Worthwhile regional visiting points (just some suggestions):
There is a information office in João Pessoa at Tambau, in front of the big hotel of the same name located in the sea-front. You can find there some city maps of João Pessoa, detailed info on Paraiba and they even speak English…..
Thanks to the Governo of Paraiba and the PBTUR for the following informations.
Located in the North river behind Restinga Island. Can be reached by bus-ferry from Cabedelo’s fishing port, by dinghy or multihull with a draft less than 3 ½ ft, going close inshore along the West side of the island (beware of numerous sandbanks, so better to go with the incoming tide) or better, to go around the island via Cabedelo.
It’s a nice place along the mangrove shores; Forte Velho is a small village opposite to the West shore of Restinga Island with small bar-restaurants and a mooring pontoon.
From there, you can go by car to the church of the ancient monastery of Nossa Senhora da Guia, rich in history.
Good for a nice day-outing going from Jacare to Lucena, opposite Cabedelo on the North side of the estuary; you can take the train, then the ferry or the pittoresque bus-boat to Costinha landing. Overthere, the ancient whale-hunting installations have been transformed into a museum.
Capital of the Paraiba state has various points of interest with its historical center close to the rail-way station, its cathedral and other neo-baroque and colonial churches and buildings.
Don’t miss the cultural center and the handicraft center and its beaches with the now famous Kite Surf Spot at Miramar beach in Cabedelo.
It is the most eastern part of the Americas.
The southern coast:
The beaches located at the south of João Pessoa are all beautiful ; Carapibus in Jacuma, Coquerinho and Tambaba, the only all-nude beach in the NE of Brazil.
Access to Tambaba is restricted to couples or families, single males are not allowed. There are several small pousadas or hotels in the neighbourhood and a small bar-restaurant with 6 bungalows in the nude-zone. There’s security around.
With a bus trip of 2 ½ hrs, the small town of Areia, 2000 ft high, gives you a good idea of the inland topography of the countryside while going through very dry areas littered with cactus, followed by green valleys, sugar cane plantations ….
Apart from its Agricultural Faculty, Areia is surrounded by cachaça distilleries (cachaça = local rye) 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, the whole not very well structured. So it’s better to make arrangements with a taxi guiding you around for the day.
Note: Inland can be extremely hot during the day and at night cooler than the coastal regions. So make sure to provide the right clothing with you, especially if staying somewhere over-night.
It’s the nr. 2 city in Paraiba located at 1700 ft 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 NE., with its famous “São João” (St John) festival, the biggest “São João”in the world. During the better part of June, there’s only 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 represent the real tradition of the NE Brazilian inland in the small tows of the countryside which turns into a rural carnival. Noteworthy the particular mood in the streets of Banareiras (140 km from Joao Pessoa), Santa Luzia (260 km), Patos (300 km) and Cabaceiras, which on top has the “Bode Rei” festival ( the Kingly He-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, giving you the possibility of rock-climbing.
The park of Pedra da Boca, on the slopes of the Rio Calabouçco bordering the states of Paraiba and Rio Grande do Norte.
Inga, is the site with the most important archeological brazilian monument (90 km from João Pessoa) : Itacoatiara, a granite block of 20m length and 3 m 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, with in particular the “Cachoeira do Roncador”, (which is also being practiced in descending on lines).
Sousa, in the middle of the arid Sertão region at 450 km from João Pessoa. This town is known for its “Dinosaur Valley”, considered as one of the largest world paleonthological sites. You can see there prehistorical animal skeletons which were leaving there more than 130 million years ago.
Vieiropolis, at 20 km from Sousa, offers, besides its archeological interest, a set of adventure sports.
Caruaru, Located at 2 hrs W. of Recife, is famous for its permanent handicraft fair of 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).
Jacare sunset …