Main tourist cities in the interior of Paraíba

Interior of Paraíba
Interior of Paraíba

In the interior of Paraíba is the second city in the state, Campina Grande from the Interior of Paraíba, which keeps traces of the prosperous times when it was one of the great world cotton producers, while at the same time it renews itself, attracting crowds to its grandiose popular festivities.

Another very traditional event in the interior of Paraíba is the Festa do Bode, which takes place in the municipality of Cabaceiras, where the beautiful Pai Mateus slab is also located, with intriguing rock formations and cave paintings.

In fact, there are two other prehistoric treasures in the state: the Ingá Archaeological Site, where you can see traces made for millennia, and the Valley of the Dinosaurs in Sousa, where one of the longest traces of that animal was discovered.

map of Paraíba
map of Paraíba

the little sand, at the top of the borborema mountain range, is another relic: its architectural complex, built in the 2005th century, was listed by Iphan in XNUMX as national heritage.

The Interior of Paraíba is prosperous and alternating backlands and mountains

Videos Campina Grande, Cabaceiras, Sand, Archaeological Site of Ingá and Assis Chateaubriand Art Museum

Main tourist cities in the interior of Paraíba


Campina Grande is considered one of the main industrial and technological centers in the Northeast. The city has a varied cultural agenda, highlighting the celebrations of São João, which take place throughout the month of June, “The Greatest Saint John in the World”, the New Consciousness meeting, as well as the Winter Festival and many other events.

The urbanization of the municipality has a strong link with its commercial activities from the beginning until today.

Campina Grande PB
Campina Grande PB

The municipality was a resting place for the drovers, and then a cattle fair and a large general fair were formed. 

Subsequently, the municipality took a big leap in development due to the tropeiras activities and the growth of the cotton culture.

Campina Grande became the second largest cotton producer in the world. 

Campina Grande is located in the mountains of Borborema, 125 kilometers from João Pessoa, with access via the BR-232, the former Vila Nova da Rainha, founded in 1790 – the name Campina Grande was only adopted in 1864, with its elevation to the category of city – , experienced a moment of glory in the second half of the XNUMXth century, when the American Civil War dismantled cotton production, elevating Brazil to the position of second largest cotton producer in the world (the first place went to Liverpool, in England).

Alongside the vestiges of its history, the city takes care of its musical and festive tradition: it is the land of the so-called forró foot-de-serra – the one that is accompanied by a triangle, zabumba and accordion.

The peak of the rhythm occurs during the Saint John's festival, considered, if not the longest – an honor that, according to tradition, belongs to Caruaru, in Pernambuco – , at least the most visited in the country.

In June, an estimated 1 million people were present at the festivities; On the night of June 23rd to 24th alone, Parque do Povo – a huge structure with tents in the center of the city – welcomes 80 people to see some of the three hundred square dances that perform throughout the event.

In June and July, on weekends, the game extends to the so-called Trem Forroviário, which promotes a “dancing trip” to the district of Galante, 12 kilometers away: there are seven wagons without chairs or benches, each one lively by a trio of musicians. The forró train leaves at 10 am from the Railway Station (pça. Cel. Antonio Pessoa, 124).

Campina Grande promotes in April a popular Carnival out of season, the Micarande, also in Parque do Povo.


Installed in the city's old train station, the museum houses the memory of the times when cotton was called “white gold” and supported the economy of Campina Grande.

It contains machines – mostly made of wood, which are still very rudimentary –, utensils and photographs, as well as an authentic 100-kilogram bale of cotton. Rua Benjamin Constant, Largo da Estaҫão Velha.


In the 1814 building, the city's Town Hall and Jail originally functioned, and Friar Caneca was imprisoned in one of his cells during the Confederation of Ecuador.

In 1897, the city's Telegraph Company was installed in it – the façade still bears the inscription “National Telegraph”.

The museum, which occupies the first floor, brings together maps and photos, with captions that tell the local history from the primitive indigenous villages, passing through the sugarcane and cotton cycles. Av. Mal. Floriano Peixoto, 825, Centro.


Assis Chateaubriand Arts MuseumThe Assis Chateaubriand Art Museum was founded in 1967 and administered by the State University of Paraíba, the museum has an important collection of 560 works, with paintings by artists such as Di Civalcanti, Lasar Segall and Tomie Ohtake.

The collection is, however, in the process of changing, and although only one gallery with 54 pieces can be visited, it includes canvases by Pedro Américo and Cândido Portinari that, in and of themselves, are worth the trip. Monitored visits can be scheduled. Evaldo Cruz Park, s/n.


At the Donna Terra store, tourists can find the famous works made in naturally colored cotton – in shades of beige – by Embrapa, one of the prides of Campina Grande (Shopping Iguatemi, Av. Severino Bezerra Cabral, 1190, lj. 84, Catolé).

At the Popular Toy Family Nucleus, you can purchase tops, wooden carts, yo-yos, shuttlecocks and other beautifully finished toys, collected from the most classic Brazilian popular traditions (rod. BR-230, 4586, Lagoa de Dentro).


The peaceful streets of the city of Cabeceiras, with simple and old houses, served as a backdrop for the films The compassionate car (2000), by Guel Arraes, and Cinema, aspirins and vultures (2005), by Marcelo Gomes.

The unusual “Roliúde Nordestina”, in the city of Cabaceiras, is a mandatory stop for lovers of history and cinema.

Our Cariri in Paraíba was the setting for films such as “O Auto da Compadecida” and “Romance” (directed by Guel Arraes) and has preserved houses from the end of the XNUMXth century. 

You will also visit Saca de Lã and Lajedo de Pai Mateus, where there are exotic, mystical rock formations with cave paintings (environmental preservation fee is not included). 

The place was the setting for the famous superseries “Onde Nascem os Fortes”, produced by Globo. 

city ​​of Cabeceiras PB
city ​​of Cabeceiras PB

Cabaceiras, 69 kilometers from Campina Grande and 193 kilometers from João Pessoa, is the scene of the very traditional Bode festival, which takes place at the end of May and lasts for three days.

During this period, nothing else is talked about in the city: the most beautiful and well-endowed animals are sold and exchanged, novelties made with their leather are sold, the choice of “Goat King” of the year.

It is not difficult to understand the reverence for the animal: located in the semi-arid region, in the so-called Sertão do Cariri, Cabaceiras has goat breeding as its main economic activity.

As it is accompanied by musical shows and other attractions, the party also attracts those who just want to have fun.

Pai Mateus slab in Cabaceiras PB
Pai Mateus slab in Cabaceiras PB

The great program of the city, however, is the trip to the magnificent Pai Mateus slab, huge granite surface – much bigger than a football field – on which equally gigantic spherical rocks rest.

According to legend, in one of them – the stone of the Capacete – there would have lived, in the XNUMXth century, a healer whose name baptizes the place.

The slab is located on the property of Crysostomo Lucena de Holanda, who a few years ago invested in infrastructure in order to receive tourists.

To visit the site, you must contact the Hotel Fazenda Pai Mateus, which provides guides – a necessary measure, as it is easy to lose your sense of direction on the huge stone slab.

It is also essential to bring a hat and water to face the inclement sun. Since June 2004, more than 18 thousand hectares of the region where Lajedo de Pai Mateus is located constitute an Environmental Protection Area, the APA do Cariri.

Access to the city from João Pessoa is via the BR-230 to Campina Grande. From there, take the PB-148, following the directions for Queimadas. From the town of Boqueirão, you must be extra careful on the curvy road.

See also other features  Lajedo de Pai Mateus in detail – Geology


In the small district of Ribeira, in the rural area of ​​Cabaceira, there are ten workshops run by Arteza – Cooperativa de Tanners and Artisans of Leather. Shoes, bags, sandals, hats and other items are handcrafted, according to traditional techniques and with excellent finishing, and can be purchased at the organization itself at attractive prices.

Arteza's production, inaugurated in 1998, already serves the markets of Campina Grande, Brasília and São Paulo.


What makes this small town of Ingá in Paraíba – located 109 kilometers from the capital, on BR -230 – known far beyond the limits of Paraíba is its Archaeological Site.

In it is the Archaeological Site of Pedra do Ingá. 

Pedra de Ingá is also called Itacoatiara of Ingá (“itacoatiara” means “stone inscriptions”), 24 meters long and 3,8 meters high.

Pedra de Ingá has cave inscriptions carved thousands of years ago, which attracts tourists from Brazil and abroad in search of answers to questions raised by scientists, ufologists, astronomers and ordinary people.

Specialists estimate that the engravings that are seen on the stone could have been made 25 years ago, possibly by groups that rendered some kind of cult to the waters.

Pedra do Ingá PB
Pedra do Ingá PB

Visited by tourists from all over the world, the Ingá Archaeological Site is not abandoned thanks to the efforts of the couple Cecília and Renato Alves da Silva.

Residents of the place, they take care of the natural monument “for the love of stone” – without any remuneration.

Access to the famous Itacoatiara is through a house that serves as a “Archaeological Museum”, bringing together illusions and maps.

Ingá is 109 kilometers from João Pessoa, on the BR-230. Ingá Archaeological Site, s/n.

The archaeological site is 96 km from the capital and 38 km from Campina Grande.

Access to the site is via BR 230, where there is an entrance to PB 90, which, after traveling 4,5 km, leads to the urban center of the city.

After traveling another 5 km on a paved road, you will arrive at the Pedra do Ingá Archaeological Site.

A building was built on the site where the Natural History Museum, with several fossils and lithic tools found in the region where the city is today.


The little and charming city ​​of sand it still doesn't have a good hotel structure, but the tour is especially valid for those in Campina Grande, which is 49 kilometers away.

Perched on top of the Borborema mountain range, 130 kilometers from João Pessoa on the BR-230, the city of Areia grew up surrounded by sugar mills, as sugarcane developed well in its wetlands.

city ​​of Areia PB
city ​​of Areia PB

The economic prosperity of Areia gave rise to an intellectualized and liberal elite, responsible for building a beautiful architectural complex listed by IPHAN.

This same elite financed the construction, in 1859, of the Teatro Minerva, the first in Paraíba. Originally, Minerva was called the Dramatic Recreation; its current name is due to the statue of the Roman goddess that was placed on top of its frontispiece – and which remains there.

Small, with a gable roof, the theater continues to serve as a stage for the production of plays by groups in the city (Rua Epitácio Pessoa, 102).

The birthplace of the novelist and politician José Américo de Almeida, Areia is also the birthplace of Pedro Américo (1843-1905), one of the most important Brazilian painters of the XNUMXth century.

Author, among others, of the painting Grito do Ipiranga, which can be found at the Museu Paulista (Ipiranga Museum), in São Paulo, Pedro Américo left the house where he came into the world at the age of nine to accompany a naturalist's expedition to the Northeast as a draftsman. French.

The house, however, is known as the Pedro Américo Museum, although there is no work by the artist there, just black-and-white copies; the site is now regularly visited by students (Rua Pedro Américo, 66).

Frequented by tourists is the Museu do Brejo Paraibano or Museu da Cachaça e da Rapadura. It is the main house of the Várzea plantation, located on the Areia campus of the Federal University of Paraíba.

Built around 1870, it is a typically Paraíba mill – solid, simple, without ostentation, unlike the constructions in other regions of the Northeast, marked by luxury.

In it you can see furniture, utensils and other traces of the sugar civilization (Federal University of Paraíba, Campus II, Areia).

Veja Areia is home to the first mills in Paraíba and has a lot of history


With 51 dinosaur footprints spread over 50 meters – one of the longest tracks ever discovered in the world – , the city ​​of Sousa, 436 kilometers from the state capital on the BR-230, has become a landmark for the passage of those gigantic prehistoric animals through America.

Dinosaur Valley - Left on the bed of the Peixe River approximately 110 million years ago, the dinosaur footprints of Sousa make up one of the longest tracks of these animals ever found. The 52 footprints are observed from walkways built over the riverbed. The entire complex also has a museum, auditorium and exhibition room.
Vale dos Dinossauros – Left on the bed of the Peixe River approximately 110 million years ago, the dinosaur footprints of Sousa make up one of the longest tracks of these animals ever found. The 52 footprints are observed from walkways built over the riverbed. The entire complex also has a museum, auditorium and exhibition room.

The traces furrow the bottom of the Peixe river valley, known for that as the Dinosaurs valley.

The highlight is the Passagem das Pedras, which contains nine tracks. A museum with explanatory panels helps to understand the immense importance of the treasure kept in the region.

The best time of year to visit the valley is during the dry season, between July and December, when you can visit the extremes of the Peixe river basin in two days.

It is worth taking advantage of a visit to Sousa to buy handmade hammocks and quilts: there are many stores throughout the city.

Tourism and Travel Guide for the Interior of Paraíba, Campina Grande, Ingá, Sousa e Areia

Main tourist cities in the interior of Paraíba

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