Paraíba, located in the north-eastern region of Brazil, is a state full of natural beauty, rich history and a vibrant culture. Its stunning beaches, historic cities and cultural events make the state a fascinating tourist destination.

Paraíba has one of the most beautiful coastlines such as Baía da Traição, Barra de Mamanguape and Cabedelo, as well as the architectural monuments of João Pessoa, the Archaeological Site of Ingá and Cabaceiras.

Paraíba, the place in the Americas where the sun rises first  This is where you’ll find Ponta de Seixas, the easternmost point on the entire South American continent.

Its capital, João Pessoa, has more than 425 years of history, dating back to 1585.

It is the third oldest city in Brazil and despite being a capital, João Pessoa is still a quiet city.

Located 120 kilometres north of Recife and 180 kilometres south of Natal, João Pessoa is full of parks, avenues and ornamental and fruit trees and even has one of the largest reserves of Atlantic forest in an urban area.

Seen from above, it looks like an immense green heart in the middle of the city.

That’s why João Pessoa is the most wooded city in the whole of America and the second in the world, only behind Paris.

The 117 kilometre coastline of Paraíba has spectacular exotic beaches with tropical waters, showing a cinematographic set where the main actors are nature and tranquillity.

On the coast of Paraíba you’ll also find cliffs, dunes, rivers and forests, where you can practise various activities in full contact with nature.

The south coast of Paraíba has a stunning landscape, with beautiful, almost desert-like beaches, including Coqueirinho, Carapibus, Tabatinga, Barra de Gramame and the seductive Tambaba beach, which attracts visitors from all over the world because it has the only official nudist camp in the whole of north-east Brazil.

The north coast of Paraíba is equally fascinating.

From Barra de Camaratuba beach to Intermares, you’ll find not only wild-looking beaches, but also historic buildings.

Here you’ll find the Fortaleza de Santa Catarina, in the port city of Cabedelo, recognised as one of the most important military monuments of Portuguese colonisation.

Further north, on the bar of the Mamanguape River, you’ll find the Marine Manatee Preservation Project.

Here these animals are rehabilitated to return to their natural habitat. Baia da Traição is home to the Potiguaras Indigenous Reserve.

An indigenous people who still preserve their ancestral traditions.

The interior of the state of Paraíba offers visitors various eco-tourism activities.

These include hiking through a landscape where sugar cane plantations coexist with forests, underground caves, thermal springs and crystal-clear waterfalls.

Towns such as Campina Grande, where the world’s largest São João is celebrated, Bananeiras and Alagoa Grande stand out, with colonial-style buildings and artisanal distilleries of Brazil’s best-known spirit ‘Cachaça!’.

As you move further inland into Paraíba, the climate becomes drier and the landscape changes dramatically.

This region, known as O Sertão, is prone to long periods of drought. Here we find giant stones of particular shapes, such as the ‘Lajedo de Pai Mateus’, cave paintings by ancient indigenous peoples and important remains of ancient dinosaur footprints of incredible archaeological value.

Paraiba’s main tourist attractions

1. João Pessoa

The capital of Paraíba is known for its urban beaches, well-preserved historic centre and rich cultural life.

  • Tambaú Beach: One of the city’s most famous beaches, with calm waters and a complete infrastructure of hotels, bars and restaurants.
  • Praia do Cabo Branco: Known for its beautiful cliffs and the Cabo Branco Lighthouse, the easternmost point in the Americas.
  • Historic Centre: Includes the Church of São Francisco, Praça Antenor Navarro and Casa da Pólvora, with colonial architecture and cultural events.
  • Cabo Branco Station: Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, this cultural complex offers exhibitions, events and a panoramic view of the city.

2. Campina Grande

Known as ‘the city that works the hardest’ and famous for its São João festival, the biggest in the world.

  • Parque do Povo: The epicentre of the June festivities, with musical performances, quadrilhas and typical food stalls.
  • Popular Art Museum of Paraíba: Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, it exhibits handicrafts, cordel literature and popular culture.
  • Açude Velho: A tourist and leisure spot, with sculptures honouring important figures in northeastern culture.

3. North Coast

The northern region of the Paraiba coast is known for its paradisiacal and tranquil beaches.

  • Praia de Areia Vermelha: A sandbank that emerges at low tide, forming a temporary beach in the middle of the sea.
  • Praia de Areia Vermelha: A sandbank that emerges at low tide, forming a temporary beach in the middle of the sea.
  • Praia do Jacaré: Famous for its sunsets to the sound of Ravel’s Bolero, played by local musicians.
  • Barra de Mamanguape: An ecological sanctuary where you can spot marine manatees.

4. South coast

The south coast is full of stunning beaches and natural landscapes.

  • Tambaba Beach: Known for being the first official naturist beach in Brazil, with separate areas for naturists and non-naturists.
  • Coqueirinho Beach: It stands out for its colourful cliffs and clear waters, ideal for swimming and water activities.
  • Tabatinga Beach: It offers viewpoints with incredible views and natural pools at low tide.

5. Brejo Paraibano

A mountainous region with a mild climate, historic towns and beautiful landscapes.

  • Areia: Historic town known for its cachaça production and the Minerva Theatre, the oldest in Paraíba.
  • Bananeiras: Offers ecological walks, trails and visits to sugar cane mills.
  • Pilões: Famous for its waterfalls and adventure tourism.

6. Cariri Paraibano

An arid region rich in archaeological and geological sites.

  • Lajedo de Pai Mateus: A fascinating archaeological site with rock formations and cave paintings.
  • State Park Pedra da Boca: Offers climbing, abseiling and beautiful trails amidst impressive landscapes.
  • Cabaceiras: Known as the ‘Roliúde Nordestina’, where many Brazilian films have been shot, including ‘O Auto da Compadecida’.

7. Cultural events

Paraíba has a rich cultural agenda throughout the year.

  • São João de Campina Grande: The biggest São João in the world, with a whole month of June festivities.
  • Campina Grande Winter Festival: A cultural event with music, theatre, dance and literature.
  • Festa das Neves: A traditional festival in João Pessoa, celebrated in August in honour of the city’s patron saint.

Practical Tips

  • Best Time to Visit: Paraíba has pleasant weather all year round, but the best time to visit the beaches is during the dry season, from September to March. For cultural events such as São João, June is the ideal month.
  • How to get there: João Pessoa is served by the Presidente Castro Pinto International Airport. The city has good road and rail connections.
  • Transport: Renting a car can be a good option for exploring the beaches and inland regions of Paraíba.

Final thoughts

Paraíba is a state that offers a wide range of experiences, from its paradisiacal beaches to its vibrant cultural festivals and historic cities.

Whether exploring the colonial streets of João Pessoa, celebrating São João in Campina Grande or relaxing on the beaches of the south coast, Paraíba promises an unforgettable trip full of natural and cultural beauty.

Inland - Cabaceiras, Ingá, Areia, Sousa and Araruna

Araruna and the Pedra da Boca State Park – Tourism Guide

Araruna is a Brazilian Municipality in the State of Paraíba, being included in the mesoregion of Agreste Paraibano, in the microregion of Curimataú Oriental (formed by Araruna, Cacimba de Dentro, Solânea, Dona Inês, Tacima, Casserengue and Riachão). Nature, history, events, gastronomy, handicrafts and culture are present practically everywhere in the […]