JOAO PESSOA, BRAZIL
Back in June of 2012 I had to privilege and pleasure to visit the small city of Joao Pessoa. Its a tropical city in the most northeastern part of the world. While its small, it is mostly modern, and even pretty chic. During the rainy season in June you can expect long hours of heavy rain, even to the point where the central lake is flooded.
This city is not your typical Brazil. The beaches are small, not crowded, nor is the city, and while this would be a good thing for many, including myself, its not a good cross-section of culture of what Brazil is or what it is all about. It is a quiet community for the most part. And I am willing to guess that the main population are educated and upper middle class. Yes, I did see some poorer communities just outside the hotel I was staying at, but for the most part, there were no slums and everyone was mostly friendly. I don’t want to compare this to another city here in the USA, especially New York or New Jersey area. However, this city does not resemble Miami like Fortaleza does. Maybe its another coastal city which offers beaches, shopping, restaurants and relatively low crime. Again, its small, but its pleasant and even upper scale in some areas.
There are many attractions, as with any city, but this offers clean beaches, free of too many merchants selling items you really do not need. From what I know and see, this city has no slums, or ghettos, better known as favelas. And just so you know, favelas make the slums and ghettos look like suburbia. None of that here.
They do have a zoo, and that is great fun always, even if you don’t like animals you will find it fun, and if you do like animals, you can only wish there were more! There are a lot of beaches, cultural centers, shopping malls, restaurants and like any city, it has plenty of churches and areas of interests as to historical significance, so its definitely some place to visit even if only for a couple of days.