Tibau do Sul is a municipality of Rio Grande do Norte. The municipality contains three coastal villages, Tibau do Sul, Pipa and Sibaúma, and several kilometers of sandy beaches surrounded by cliffs. Praia da Pipa and its surrounding beaches, near the village of Pipa, are among the most beautiful and probably the most famous of the state.
For a long time, Tibau do Sul and Pipa were relatively isolated fishing and farming villages. The origins of Sibaúma are not precisely known, but it is likely to have originated from a quilombo, a settlement of escaped African slaves.
During the 70s, the region started to attract surfers, and later the tourists would start to come. Nowadays, Pipa is the most popular and "touristy" of the three villages, containing various lodging options and significant nightlife, whereas Sibaúma is the most unspoiled.
The bus between Natal and Tibau do Sul/Pipa is operated by Expresso Oceano[dead link], and costs R$ 18. Check the website for up-to-date routes and itineraries; be aware that there are no buses in either direction during the night. The bus departs from the intercity bus terminal of Natal (Avenida Cap-mor. Gouveia, 1237 - Cidade da Esperança), but if you are staying in Ponta Negra, you may more conveniently pick the bus at Natal Shopping (Av. Sen. Salgado Filho, 2234 - Candelária).
From Natal, take the BR101 motorway, and ride about 78 km until Goianinha. There, take RN-003 to Tibau do Sul/Pipa by following the signs. In the bifurcation, going left will lead you to Tibau do Sul and going right to Pipa.
By dune buggy
With a dune buggy or a similarly powerful vehicle, it is possible to go to Tibau do Sul and Pipa riding alongside the coast. Eventually, you will reach Malembá beach, and to get to Tibau do Sul you need to take a ferry boat to cross Lagoa das Guaraíras. Pipa is just further south.
It is possible to go by bus from one village to another using the intercity bus of Expresso Oceano (the same that goes to Natal). Buses to Sibaúma are less frequent. It costs R$ 1 between Tibau do Sul-Pipa and Pipa-Sibaúma. Car and buggy are obvious alternatives.
Naturally, you may just walk from one village to another, but be prepared, as the distance between Tibau do Sul and Pipa is about 7 km (and about the same between Pipa and Sibaúma).
- Chapadão de Pipa (south of Pipa village). Corresponds to the plateau dividing the Amor and Minas beaches, that offers wonderful views of the surrounding beaches.
- Lagoa de Guaraíras (north of village). A 7-km lagoon that opens to the sea. Famous for the magnificent sunset. By using a boat, it is possible to explore the mangroves, check the shrimp farms, see the ruins of a Dutch fortress in the Flamengo island, and finally, cross to the deserted Malemba beach, in the adjacent municipality of Senador Georgino Avelino. Check for boat rides in Tibau do Sul.
- Lagora Guaraíras. With an area of approximately 2,270 hectares (5,600 acres), this brackish water lagoon is surrounded by mangroves and dunes, a setting full of biodiversity.
- Tibau do Sul. The northmost beach, offering tranquility and some options to eat and drink.
- Giz / Bóia. Surrounded by forest. Usually very calm, and waves indicate by surfing.
- Cacimbinhas. Long beach surrounded by cliffs that offer a magnificent view of the coast and of the Guaraíras lagoon.
- Madeiro. About midway between Tibau do Sul and Pipa. Surrounded by cocopalms.
- Baía dos Golfinhos (Curral). Beach where dolphins can easily be spotted, although you may want to take a boat to see them closer.
- Pipa. The central beach of Pipa, located at the village of the same name. With a good number of bars and restaurants, and presence of natural swimming pools, perfect for children.
- Amor / Afogados. One of the most popular beaches among visitors, attracting both younger crowds, due to its waves perfect for surfing, and families, due to its natural swimming pools. In the right side of the beach is the plateau (chapadão).
- Minas. Passing the plateau, one reaches the silent and desert Praia das Minas, the longest beach of the municipality. There you can walk over the cliffs or the beaches, as you wish.
- Sibaúma. Passing Praia das Minas is the southmost beach, at the quiet and non-touristy Sibaúma village.
- Rio Catú. An important watercourse that runs through several municipalities in the region, including Tibau do Sul, Canguaretama and Vila Flor. With its calm waters and lush natural landscape.
- Do surfing or kitesurfing at the beaches
- Take a quad bike, jeep or buggy ride to discover the region and hard-to-reach places
- Get down from the cliffs to the beaches by rapelling
- Get on a boat to observe the dolphins at Baía dos Golfinhos
- Navigate the mangroves of Lagoa dos Guaraíras
- Bring your kids to swim at the various natural swimming pools
- Watch the sunset at Lagoa dos Guaraíras
- Do trekking at the forest surrounding the coast
- The New Year Eve party at Praia da Pipa attracts young crowds from the entire country and also foreigners
There is a good range of restaurants and snackbars in Pipa (and also some in Tibau do Sul), focusing on seafood, pizzas and crêpes, but also Italian, Japanese, Mexican and other options.
- Tapas, Check the tartar de atum, made of fresh tuna crusted with sesame seeds, shrimp sauce, honey and ginger.
- Boa Onda, offering both burger and dishes, besides a variety of drinks and cocktails. Rua da Gameleira.
- Pé de Manga, BBQ, with Argentine steak.
- Restaurante Pipa Café, email@example.com (Praia da Pipa), ☏ +55 984 9928-5123. Restaurant Pipa Café is a pleasant, cozy and quiet. Simple Decor, Rustic, but with charm, comfort and quality. Her Gastronomy is Varied. The Menu offers options: Inputs, Main dishes (meat, fish, chicken, shrimp, etc..), Desserts, Drinks, Wine, Natural Juices, Special Vegetarian Options for Celiacs.
Check the central square of Pipa, surrounded by pubs. It becomes particularly crowded close to New Year. Boate Calangos is the largest and most popular club in Pipa.
- Solar Pipa Resort, Rua da Gameleira Nº 209.
- Sugar Cane Hostel, 19 Rua Arara, ☏ +55 84 3246-2723, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: noon, check-out: 11am. 15 - 40 reias.
- [dead link] Zicatela Beach Hostel, Rua Praia do Amor 48, ☏ +55 84 3246-2377.
- [dead link] Village Natureza. At Baía dos Golfinhos
- Pousada da Mata. Next to the Pipa village
- Ecovila Spa da Alma, Rua do Spa 7 (Praia das Minas). Inn with a spa.
- Lagoa Eco Resort, Av. Guaraíras, 1088, ☏ +55 84 3246-4266, email@example.com. 16 villas with variable capacity between three and eight adults and eleven suites for up to two adults.
- Malembá beach (in the municipality of Senador Georgino Avelino). A deserted beach surrounded by a broad field of dunes. To get there, cross Lagoa dos Guaraíras by boat from Tibau do Sul.
- Canguaretama. Where lies the also famous Barra do Cunhaú beach. To get there, cross the river by boat from Sibaúma.
|Routes through Tibau do Sul|
|Natal ← Nísia Floresta ←||N S||→ Baía Formosa → João Pessoa|