Seixas Natural Pools in João Pessoa

We stepped off the clunky catamaran and into the pristine, turquoise water of the coral rimmed natural pool. Seixas Natural Pools are just off the coast from the busy city of João Pessoa, but the peaceful environment makes them feel as if they were worlds away.

Seixas Natural Pools

Scattered along the northern coast of Brazil are a number of naturally occurring tidal pools. Encapsulated in walls of coral, these small pools sounded gorgeous and we knew we wanted to see them for ourselves. Seixas Natural Pools are among the most well known so we headed to the city of João Pessoa and booked a boat tour to visit these natural beauties.

As we approached the edge of the beach we saw clunky looking catamarans bobbing in the water. It was a bit awkward wading in the hip deep, choppy water to reach the one we were taking. On either side of us, a string of tour boats were also loading passengers and were headed to the same destination. With so many other boats, we started to wonder if this tour was a good idea.

The sun was scorching hot so we sat under an umbrella on the upper deck. Even with this shade it was nice when the boat started moving and generated a cooling a breeze. The heat was making us look forward to having a refreshing dip in the ocean. As we cruised away from shore, we watched as the skyline of the city get smaller and smaller.

The boat had barely started to move when the speakers began blaring Brazilian music with heavy drums and fast dance rhythms. Soon a few women in g-string bikinis, with a drink in their hand, were dancing on the catamaran floor. This was not anything like the trip we had imagined, and nothing like we would experience at home. We decided to join in on the fun and ordered a couple of caipirinhas to sip under our umbrella. This popular Brazilian drink is made with cachaça, a sugarcane spirit, lime, and sugar. You can also find them with other fruit instead of lime, but we prefer the original.


With music blaring, we motored toward Ponta do Seixas (Pebbles Point), the most easterly point in Brazil and in fact, in all of the Americas. We often forget how far east South America is compared to North America. Ponta do Seixas is 1,888 km (1,173 miles) east of the most easterly point in North America, Cape Spear, Newfoundland. It’s so far east that it, if they lined up in longitude, it would be only 1,060 km (659 miles) away from Cape Verde in Africa.

As we neared Ponta do Seixas we started to see pockets of turquoise coloured water in the distance. Called Piscinas Naturais dos Seixas (Pebbles Natural Pools), these coral edged basins are some of the most beautiful pools imaginable. They are only exposed during low tide, when the level of the water is just above the coral allowing the small pools to become visible. During high tide, these features would be deep in the ocean and not recognizable from the surface.

A few boats had already arrived and were anchored along the side of some of the pools. There are plenty of natural pools near the point though, so we didn’t need to worry about so many other boats. The heart-shaped pool beside our boat was empty and beckoned us to hop in. Air temperatures were in the high 30s or low 40s C so the cool water felt perfect against our hot skin. Even though we were far from shore, the pool was surprisingly shallow, only coming up to mid chest when we stood on the sandy bottom. Not far away we could see waves breaking in the rough ocean, but the water in our pool was perfectly calm. A few small fish swam around our legs, hoping we’d leave crumbs of food for them. The pool wasn’t very large, but it didn’t feel crowded when the other 15 or so people from our boat joined us. We were all relaxing and enjoying our own little corner of paradise.

Breaking the idyllic silence we heard the tingle of a bell and looked to see a resourceful vendor. A local ice-cream salesman had a floating cooler and was walking in the pool selling frozen treats. After he left another industrious local pulled up in his boat. He hopped out of his boat with a metal detector in hand and spent a long time scanning over the pool’s sandy bottom hoping to find lost coins or jewelry.

After thirty minutes in the pool another boat showed up and their passengers waded into our perfect heart-shaped spot. We were actually starting to get cold anyway, so we headed back up to the top of the catamaran to enjoy the view from above before returning to the city.

How to visit Seixas Natural Pools

You can book tours on-line or through one of the several beach-side tour operators. We bought our tickets from a local tour shop for only R$40 ($7.75 USD). Tours also leave from Ponta do Seixas which is much closer to the pools. It is quite a but farther from downtown so not very convenient if you don’t have a car. There are also similar pools along the coast on either side of João Pessoa, but Seixas are the easiest ones to access.

João Pessoa

We really liked the city of João Pessoa. In one way it is typical for this part of Brazil with its tall skyscrapers hovering over a long sandy beach, but it is also a bit different. As compared to Recife, Fortaleza and Natal, João Pessoa felt much safer, cleaner and maybe wealthier. There definitely are poor communities. We passed by a favela-type neighbourhood as we entered the city. Near the beach though, the streets were clean, the buildings were well taken care of and we felt very safe walking between our hotel, the beaches and restaurants, even after dark.

The city is bordered on one side by a long coastline filled with beaches. Even though Tambaú and Cabo Branco Beaches are the most popular, they didn’t feel like busy, city beaches. They have a more natural setting and their sand dunes and palm trees feel like a layer of protection from the busy city. The two beaches blend right into the other and we’re not really sure where one ends and the other begins. It doesn’t matter anyway; together they make a lovely, long walk on the beach.  

How to get to and get around João Pessoa 

Being the capital of the state of Paraiba, João Pessoa is very easy to reach by air, bus or car. We found the best way to get around the city, other than walking in our neighbourhood, was Uber.

Where to stay and eat in João Pessoa 

The safest neighbourhoods with the largest amount of tourist hotels and restaurants are in the side-by-side communities of Cabo Branco and Tambaú. Being the most easterly point in Brazil, sunrise is very early. Don’t worry though, most of the hotels have blackout curtains to keep out the very early light.

To read about our other adventures in Brazil click here.

Coming Next – Exploring Old Towns in Olinda & Recife

To read our other adventures go to Destinations.

For pictures from other posts go to Gallery at


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