The coast of Recife. (Photo: A. Duarte/Flickr)
(With contributions by Yahoo! Brazil editors Cassiano Gobbet, Fernando Vives, and Tainah Fernandes)
Yahoo Travel continues its daily guides to all the World Cup host cities. Even if you’re not a fan of the beautiful game, you may discover your next South American escape. Keep checking back for more.
Stadium: Arena Pernambuco, 42,489 capacity.
Games: June 14 (Ivory Coast vs. Japan), June 20 (Italy vs. Costa Rica), June 23 (Croatia vs. Mexico), June 26 (U.S. vs. Germany), June 29 (final 16).
Known for: Seventeenth-century Dutch architecture, waterways, shipping ports, the Instituto Ricardo Brennand, and its destination Carnival.
Beach sign warning about sharks (Photo: Getty Images)
Lowdown: As Brazil’s poorest region, the historic but run-down capital of Pernambuco has been in need of a primp for years. Crime’s high, locals complain of malodorous sewage in its waterways, and beach signs warn about sharks. Still, the Pernambuco capital is known for its spirited population, hence the go-to Carnival.
Dancers perform during Carnival (Photo: Getty Images)
View: A boat view from the River Capibaribe, an inexpensive hour-long tour that takes in the many bridges and the city’s three islands at its center
Sleep: Luxury’s tougher to come by: Stick to the Boa Viagem neighborhood for accommodations. It’s more about the view than the rooms at Hotel Atlante Plaza — try securing a discounted rate. (Avenida Boa Viagem 5426) Ibis Recife is among the newest of the bunch with a moderate price to please. (Avenida Domingos Ferreira 683) Hostel Estacao Do Mangue Albergue & Pousada is neat as pin and strolling distance to Boa Viagem beach. (Rua Raymundo Gomes Gondim, 26, Boa Viagem)
A market in Pernambuco (Photo: Getty Images)
Eats: Similar to Natal for its Portuguese, Indian, and Dutch influences although the recent influx of Chinese migrants has introduced some Asian fare in the mix. Recife does, however, one-up that city with its goat meat. Prison food never tasted so good: The Casa de Cultura (Rua Amparo, 28, Carmo, Olinda, Pernambuco) patterned itself after French jails and looks fabulous — the bolo-de-rolo may just be food-court quality, but it’s better than gruel.
What to buy: Pernambuco goods range from leather crafts, palm baskets, clay figurines, and lace handiwork, which can be found at places like Mercado de Sao Jose (Street Praça Dom Vital Extras São José)
Items for sale at the Mercado de Sao Jose (Photo: Nathalia Verony/Flickr)
Best pickup line: “Would you like some bubble gum?” Call it a legacy of sheltering a U.S. airbase during the second World War: The host city became first in Brazil to try this type of chewing gum.
How to avoid a fight: Find another place to take a dip other than Port Suape, which leads Brazil in shark attacks.
(Photo: Getty Images)
When the football gets to be too much: Just 10 minutes away, neighboring Olinda and its UNESCO heritage site traces its colonial history to the 16th century Portuguese. Influence from the Dutch married with Brazilian spirit to create a favored artistic destination. For a beachy alternative, head to Port de Galinhas, about an hour’s drive.
Vera H-C Chan is a senior editor and Web trends analyst for Yahoo. Written with contributions from Yahoo Brazil editors Cassiano Gobbet, Fernando Vives, and Tainah Fernandes.
Keep coming back every day for Yahoo Travel’s series on the #WorldCup, with guides to the host cities, advice on safety, and great tips and insider information you won’t find anywhere else. You can also check out all our World Cup coverage here.