, without dyes or preservatives.All ice creams are made on site.
The flavors are really delicious, and the atmosphere is also super charming.Take the opportunity to exchange an idea with the super sweet couple Marcos Pergentino and Pétala Felix.
Well, São José da Coroa Grande is still one of those places where you meet people and have a really nice chat.
Miraculo Beach Club
The welcoming Miraculo Beach Club is one of the great novelties in São José da Coroa Grande.
It works very well during the day, as a base to enjoy the beach, but it also opens at night, a good option for dinner in the region.
The restaurant does not charge day-use, which is incredible given the structure it offers.In some environments, such as gazebos facing the sea, there is a minimum consumption value.
The Miraculo is right next to the Calamares Restaurant, which unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to visit, but it’s very traditional in the city.
The bottom line is that São José da Coroa Grande offered the best of both worlds: natural paradises without many people, such as the natural pools and the wild beach of Gravatá , and a great structure of inns and restaurants.
That place we recommend without blinking an eye.But come soon, that in a short time everyone will know this place that is a real travel find.
Our special thanks to Michelle Belo and Alexandre Galindo, who welcomed us and accompanied us on this trip, and to our follower Ana @ana_villagedosossego who sent us a message indicating São José da Coroa Grande.Precious tip that yielded another incredible trip, thank you very much Ana.
Note: Accommodation at Pousada Vivenda Oriente, tours and meals were provided courtesy of local establishments.
This page contains links to websites affiliated with Viagens Cine.We are not responsible for the companies, hotels or advertisements displayed on this site.