Compare the Dutch heritage of Old Recife (such as the Malakoff Tower and the first synagogue in the Americas) with the Portuguese treasures in Olinda (the Convent of São Francisco, the Church of São Bento). Go to the Várzea neighborhood to visit Francisco Brennand’s atelier-museum and the art and arms collection at the Ricardo Brennand Institute.
Itamaracá Island, 70 km (43 mi) to the north, is worth a visit, with attractions like Fort Orange, the beach at the Coroa do Avião islet, and a stop at Projeto Peixe-Boi (The Manatee Project). Along the way, make a detour and see the Igarassu historical center.
If you intend to spend just one day at Porto de Galinhas, check the tide tables: the natural pools only form at low tide.