Surfing is prohibited at Praia Boa Viagem due to the danger of shark attacks. Swimmers there are advised to stay out of the water at high tide and not to go beyond the reef at any time. Since 1990 more than 30 shark attacks have been recorded along Recife's shores, most of them at Boa Viagem or the next beach south, Piedade.
Although crime levels have fallen significantly in recent years, Recife still has one of Brazil's highest murder rates. Tourists are more at risk from pickpockets and bag snatchers: stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you, and don't walk down unlit streets at night. Boa Viagem is arguably safer than the city center, though crime can be an issue there, too.