Several attractive beaches line the shores of Conde, in Southern Paraíba, with their cliffs, coral reefs, estuaries and warm waters. This town with about 21,400 inhabitants, located about 13 miles from João Pessoa, the state capital, is one of Paraíba's most popular touristic destinations. However, what is making it famous internationally is mainly Tambaba, one of the most beautiful nude beaches in Brazil.
A naturism spot made official by city legislation two decades ago, Tambaba is also open to bathers who prefer to keep their swimsuits on. The beach is divided into two areas, with the southern part, reserved for naturism only, clearly indicated by signs. Non-naturists have a wide and beautiful swatch of beach to enjoy, with extra attractions such as a lookout point, pousadas and a string of bars by the beach's parking area.
The Tambaba naturist community is organized under SONATA (the Tambaba Naturism Association), affiliated with FBrN (the Brazilian Naturist Federation) and INF-FNi (the International Naturist Federation). It abides by the ethics of naturism and local rules. Public sexual behavior and photographing or filming beachgoers without their consent are strictly prohibited. Men can only access the area if accompanied by women. The area is patrolled by CEAtur, Paraíba State's Tourism Police.
In November 2008, the beach hosted the World Naturist Congress, which helped promote the naturist movement in Brazil and draw attention to Tambaba and Conde as touristic destinations.
A tupi-guarani myth tells of Tambaba, an indigenous girl crying over a forbidden love, and how her tears formed a lake and then a beach. Scientists trace the origin of one of the most striking features of Brazil's Northeastern shores — falésias, colorful sedimentary cliffs beautifully represented in the Conde area — back to the Cenozoic Era.
The Tambaba cliffs help create secluded inlets which are perfect for naturism. They also make for intriguing hiking trails which meander through beach and cliff and stretch all the way to neighboring beaches, such as Coqueirinho.
Natural forces have also carved an intriguing feature: a lonely rock, hit by the waves, on which a single coconut tree has grown.
Tambaba waves are good for surfing, especially in the late winter and early spring. The beach hosts Brazil's only naturist surf tournament: the Tambaba Open, which in its 4th edition in September 2011 gathered about 30 athletes. Promoted by the Naturistas Unidos Movement in a partnership with local organizations, the tournament also focuses on awareness campaigns for keeping the beach clean.
The movement is based in Aldeia d'Água, where Julio Índio, a descendant of native Mucuxi, has turned part of his property into Território Macuxi, a private naturism reserve. The area has trails and hikers can bathe in clay and in the springs of the Gurugí River. Tours are offered by Tambaba Tur.
Where to Stay and Eat in Tambaba
Many travelers stay in other Conde beaches, such as Carapibus, home to Mussulo Resort, and Tabatinga or Jacumã. Learn more about places to stay in Conde.
The proximity to João Pessoa makes it feasible to explore Conde by the day, even though the area is worth at least one night's stay.
- Pousada Tambaba Naturista
Certified by the national and international naturism federations since August 2011, Pousada Tambaba Naturista is, of this writing, the only place to stay within Tambaba's naturism area. In early 2012, the pousada won an award from local network TV Conde for the quality of its services and sustainable practices. The owners, naturist couple Hildebrando Carvalho and Rair Barbosa, personally manage the pousada, which has bungalows, a bar, and a restaurant.
- A Arca do Bilú
The pousada is not located inside the naturism area per se, but owner Marcus Bilú is a naturist. His appreciation of the area's wonders includes respect for the traditions of Northeastern culinary. His pousada has a restaurant, open to non-guests, serving fresh seafood dishes such as caldeirada (a stew made with fish, lobster, crab and other seafood).
- Estalagem Aldeia dos Ventos
Not in the naturist area, Aldeia dos Ventos has apartments for up to three people, suites and two separate units (bungalows) for up to four guests. There is a swimming pool and a breakfast room.
- Pousada da Marcélia
A budget pousada and campground located just steps from the beach.
How to Get to Tambaba
There are buses daily to Conde and Jacumã from João Pessoa's main bus station. From there, you can take a bus or a taxi to Tambaba. Vans and taxi rides can be arranged with pousadas or hotels in the state capital. To drive to Tambaba, take BR-101 and then state highway PB-008 past the Cabo Branco lighthouse and then to Jacumã and from there to Tambaba.
Tambaba News Online
If you read Portuguese, keep up with the latest Tambaba updates on Praia de Tambaba, the best source for local news.