Some of the country’s best beaches are the main lure to this coastal city also known as the Brazilian Venice.

Built on a series of islands and peninsulas, Recife contrasts its impressive foreshore skyline with the terracotta-topped charm of surrounding sister towns such as Olinda. 

The name ‘Recife’ comes from the long reef which runs across the city’s shoreline. The waters make a popular spot for snorkelling, scuba-diving or simply lazing about on a jangada, a traditional Brazilian fishing boat. 

Celebrities and sports-stars may have just recently cottoned on to coconut milk but in Recife it’s long been the cool down drink du jour. It’s typically served in the shell itself and is high in vitamin C, potassium and low in carbs.

The city’s cathedral of São Pedro dos Clérigos, located on the square of the same name, provides one of the Recife’s most photographed landmarks. The Baroque wonder, which dates from 1728, overlooks a charming rim of traditional townhouses.

Despite facing tough competition from almost every other town in Brazil, Recife’s Carnival remains one of the most celebrated in the country. Here people jive to the big band beats of frevo music, while down the road in Olinda, a different bloco (band) takes over every street. 

Recife hosts Côte d’Ivoire vs Japan on Saturday 14 June, Italy vs Costa Rica on Friday 20 June, Crotia vs Mexico on Monday 23 June and USA vs Germany on Thursday 26 June

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