Sep 6, 2010

Pipa & Tibau do Sul for the sun and simple life!

by Antonella Kann

This year´s New Year´s Eve is certainly not to be cheered: it´s just a simple weekend, so if you fancied a looooooong one, call this a Saturday and Sunday, with (maybe) a twist on Friday after lunch. That will, naturally, make you avoid thinking about making plans for a faraway destination. And you will now think it´s much too early to worry and, even if you would be the most creative person living on this planet, there wouldn´t be enough creativity to stretch the days – no matter how long they are in summer.

All this to tell you about one of the few places that deserves a handful of sacrifices and time consuming, even if it means spending ONLY a weekend. To tell the truth, I would rather conceal the existence of Pipa and Tibau do Sul, two small villages nestled in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, not far from capital Natal…

Why ? For the past decade, this place has been my favorite haunt and quite often chose it as the perfect hub to spend my husband´s birthday. It´s the ideal destination for so many reasons that I can only think of the most precious one: sun and simple life.

For the rest, just take a good look at these images and then reach your own conclusion. How much exactly would you endure to…

Imagine many stretches of pristine sand framed by high cliffs of pink sandstone which seems as if they will slowly be wiped away by the constant breeze…And the sea, so warm that even I spend half of my beach-not-to-bother-time in the water, trying the old “boadyboarding” exercise. In case you are not familiar with this sport, it consists on sliding down ( very gently) on the waves, using only your body as a support. It´s a delicious sensation. And kids love it.

But you can, of course, surf, windsurf, walk for miles, enjoy the great outdoors and many other activities which are offered either by nature or in the villages Pipa and Tibau do Sul.

Though only apart 4 kilometers from each other, the two villages differ in almost everything. Though both have an exceptional location, the beaches in Tibau are exceptionally deserted, even during high season. On the other hand, there´s not even a glimpse of the glamour that you´ll find in Pipa, a niche for good restaurants, luxurious hotels, boutiques and shops lined along the main and only street.

An unknown fishermen´s village a couple of decades ago, Pipa also attracted surfers and hippies, until these two gems were discovered by the human predator (tourist). You may not think of yourself as an eco-conscious, but when you get to know this paradise, a inner voice will tell you that those many new condominiums should have been banned from the stunning landscape in the first place.

And that cars should also be banned from the main street, mostly during weekends and high peaks. Crowds of tourists, many Europeans ( yes, the Old Continent is aware of Pipa´s existence and nailed it so precisely on the map that a Portuguese carrier introduced very successfully daily direct flights from its capital!)

On the other hand, Tibau kept its characteristics of a simple fishermen´s hub and became the dream retreat of those who want to have the best of both worlds. No nightlife, no main street buzz, no shopping malls, just a couple of very charming hotels ( but I would add that luxuries can be translated into many things and therefore cannot be compared) and a provincial atmosphere.

So, the best of both worlds is staying in Tibau and once a day, or every other day, or just when you feel the itch to go, drive for ten minutes into Pipa, preferably after 7 p.m , and choose one of the cozy restaurants to have dinner. Then stroll back and forth on the main street, appreciate the world-go-by and the beautiful people. When you get tired, pick up your car and drive back to Tibau. Everyone in the village is fast asleep, and so there´s no noise, no loud music or hangovers-on-the-road to disturb a quiet night.

So, it may make you purple with envy, but as I was mentioning about New Year´s Eve, I must confess that I will be in Tibau during the last Saturday and Sunday of 2010. And for the previous weekend too…and the following one. Well, I did the impossible: I stretched the last weekend of the year into 10 simple days to be spent under the sun in paradise, swimming with dolphins by my side.

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  1. Hi,
    Can you recomend a hotel in pipa for a family with teenager boys?
    Thanks a lot

  2. Sorry for the delay to answer you, but here it goes. Pousada Sossego Surf Camp, in Tibau do Sul, a couple of km from Pipa, is right on the beach and has many categories of accommodations and good rates, even for New Year!!.
    although the name may sound a bit on the hippie side, is perfect for couples and children of all ages.

  3. Can you recommend other places to stay in Tibau that are child friendly?