Paraíba in Brazil

Travellers used to bypass Paraíba, but they are beginning to discover that there are many reasons to stop. The beaches are some of Brazil's best and least spoilt. Some of the most important archaeological sites in the Americas are tucked away in the haunting, rugged landscapes of its interior and the state capital, João Pessoa, is an attractive colonial city with a lively nightlife. Each year in June, Campina Grande, on the edge of the sertão, hosts one of the country's biggest festivals, the Festa do São João, with live music and up to a million people dancing forró into the small hours.

The dense tropical forest that once covered the entire coastal strip now only survives in patches, one of which is within the city of João Pessoa; forming one of the largest areas of wilderness within any city in the world. The seaboard is marked for much of its length by offshore reefs. Inland from the coastal plain the Zona da Mata is an abrupt line of hills and plateaux, a transitional region between the humid coast and the much drier interior. Most people live in this zone, especially in and around the state capital and a couple of other industrial centres.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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