ParaíbaStateSituation and CharacteristicsParaíba, Brazil's most easterly state, is bordered on the north by Rio Grande do Norte, on the west by Ceará and on the south by Pernambuco.HistoryParaíba was one of the earliest areas to be colonized after the discovery of Brazil. From 1580 onwards settlers advanced from the port of Recife to the south, in what is now Pernambuco state, into territory then occupied by Indians. From 1635 to 1654 it lay within the Dutch sphere of influence.PopulationThe population of the state is concentrated in the coastal lowlands and on the eastern slopes of the Brazilian Highlands. In the arid region of the sertão, once the haunt of the legendary and now romanticized cangaceiros (bandits), cattle are now reared and cotton grown with the help of irrigation.
25km/16mi north of João Pessoa is the port of Cabedelo.
Fort Santa Catarina
Fort Santa CatarinaIn the harbor area, at the Praia da Ponta de Mato, is Fort Santa Catarina, built by Cristóvão Lins in 1589 and rebuilt by the military architect Francisco Frias in 1618-22.
Nossa Senhora da Guia
N.S. da GuiaAt the Praia de Lucena (20 minutes by boat from Cabedelo) is the church of Nossa Senhora da Guia. This 16th century church is in the Churrigueresque style (also found in the sumptuous church of São Francisco in Salvador), which evolved in Spain and is therefore very rare in Brazil. It also shows typically Brazilian features, like the sculptured ornaments of tropical fruits. In the first half of December the Festa de Nossa Senhora da Guia is celebrated at the Praia de Lucena, with rodeos and song and dance performances.
Island of Areia Vermelha
Island of Areia VermelhaBetween December and February a sandbank known as the Ilha de Areia Vernelha ("Island of Red Sand") emerges from the sea at low tide. It can be reached in jangadas (fishing boats) from the beaches of Camboinha and Poço in Cabedelo.