Recife is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 3,743,854 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 5th-largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco.
Recife is located where the Beberibe River meets the Capibaribe River to flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean. Its name is an allusion to the stone reefs that are present by the city’s shores. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city center characterize its geography and gives it the moniker of the “Brazilian Venice.” As of 2010, it is the capital city with the highest HDI in Northeast Brazil.
A combination of a large supply of labor and significant private investments turned Recife into Brazil’s second largest medical center modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment receive patients from several neighboring States. Like all other cities in the Northeast, Recife is developing its tourist sector. The beach of Porto de Galinhas, 60 kilometers (37 mi) south of the city, has been repeatedly awarded the title of best beach in Brazil and has drawn many tourists, and the Historic Centre of the Town of Olinda, 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) north of the city, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982.Recife’s infrastructure is among the most developed in Brazil for travellers and business people, though there is wide room for improvement.
The city is also an educational center, and home to the Federal University of Pernambuco, the largest university in Pernambuco. Several Brazilian historical figures, such as the poet and abolitionist Castro Alves, moved to Recife to attain their education. Recife and Natal are the only Brazilian cities with direct flights to the islands of Fernando de Noronha, World Heritage Site.