Praia da Pipa

Praia da Pipa was a small fishing village until it was "discovered" by surfers in the '70s. Word of its beauty spread, and it's now one of the most famous and fashionable beach towns in the Northeast. It's also rapidly gaining a reputation for having an extremely active nightlife. Praia da Pipa receives a truly eclectic mix of people: hippies, surfers, foreign backpackers, Brazilian youth, and, most recently, high-end visitors attracted by the increasingly upscale restaurants and pousadas.

On either side of the town is a string of beaches with amazingly varied landscapes created by stunning combinations of pink cliffs, black volcanic rocks, palm trees, and natural pools. You can spend hours exploring the various beaches, most of which are deserted because they fall within environmentally protected areas. Another recommended activity is the boat ride to see dolphins, which often frequent the surrounding waters, although if you wait till low tide, you can walk along the shore to the breathtaking Baía dos Golfinhos and swim with them for free.

Experienced surfers will find continually challenging conditions and boards for hire at the hip Praia do Amor, while beginners will benefit from the calm waters and surf schools at nearby Praia do Madeiro, a 10-minute ride by van on the road to Tibau do Sul (R$2). Tibau do Sul is also a hot spot for kitesurfers and the only place in the area where you can watch the sunset.

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