Has a friendly, relaxed environment, and if you're coming from the south, it's the first city with a real Northeastern feel about it. Pedestrian malls slow the center to walking pace, and many attractive buildings surrounding the leafy main square have been restored.
Aracaju's centro sits on the Rio Sergipe, guarded from the oceanby a sandy barrier island, The Ilha de Santa Luzia. To the south, past river mouth, are the city beach neigborhoods of Coroa do Meio, Praia dos Artistas and Atalaia, collectively referred to as the Orla (wanter- front). Most of the action and nightlife concentrates in these suburban neighborhoods.
Sights & Activities
The Thamar Project’s small, interesting Oceanario (Aquarium – Av. Santos Dumont, Atalaia Tel: 3243-3214)
has tanks with sea turtle, rays and eels as well as examples of specific local freshwater environements and their species.
For more concentrade look at this conservation and education project, go and visit its biological reserve ( Pirambu Tel 3276-1202), where you can see tanks of sea turtle and have a talk with the biologists. To get there, take a Pirambu-bound bus, which passes in front of the Mercado Municipal in the Center.
Speaking of the market, the Mercado Municipal (Rua José do Pradp Franco, Centro) is one of the livelier attractions in town, with a wide range of goods sold and bartered inside the two-story building.
With rusting palms and a relative lack of buildings, Praia Atalaia Nova (6Km), on the Ilha de Santa Luzia, is peferred over the city beaches of Praia dos Artistas (7Km), Praia de Atalaia (9Km) and Praia de Aruana (11Km) to the south. These beaches are heavily developed but are popular with locals; they are also good source of inexpensive seafood. Further south, Praia do Refugio (18Km) is the prettiest and most secluded beach.
Local travel agencies offer a variety of day tours, including catamaram trips on the Rio São Francisco to the green waters of the canyon of Xingo, or the Foz de São Francisco, where the river meets the sea.
Festivals & Events
On January 1 a huge fleet of fishing boats sails along to the Rio Sergipe following the image of their patron saint to celebrate Bom Jesus dos Navegantes. The largest festival of all is the Festa de São João, which runs for the entire month of June and includes live Forro (music and dance style of the Northeast) bands and quadrilha (a type of square dancing) presentations. The festa de Iemanja is celebrated on December 8, when followers perform ceremonies and make offerings to the sea goddess. Aracaju celebrates Carnaval a full two weeks before Shrov Tuesday, with street parties and other Salvador-style revelry.
Eating & Drinking
The best selction of restaurants and drinking spots streches out along the waterfront in Atalaia: it’s good spot to strollat night, when the center is empty (and unsafe for wandering).
Altrough Aracaju is hardly a culinary capital, it does offer one particulary succulent dish: fresh, savory crabs. Just south of Atalaia, you’ll find the popular Passarela do Carangueijo (Crab Lane), a row open-sided restaurants facing the waterfront that serve the respected local dish.
Police – 190
Medical emergency - 192
Medical Services – Hospital Governador João Alves Filho Av. Tancredo Neves, America Tel 3216-2600