JPA - João Pessoa

João Pessoa

Last secret

By Ricardo Freire

Every now and then, someone mentions the city of João Pessoa as the last undiscovered region in the Northeast. It’s partially true. The state of Paraíba remains less well-known than it should be. But those who do discover it fall in love – and never stop coming back.

As one of the oldest cities in Brazil, João Pessoa developed away from the ocean, on the shores of the Sanhauá River. The neighborhoods that line the beach are recent and follow intelligent urban planning that limits building height on the blocks close to the sea. There is an Atlantic Forest reserve within city limits, the Mata do Buraquinho, which raises the city’s amount of green space per capita.

It’s very easy to travel along the seaside – and to set off in search of new secrets, both to the North and to the South of the capital city.


O que fazer em João Pessoa

The historical center is surprising. The Convent and Church complex of St. Francis is impressive even by Olinda or Ouro Preto standards.

There are dune buggy tours along the beaches. To enjoy it at your leisure, rent a car. To the North, some of the natives’ favorite beachside stands are on Bessa beach. Intermares, in Cabedelo, attracts surfers. In Poço and Camboinhas, you can find boats to take you to the island of Areia Vermelha (Red Sand), which surfaces for just 20 days each month. To the South, the nudist beach Tambaba is the most famous, but Carapibus and Tabatinga are just as stunning.

At 4:30 PM, watch the sun set to the tune of Ravel’s Bolero at Jacaré beach, by the river. And then, savor the northeastern dinner at the Mangai restaurant.