Pipa tourist information: Questions & Answers
Below we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions tourists have about Pipa. We hope you find this section useful when planning your holidays in Pipa.
Are there bank machines in Pipa?
Yes, there are a few bank machines ( Banco do Brasil, Bradesco & 24H ) in Pipa center where you can withdraw money with a wide range of bank cards & international credit cards. Ask your hotel reception for the exact location.
Is there a money exchange in Pipa?
Yes, there are a couple of money exchange offices in Pipa center. Consult your hotel reception for the exact location.
Do I need a car for my holidays in Pipa?
If you are staying in a well-located hotel in Pipa, you don’t need a car in Pipa as most of the things in Pipa are on easy walking distance. However, having a car does give you greater freedom to explore the region and you’ll be able to easier enjoy all activities and beaches in the area. If you don’t plan to drive every day, it might make sense to use the local taxis or minibuses instead.
Can I rent a car in Pipa?
Yes. Pipa offers a few car rental companies. The main car rental company in Pipa is just next to the main supermarket in Pipa center. Your hotel reception staff can check availability and can help in reserving a car for you.
If you are planning to rent a car for your entire stay, you can also rent a car at the airport in Natal where there are many big car rental brands present.
What’s the climate like in Pipa?
Pipa is located a few degrees south of the Equator and enjoys a year round tropical climate. On average, Pipa enjoys around 300 days of sunshine per year and due to the privileged location of this tropical paradise in northeastern Brazil, the temperature in Pipa is very stable with only minor differences during the year.
The yearly average temperature is around 28 degrees (including day & night temperature) and the seawater temperature is equally pleasant at around 27 degrees all year round. Even in winter, the coldest night temperatures stay above 22 degrees C. Due to the steady sea breeze in the area, the climate seldom feels too hot in Pipa.
The summer in Pipa is from December to end of March and the "winter" is from April to June. During the low season (April – June) the probability of rain increases but even during these three months it is usually possible to enjoy from the beaches most of the days as the majority of rainfall tend to come in the nighttime.
The rest of the year, July to November, the climate tends to be very similar to the summer months with temperatures only slightly lower. The state capital Natal is often referred to as the "city of sun" and the reason for this is simply that the climate in Pipa and Natal is mostly sunny all year around!
When is the best time to travel to Pipa?
The summer months of December to March is when Pipa sees the biggest influx of visitors as this is the peak holiday season in Brazil. During this period, it is highly recommended to reserve your hotel accommodation in Pipa many months in advance as most hotels in Pipa gets fully booked many months in advance of the high season.
The high season is when Pipa enjoys from the most "vibrant" atmosphere. In general though, Pipa gets plenty of visitors and enjoys a great social atmosphere all year around.
Other dates when Pipa sees a big influx of tourists is during the several bank holidays during the year such as Carnival, Easter, Independence Day and New Years Eve. The months of July and August also see a peak in tourists. Especially for the bank holidays it is imperative to reserve your accommodation in Pipa many months in advance as all hotels in Pipa gets booked well in advance.
The "winter months" of April to June are traditionally classified as low season and the area gets fewer visitors than during the rest of the year. If you are a budget conscious traveler, this might be the best time for traveling to Pipa as the room rates are lower than in the high season.
Are there supermarkets in Pipa?
Yes, Pipa has a few small supermarkets where one can buy food and drinks. If you are planning to stay a longer time in Pipa, it might make sense to buy larger food quantities in the bigger supermarkets in Natal (Carrefour, Extra, Sam's Club etc ) and bring the groceries with you to Pipa.
How to arrive in Pipa?
The closest airport to Pipa is the international airport in Natal which is 75km from Pipa. Driving south from Natal on the duplicated BR-101 highway, at approx 50km turn off at Goianinha and head towards Pipa. It takes approx 60 minutes to reach Pipa from the airport.
Natal airport receives flights from most parts of Brazil. Coming from Europe, the easiest route is through Lisbon where one can get a direct flight to Natal. Coming from North America, the most practical way is to fly to any of the bigger cities in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Brasilia etc.) and then fly to Natal with a domestic flight.
It is also possible to arrive by bus to Pipa. The bus company "Oceano" operates several daily buses between Natal and Pipa. Please visit www.expresso-oceano.com.br to see the timetables and prices.
Tell me more about Pipa and it's history !
Pipa has through history had many names. In 1626 the area was called "Itacoatiara" which means "painted cliff". The current name "Pipa" comes from when Portuguese settlers spotted from the sea a big rock in Pipa that had the shape of a "Pipa", resembling a "barrel" which the Portuguese used for storing wine and oil.
Before the late seventies Pipa was still a quiet fishing village with little development. The turning point was when the surfing community discovered the excellent waves in Pipa Natal. Once the word spread around not only about the good surfing but also about the true paradisiacal nature in Pipa even hard to find anywhere else in Brazil, the area started to slowly evolve.Every year that passed, more persons visited the area and many liked it so much they decided to stay. New guesthouses and restaurants were opened and gradually Pipa witnessed a steady and organic growth and is today a cosmopolitan destination with an excellent infrastructure boasting over 100 hotels, plenty of international restaurants and trendy shops.
Despite growth and development, Pipa is still in heart a small beach village where development has been made respecting the very strict environmental regulations in Pipa and Tibau do Sul. Buildings in Pipa can be maximum 7 meters high which has ensured that all hotels and properties blend beautifully into the tropical landscape. Nature is still what dominates the landscape and this will be always be one of Pipa's many advantages compared to other popular destinations.