Pipa is a true beach paradise. The north east coast of Brazil has long been the place to go and relax. The surrounding area has a range of fine beaches as well as sand dunes in the interior, ideal for exploring by dune buggy! The coast also has some of the best seafood in Brazil.
Pipa is situated at 70 km south of the state’s capital, Natal and was a small fishing village up until the 1970’s when surfers found what is today one of the ten most beautiful beaches in Brazil, at which point Pipa became famous. Although it has more visitors now than any other time, it has still retained its charm of being a laid back little fishing village, surrounded by the most stunning scenery and never feels crowded.
Home to dolphins & turtles, the village of Pipa is part of the district of Tibau do Sul, an Indian name meaning “between 2 waters”, having the Guarairas lagoon to one side and the Atlantic Ocean to the other. Its landscape is filled with unique natural attributes such as 10 meter high vertical cliffs, fine white sand, crystal clear waters, and preserved forest regions.
The town of Pipa is quaint, with cobbled streets and due to local laws limiting expansion they have managed to protect the environmental areas surrounding the village. What it lacks in size it makes up for in density, and features a large array of hotels, restaurants, bars and adventure tourism.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Below is a list of things that can be seen and done in the area, all of which can be arranged locally, or with us prior to departure.
The gastronomic boat ride. The boat "Maria Maria" is one of the best boat rides in the area. During the day you will get to know the beaches of Pipa until the Guaraíras Lagoon at Tibau do Sul and taste one of the best menus: a delicious lunch of sea food! The trip leaves at 9:40 am and comes back around 4 pm and includes; stops for diving and to watch the dolphins, a stop at Guaraíras Lagoon and the chance to visit Georgino Avelino, a typical fisherman’s village. On returning to the boat, lunch is served and includes;oysters and mussels, shrimp on a stick, grilled fish with fruit salad, and a beautiful desert.
If you came to Pipa in search of intense experiences, a dune buggy ride is not to be missed. Lightweight and open-air with custom-designed tires for sandy and uneven surfaces, the dune buggy offers the ultimate interactive ride and the purest satisfaction. Vehicles are kept up to standards and all of the guides are bilingual and specifically trained.
Whichever praia (beach) you choose to visit you will be assured of plenty of space. Even the busiest beaches are sparsely populated. Pipa regularly gets voted as one of Brazil's top 10 beach destinations and as such attracts plenty of interest from its own population creating a genuine laid back Latino atmosphere.
Praia de Pipa. This is the main beach and the one where you will find the most bars and restaurants. Boat trips depart from the northern end of the beach. It is also benefits from direct access from the village without having to negotiate the cliffs. Here you will find the calmest water and therefore it is the most family orientated of the 4 beaches. At the far southerly end you will find The Coconut Bar which is an outstanding spot for a few sundowners.
Praia do Amor. Focus here is on surfing and chilling out. Most people hang out at the northern end of the beach with the view towards Chapadao. There is a great beach service for drinks and snacks and the oyster man will be happy to hand shuck as many as you can digest. The waves are perfect for surfing but the stronger undercurrents means more care must be taken and it is therefore unsuitable for children. The bay has a slight heart shaped appearance and hence why it is called love beach.
Baia dos Golfinhos/Praia do Curral. The quietest of the 4 beaches and home to the dolphins that can be seen here on a daily basis. It is only really accessible by walking from Praia de Pipa as there is no access from the cliffs above which is home to the ecological reserve. At either end of this beach are the volcanic rocks which must be negotiated. Whilst a few people do walk between Golfinhos and Madeiro beach it is not for the faint hearted and a much longer rock walk than from Praia de Pipa. Don't expect too much in the way of services here although there is usually one drinks vendor plying his trade.
Praia do Madeiro. Some people claim this is the most beautiful of the 4 beaches possibly because it combines elements of the all the others. It has the dramatic backdrop of the large cliffs edged by the Atlantic forest at one end that make Golfinhos and Praia de Pipa so distinctive. Madeiro has lots of palm trees, it offers surfing opportunities similar to Praia do Amor and there is an excellent beach service covering everything from caprihinias to coconuts.
Camamo dining experience. The town has some superb restaurants but we would recommend going to Carnamo for a 7 course tasting menu. Please note this needs to be booked in advance. If you come to Camamo prepare yourself! For you and the other privileged guests (maximum 6) are about to participate in more than just a dinner but an “exotic gastronomic ritual”. On arrival exotic drinks such as cactus flower caipirosca (Brazilian vodka cocktail), batinga (Brazilian sugar cane brandy cocktail) or margaritas made with murici (unusual north eastern fruit) are commonly served. For dinner you may eat something along the lines of; a salad of two types of lettuce, Roquefort, pears, cashew nuts, watercress, balm, treacle and red pepper; an ice cold mango and prawn cream, oyster and gorgonzola gratin with basil and Cointreau; prawns with twists of leek, spicy cashew honey and ginger, cashew nut and dried fruit rice; lobster blinis with coconut and five spices. Accompanying all of this; the best wine.
Recommended lodges in this area:
At Sombra e Agua Fresca selecting the right room is important. Although all their rooms are nice, some are spectacular and contain indoor Jacuzzis, private plunge pool on your deck along with a sitting area
The rooms here are lovely and the service is excellent. It is certainly the place to be if you want to get away from it all as the town of Pipa is 1.3 km away which makes it slightly tricky to get in and out.