Recife, a metropolis with 1.5 million residents, is located in northeastern Brazil right on the Atlantic Ocean. The Dutch ruled this harbor city until 1677. Numerous buildings still remain from this period. Recife, which means "reef", is named for the reefs of shells and coral that run parallel to the Atlantic coast, reducing the impact of the Atlantic waves. And Recife's fantastic beaches have made it one of Brazil's most popular destinations.