By Laís Oliveira | Translation: Isabela Jordão

Farol do Cabo Branco. Foto: Gilberto Firmino

The capital of Paraíba Brazilian state is still a low explored coastal city when compared to other tourist capitals in the country, such as Salvador, Maceió, and Natal. But whoever puts João Pessoa on his trip itinerary always ends up coming back! 

Considered the greenest capital of Brazil, the city offers, in addition to beautiful beaches like Manaíra and Cabo Branco, rich culture and famous gastronomy with a variety of typical sea dishes. The “Paraibanos” from the capital are considered hospitable people and know how to welcome the tourists.  As João Pessoa is located in the middle of the Brazilian Northeast makes it easily accessible to anyone who is anywhere else in the region.

If you are looking for a tour with a focus on history and culture, you need to know that João Pessoa has a rich historical-architectural collection that holds imposing Baroque buildings dating from the 16th century. Devotion is still quite strong and represented by the spectacle of the “Paixao de Cristo”, which attracts thousands of faithful ones and tourists annually during Holy Week. 

The Cabo Branco Station – Science, Culture and Arts, which was designed by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and opened on July 3, 2008, have an interesting free to enter tour that can be even better with a visit to the exhibition. The station also houses the planetarium, which is also free to enter. The Cabo Branco Lighthouse is one of the postcards of the city and signals that João Pessoa is the extreme eastern point of the Americas, that is, on its beaches, the sun rises first. It is worth visiting and being enchanted. 

The gastronomy, framed by a beautiful coastline worthy of many photos, focuses on seafood but also on typical dishes from the northeastern hinterland – “carne seca” (a kind of cured beef), bode assado (roasted goat), a variety of foods made with manioc as a base, manteiga de garrafa (bottle butter), and a “rice and beans” differently prepared, and much more. 

Manaíra beach is a great option for sports such as volleyball and beach soccer. The shore is perfect for running and walking, and yes, after some exercise, besides enjoy the sea you can have delicious açaí in the bowl by the beach in one of the many bars and tents scattered around (like street vendors selling tacos in Los Angeles). 

Orla de Cabo Branco. Foto: Rafael Passos

For partying, meeting new and lively people, Cabo Branco is the thing. This is the most central beach in the city with a lot of bars and restaurants, a promenade for walking and, for those who like biking, with a cycle path around the sea, being a view that enchants tourists at any time of the day. Cabo Branco is also where most of the city’s artistic and cultural shows and presentations take place. In addition, it is a great option for those who like to enjoy the sunset – and stretch until late at night. 

If you want to go beyond João Pessoa without leaving the state and enjoy a different beach, visit Tambaba. This is a destination well known for being one of the few nudist beaches in Brazil – and most of the time with far fewer people than the capital’s beaches. In visual terms, the beach is full of corals, rocks, and hills, protecting the entrance to the naturist area of the beach, which is private for couples. Tambaba is part of the city of Conde that is only about 30 km from João Pessoa. 

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