The main city beach is at Pajuçara, whose curving road and wide mosaic promenade are studded with palm trees. The water is not always the cleanest here and many people hire jangadas (around R$15–20 an hour) and head 2km out to sea to swim in the natural pools that form at low tide.
Ponta Verde and the neighbouring beach of Jatiúca are the beginning of a series of fine sands to the north of Maceió. The best way to get to them is to take buses marked “Mirante” or “Fátima” from the centre, which take you along the coast as far as Pratagi (also called Mirante da Sereia), 13km north, where there are coral pools in the reef at low tide. You can get off the bus anywhere that takes your fancy; the main beaches, in order of appearance, are Cruz das Almas, Jacarecica, Guaxuma, Garça Torta and Riacho Doce, all of them less crowded than the city beaches during the week, but very popular at weekends.
Most visitors to Maceió flood north to the beaches, which leaves the coast to the south in relative calm, though the crowds are now beginning to make their way here, too. Hourly buses marked “Deodoro” leave from the bus stop in front of the old train station, near the harbour, passing out of the city over the Trapiche bridge into a flat, swampy coastline.