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Alagoas: colonial beaches and towns

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The state of Alagoas is one of the smallest states in Brazil, only the neighboring state of Sergipe and the territory of the Federal District where the capital Brasilia is located are smaller. Alagoas is bordered to the north by the state of Pernambuco, to the south by that of Sergipe, while to the east is the Atlantic Ocean. The Sergipe border is marked by the São Francisco river, which is the most important river in the state.

The territory is geographically composed of a flat coastal strip full of sandy beaches. Going into the interior of the territory there is an area of low hills, which rise at the western end of the state in low mountain ranges. Among these low mountains are those of the Serra das Panelas, the Serra do Parafuso, and the Serra da Onça, which are part of the Planalto da Borborema. In the Serra da Onça (1,016 meters) is the highest point in the state of Alagoas.

The economy of Alagoas is based on agriculture and livestock. This state is among the main Brazilian sugar cane producing states. But large quantities of natural gas and oil are also produced here.


Seaside tourism is another important activity in continuous growth. Alagoas has beautiful beaches and some interesting colonial towns such as that of Penedo on Rio São Francisco. Other tourist attractions include the golden dunes (Dunas Douradas) of Piaçabuçu, the enchanting cliffs of Jacarecica do Sul and the Rio Xingó Canyon. The latter canyon is located on the border with the state of Sergipe and as a tourist attraction it was born only in 1994, after the construction of the Xingó hydroelectric power station. With the construction of the Xingó dam, the São Francisco river tripled in size, flooding the surrounding areas. One of these flooded places is today the Xingó Canyon.

The climate of Alagoas.

  • Area: 27,767 km²
  • Population: 3,120,922 (2010) (mulattos 66.18%, whites 30.39%, blacks 3.02%, Amerindians or Asians 0.35%)
  • Capital: Maceió
  • Time zone: UTC-3



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