praia da pipa

Today, I am pleased to introduce you to Pipa:

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Home to two of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, Pipa is a small town about an hour and a half south of Natal. It originated as a little fishing and surfing village, but has evolved significantly over the years as the tourist industry takes notice of its incredible potential. However, unlike so many other places of such natural beauty, it hasn’t yet been completely exploited of its exoticism — a word I often hesitate to use, but think it appropriate here. Pipa still feels authentic, though I’m sure it’s not what it was 20 years ago, and I’m unfortunately even more sure it isn’t what it will be in the near future.

We drove down in a buggy with a German guy and a Brazilian man, and Muau, our driver who deserves (and will receive) a blog post all to his own. It was a beautiful trip along the coast.

Stopped at this lake along the way for a bit of swimming and a cold brew.

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Sadly as we drove along the beach, we found this little guy, who, according to Muau, was dying.

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In an attempt to save him, we brought the turtle in the buggy and drove him to a calmer beach where his family apparently lives. So sweet. Except for the fact that I’m a sour cow and refused to hold the thing during the buggy ride as I have an irrational fear of most things that swim and/or fly.

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If arriving by beach rather than motorway, you must cross a river. Thus, we drove the buggy onto this ferry to take us to the other side.

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And then we arrived.

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Backed by incredible pink and orange cliffs that curve to create a series of 4 pristine beaches, Pipa is paradise.

Starting with the beach furthest south, the 4 beaches are called Praia do Amor, Praia da Pipa, Praia dos Golfinos, and Praia do Madeiro. The first, and the only one we didn’t visit, is very windy and thus famous for kite surfing. The second is the main beach. Filled with small fishing boats, it has a sand bar located about 30 feet from shore which is home to many tourist umbrellas as seen below.

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We didn’t really spend much time at this beach either as the last two are far superior, though it was our boarding point for our pirate ship ride!

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Floated around on that thing for about an hour and a half. In retrospect, we decided it wasn’t really worth the $15, but it did give us a nice ocean view of all 4 beaches.

The day before was spent surfing at Praia do Madeiro. Took an hour long lesson and then were allowed to use the boards the rest of the day. The waves were small, but good for novices like ourselves. Had a near 100% success rate when the instructor gave my board an extra push, thus launching me into the wave. Was a bit more difficult when our hour long lesson was over and I was forced to rely on my own brute strength, of which I have none. Mia opted more so for the boogey board approach, as she didn’t take kindly to actually standing on the board. Instead, she liked to lay there on her belly and wave to the crowd staring at her bewilderedly from the beach.

Possibly the best bit of the day was frolicking next to the dolphins swimming just 10 feet from shore. One of the few sea creatures that don’t frighten me. Likely the result of my mother forcing me to kiss one as a small child. Tried to snap a pic of them, but they’re swift little guys.

The most beautiful and secluded of all the beaches is Praia dos Golfinos. Translated, golfinos means dolphins, so it is literally dolphin beach. Only accessible by walking from Praia da Pipa during low tide, it is truly amazing.

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You walk beyond the rocks, turn the corner…

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And there you are.

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