Dunes, beaches and much more: Natal and Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte

Genipabú

Genipabú

The pleasant sunny weather and beautiful landscapes of Rio Grande do Norte makes it an ideal destination for a traveller looking for beach life and natural beauty. It’s hard to say which is the main attraction of this the state, is it the National Park of Genipabu, natural swimming pools of Maracajaú, the former fisherman village of Pipa or the distant beaches of Sagi? However there is no need to worry, because unlike many other Brazilian states the distances in the litoral of Rio Grande do Norte are not very long and during your stay you can easily discover all of the main sights participating on tours or moving around with a rental car.

Ponta Negra

Ponta Negra

Once you arrive to Natal as a tourist you will most probably to stay at the Ponta Negra area, which is dominated by the most popular beach of the city. Taking this into account, you better remember that Ponta Negra is located at the urban area of Natal and turns out to be very crowded beach, especially during the weekends. So don’t expect to find a virgin beach with white sand and palm trees. In Ponta Negra there are plenty of kiosks, people selling you everything from a slight snack to souveniers, making it to sound like a market place sometimes. But, don’t get me wrong, for Natal Ponta Negra is like Copacabana for Rio de Janeiro, a kind of living room where Brazilians spend their spare time when they are not travelling out of the town. During your stay in Natal and Ponta Negra, take a walk along the beach boulevard, enjoy the way of life and don’t forget to take a tour to Genipabú. Genipabú is the most important sight of Natal, when it comes to tourism. It’s a huge area of dunes situated in the urban city area. The access is allowed only for authorized buggy drivers who will take you up on the top the dunes, where you can enjoy beautiful views or even take a ride with the camels, like if you were in Sahara. After having visited Genipabú the tour takes you to the lagoons, where you can plunge into refreshing water and enjoy yourself.

Litoral south of Rio Grande do Norte

Litoral south of Rio Grande do Norte

If you travel to north of Natal, the most interesting sights are the natural swimming pools of Maracajaú. The protection of coral reefs keeps this part of the see calm making it a perfect place for snorkeling and under water life observation. On the other hand, if you travel south of Natal you will some reach some interesting places such as the lake of Lagoa de Arituba, a great place for a bath in non salted water, long white sand beach of Camuripim and last but not least Pipa, a former fisherman village, which has turned out to be one of the most popular destinations of the northeastern coast. Pipa, which is located approximately 85 km from Natal is suitable for all ages. It’s as popular among young surfers as among upper class couples willing to spend quality time along the beach. Surfers will find the waves of Praia do Amor irresistible and the beauty makes it worth visiting even though the beach is not good for bath due to the strong waves and tides. Despite of the popularity Pipa has conserved it’s charm and easygoing atmospheare. During the day time the village may seem even a little bit sleepy, because people have spread out in the numerous beaches of the area, but when the sun goes down the shops, bars and restaurants filling the tiny streets of Pipa come alive.

Beach of Sagi

Beach of Sagi

Don’t limit yourself in staying just at the beach in front of the village, in the vicinity there are too many breathtaking views definitely not worth skipping. One of the most beautiful beaches of the area, Praia do Madeiro is located very close to the village of Pipa.  To reach it you have to park your car on the road side and descend the steps located next to hotel Ponta do Madeiro. If you are lucky, here you may even see dolphins, which frequently visit this beach. For a beautiful sunset and a bath in a river, dont’ miss out the the beach of Tibau do Sul, just a short drive from Pipa to north. If you head south of Pipa, the beach of Cunhau is worth visiting. One the way there you will pass by the “falesias”, kind canyons of baked sand in beautiful formations. Once you reach Cunhau the landscapes are flatter and the beauty of the nature is dominated by the rivers meeting the sea. There may not be that many services available, just some bars serving drinks and meals, but that’s what makes it an ideal place to relax and forget the stress of everyday life. At the very southest end of Rio Grande do Norte, you will find Sagi, an another small fisherman village, which still today conserves the simple life. Sagi is a perfect place to enjoy the purity of the nature. Both Sagi and Cunhau can be reached driving down the main road, but taking a day trip along the beach by a beach buggy is definitely a more interesting experience allowing you to enjoy the views and the fresh air along the way.

Our suggested itineraries including Natal and Pipa

Sunset Tibau do Sul

Sunset Tibau do Sul

Brazil Diversity recommends:

  • Pousada Divi Divi, Ponta Negra – A nice and small tourist pousada close to the beach front.
  • Restaurante Camarões, Ponta Negra -Excellent sea food restaurant with plenty of shrimp meals in the menu.
  • Pousada Tartaruga, Pipa – Comfortable tourist class pousada in the heart of Pipa.
  • Villas da Pipa, Pipa – This is  your choice in case you are looking for full privacy. Accommodation in private villas with two suites, particular garden, barbecue and pool for each one. Your home abroad!
  • Pousada Toca da Coruja, Pipa – One of the best accommodation options in Pipa. Pousada Toca da Coruja offers quality, charm and comfort. Excellent choice for example for honeymooners!
  • Pousada Mirante de Pipa, Pipa – Ecological bungalows surrounded by the nature, just a short drive from Pipa to south.

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