Festivals & Events
On January 1 a huge fleet of fishing boats sails along 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 forró (a music and dance style of the Northeast) bands and quadrilha (a type of square dancing) presentations.
The majority of Aracaju’s hotels are along the beachfront in the Atalaia neighborhood. If you're staying on the beach, remember that the coastline is several miles long. Most visitors are happiest staying on the far northern end in the district of Coroa de Meio, or on the far southern side near the Passarela do Caranguejo, though there are plenty of pousadas (guesthouses) in between.
Although its restaurant scene is not as big a draw as Salvador or Maceió, you'll find a number of great places to east in Aracaju. Make sure to head down the waterfront south of Atalaia where you’ll find the popular Passarela do Caranguejo (Crab Lane), a row of open-sided restaurants facing the waterfront that serve the respected local dish – the locals' favorite is Cariri.
Drinking & Nightlife
While the historic center is pretty quiet at night, the waterfront is always buzzing with people enjoying the night air or having a few nightcaps outside at one of the many restaurants. Especially earlier in the night, the waterfront is well lit and relatively safe, but the streets off of it are not always, so make sure not to stray too far.
Aracaju’s Centro sits on the Rio Sergipe, guarded from the ocean by a sandy barrier island, the Ilha de Santa Luzia. To the south, past the river mouth, are the city beach neighborhoods of Coroa do Meio, Jardim Atlantico (Praia dos Artistas) and Atalaia, collectively referred to as the orla (waterfront). Most of the action and nightlife is concentrated in these suburban neighborhoods.
Local travel agencies offer a variety of day tours, including catamaran trips on the Rio São Francisco to the green waters of the canyon of Xingó, or to the Foz do São Francisco, where the river meets the sea. A tour is also a pretty good way to check out difficult-to-reach Mangue Seco, on the border with Bahia. Exotic-bird enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Parque dos Falcões, a reserve located 45km from Aracaju; contact Ecotur for details.