Worthwhile regional excursion destinations (some suggestions):
There is a tourist information office in João Pessoa at Tambau, in front of the big hotel with the same name located on the sea front. They have city maps of João Pessoa, detailed info on Paraiba and they even speak English…..
We would like to thank the Governor of Paraiba and the PBTUR for making the following information and materials available to us.
Located in an arm of the river behind Restinga Island. Can be reached by bus-ferry from Cabedelo’s fishing port, by dinghy or by monohull with retractable keel / multihull with a draft less than 3 ½ ft. You can also anchor there, by following the channel close inshore along the West side of the island (but beware of the numerous sandbanks, therefore it is safer to go with the incoming tide) or even better, to motor around the island via Cabedelo.
It is a nice sail along the mangrove lined shores; Forte Velho is a small village opposite the West shore of Restinga Island with lots of little bar/restaurants and a pontoon opposite which it is possible to anchor.
From there, you can continue by car to the church of the ancient monastery of “Nossa Senhora da Guia”, which has a rich history.
Good for a pleasant day trip going from Jacaré to Lucena, opposite Cabedelo.You can take the train, then cross the river by ferry, or take the pittoresque bus-boat to Costinha landing. Over there, the ancient whale-hunting station has been transformed into a museum, and the former slipway for the whales is now a swimming pool.
The capital of the Paraiba state itself has various points of interest with its historical centre close to the railway station, its cathedral and other neo-baroque and colonial churches and buildings. You can also visit the archaeological remains of the old city walls.
Not to be missed are the cultural center, the handicraft center and the beaches with the now famous Kite Surf Spot at Miramar in Cabedelo.
…is the most eastern point of the Americas.
The southern coast and Pai Matheus:
The beaches located tothe south of João Pessoa are all beautiful; Carapibus in Jacuma, the remarkable Coquerinho beach, and Tambaba, the only nudist beach in the NE of Brazil.
Access to Tambaba is restricted to couples or families, single males are not allowed in the area opposite the start of the beach where nudism is obligatory. There are several small “pousadas” or hotels in the neighbourhood and a small bar-restaurant with 6 bungalows in the nudist zone. There is security around.
During the 2 ½ hour bus trip to the small town of Areia at , 2000 ft altitude, you will get a good impression of the inland topography of the countryside while going through very dry areas littered with cactus plants, followed by green valleys, sugar cane plantations ….
Apart from its Agricultural Faculty, Areia is surrounded by cachaça distilleries (cachaça = local rum) and has 2 museums : one shows the sugar cane history; the second is a colonial building showing the 17th century lifestyle on a farm.
There are several local “pousadas” and a hotel, but they are the not very well organised. It is therefore better to make arrangements with a taxi for a guided day excursion.
Note: Inland can be extremely hot during the day and at night cooler than the coastal regions. So make sure to bring the right clothing with you, especially if staying somewhere overnight.
This is the second largest city in Paraiba located at 1700 ft altitude and 80 miles (129 km) from the coast.
During the month of June, Campina Grande becomes the capital of the “Forro”, the traditional dance and music of the north-east, with its famous “São João” (St John) festival, the biggest “São João” in the world. During the entire month of June, there is nothing but Forro dancing and music, quadrille street dancing, traditional dishes and corn-based pastries and fire-works during St John’s night (June 23rd).
The St John festivities in the small country towns represent the real tradition of the NE Brazilian inland which turns into a rural carnival. Noteworthy is the particular atmosphere in the streets of Banareiras (140 km from João Pessoa), Santa Luzia (260 km), Patos (300 km) and Cabaceiras, which on top has the “Bode Rei” festival ( the Royal Billy Goat), which adds a particular touch, artistically and culinary, to the Sertão region.
The inland reveals plenty of sites with cave etchings, pre-Colombian Indian vestiges, giant rock formations and waterfalls, which are equally interesting as sights as well as, destinations for walks at different degrees of difficulty, and even offer the possibility of rock-climbing.
The park of Pedra da Boca, on the slopes of the Rio Calabouço river, borders the states of Paraiba and Rio Grande do Norte.
Inga is the site with the most important archaeological Brazilian monument (90 km from João Pessoa) : Itacoatiara, a granite block of 20m length and 3m height, covered with geometric etchings, which have baffled scientists all over the world as, so far, nobody has been able to understand the meanings.
Pirpirituba, the most beautiful waterfalls in Paraiba, in particular the “Cachoeira do Roncador”.
Sousa, in the middle of the arid Sertão region at 450 km from João Pessoa. This town is known for its “Dinosaur Valley”, considered one of the largest paleonthological sites in the world. There you can see the prehistorical skeletons of animals that lived there more than 130 million years ago.
Vieiropolis, at 20 km from Sousa, offers besides its archaeological interest a wide choice of adventure sports.
Caruaru, a 2 hour drive from Récife, is famous for its permanent handicraft fair for leather, wood, ceramics and clothes.
Easily accessible by bus, you can find a host of “pousadas” and hotels (among others the Central Hotel and Caruaru Hotel).
Jacaré at sunset …