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Coast of Paraíba Travel Guide

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The north coast of Paraíba sharply contrasts with the south coast: Jacumã, in the south, is a district of Conde and a victim of chaotic urban sprawl; Barra de Mamanguape, in the north, is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.

Jacumã, accessible by the PB-008 highway, is lively and full of tourists. It draws the bulk of its tourist crowds from João Pessoa, 35 kilometers (22 miles) to the north.

Carnival here is one of the busiest events in Paraiba; Jacumã serves as a base for neighboring Carapibus, Tabatingas and Coqueirinho during major festivals like Carnival.

Jacumã is also home to Tambaba, one of the most famous nude beaches in Brazil.

While Jacumã is an ideal tourist getaway, Barra do Mamanguape, 48 kilometers (30 miles) north of João Pessoa, has no hotels and thus would serve better as a day trip.

The strong waves of Praia Campina and Praia do Oiteiro beaches are very popular with surfers.

In Mamanguape, where the Rio Mamanguape meets the sea, the Projeto Peixe-Boi, an Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) project, plays a fundamental role in the protection of the manatee.

Map Coast of Paraíba Brazil

Map Coast of Paraíba Brazil

TAMBABA

The most famous beach in Jacumã is also a haven for nudists. Rules are strict: access is controlled and bathers have to keep their clothes in bags given out at the beach entrance.

Cameras are forbidden (our photographer obtained an exception), and men are only allowed in if accompanied by women. Before you get to the nudist area, there is a 200-meter (656-foot) stretch reserved for anyone who prefers to remain dressed.

BARRA DE MAMANGUAPE

One of those rare stretches of coast in Paraiba that has resisted the chaotic development, the Mamanguape Area of Environmental Protection includes a fishing village and some of the loveliest beaches in the state.

Praia Campina attracts mostly surfers with its strong waves.

At Praia do Oiteiro, the waves are equally good for surfing, but the scenery – dominated by red c1iffi and coconut palms – is the main attraction. The Projeto Peixe-Boi (Estrada de Mamanguape), run by lbama's Center for Aquatic Mammals, has been operating out of Barra de Mamanguape since 1985.

This provides a rare opportunity to see manatees in their natural habitat. These animals usually reproduce in calm estuary waters, but as these areas are filled with silt, females give birth out at sea.

The waves carry off the vulnerable calves and beaches them. At this stage the project's team goes into action, taking the manatees to stay in an enclosure until they can be transferred to the manatee rehabilitation center on Itamaraca Island, in Pernambuco.

In the Mamanguape base you call observe the manatees and the mangroves from a wooden lookout point (it's essential to take insect repellent). A nearby small gift shop sells locally crafted, plush manatee toys.

CABEDELO

Soon after arriving in the area surrounding the Paraiba River, the Portuguese recognized the need to fortify the sea route to the new city of Nossa Senhora das Neves.

They constructed Cabedelo, 18 kilometers ( 11 miles) north of Paraiba to protect the capital. Little remains from that construction, however, aside from the Fortaleza de Santa Catarina, a fort built in 1589 (Rua Francisco Serafim).

A daily spectacle occurring on Praia Fluvial de Jacaré has become famous beyond Cabedelo and the state itself. Every day Jurandy Félix, known as Jurandy do Sax, plays Ravel's Bolero on the banks of the river, as the setting Sun reflects in the waters of the Sanhauá River.

The event has become so popular that today many bars broadcast Jurandy's performance. Be sure to take the 15-minute ferry to Costinha, a district of Lucena.

Don't be surprised if you see a bus traveling alongside the ferry: it's actually a bus frame mounted on a motorboat, which crosses the estuary at a more affordable price. Locals tend to favor the bus-motorboat crossing to the more expensive ferry.

Whether you reach Costinha by ferry or by bus, don't miss the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Guia. This enchanting church was built in the 16th century and reconstructed two centuries later. On the outside, its ornate stone faҫade depicts tropical fruit; inside, the mid- 18• -century rococo altars are also carved from stone (Estrada de Lucena, km 4).

TRAIÇÃO BAY

The origin of the name Baia da Traiҫão (Betrayal Bay) stretches back to the first Portuguese explorers: they are said to have named the bay in reference to an Indian ambush, or, according to another version, in reference to a sailors' mutiny.

Although the memory of the actual incident has faded, the name has survived, just as the area's pristine landscape has remained untouched.

This collection of beaches, many surrounded by high cliffs, is home to the Potiguar Indians.

The Indians sell their handiwork in the 24 villages. Baia da Traiҫão – 85 kilometers (53 miles) north of João Pessoa on the BR-101 highway – runs the Centro de Cultura e Apoio ao Turista (Rua Ednílson de Medeiros), an information center for tourists who want to visit these communities.

There are plenty of other activities offered in the Baia da Traiҫão: a catamaran trip up the Camaratuba River, a warm-water dive in the Lagoa Encantada lagoon, and a stop at Rio Tinto, all industrial, English-style village, which seems frozen in time.

Coast of Paraíba travel guide and tourism information such as accommodation, festivals, transport, maps, activities and attractions in Paraíba, Brazil - Brazil Travel Guide

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