Pipa is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to.
Pipa used to have a very small population, but as a result of the pristine beaches, and the beautiful horizons, it has become a tourist hotspot. While there are many places in Brazil where people do not speak English (which is actually wonderful – I’ll discuss that later), in Pipa you will find many people that speak English with ease.
We stayed in a wonderful hotel called the Recanto De Sophie, (which I’ll discuss more later), and the guests in the neighboring chalet were a British couple who didn’t speak a word of Portuguese – we saw them at all the same events we went to, and they seemed to have no issues with getting around.
I found the main streets in Pipa to have a feel very similar to other places in Canada and the USA which I’ve been, specifically the ones that are themed to be like New Orleans. I’ve never been to New Orleans, only areas themed as such, but I felt a similar vibe.
Pipa has a very vibrant nightlife, which is important because, being near the equator, the sun sets very early in Northeastern Brazil. Every night in Pipa there are large crowds having a street party. In Brazil, it is not unusual to ask for a beer to go, and public drinking is acceptable.
As such, the entire street essentially becomes one big bar. The crowds generally start to grow around 10 p.m., and the parties lasts late into the night.
However, even though the nightlife is amazing, don’t miss out on the wonderful experiences during the day. The beaches are what made the area grow so quickly, and they do not disappoint.
There are sheer cliffs which mark the edge of the beaches, with man-made paths to descend. This keeps development away from the beaches themselves (although there are always bars nearby), and provides for some stunning views.
I also saw, for the first time in my life, wild dolphins playing. There is something so much more spectacular in seeing them in the wild, because they are choosing to be with us – they want to be seen.
One important tip though, is to wear very comfortable shoes when visiting Pipa – there are a lot of hilly streets, and the descent/ascent of the cliffs at the edge of the beach is not fun without support. Even though I exercise regularly, wearing only my Havianas led to bad calf pain, and the walks home were quite a struggle.
Another issue is to watch the tide – sometimes when walking you won’t realize just how quickly the tide can come in. Minha Namorada (My Girlfriend) and I were walking and exploring the beach, and we grabbed a quick snack, and by the time we were walking back, the tide had easily moved 100-200 meters in-land. The path we’d walked to get there was still open, but other paths I’d seen people walk had been submerged.