Nísia Floresta is a municipality of Rio Grande do Norte just south of the metropolitan area of Natal in Brazil. It is a popular destination due to its beaches and lakes, the most famous being Búzios and Carcará respectively.
The town of Nísia Floresta originated from a colonial village called Papary, originally populated by native Brazilians and Portuguese settlers. The name "Nísia Floresta" was a given as a tribute to a famous writer from the region that lived in the XIX century.
For such a small town, Nísia Floresta offers many attractions, including the various lakes and beaches, the historical constructions and the seafood restaurants, with the shrimp being the local speciality.
From Natal, you can take BR-101 to reach the town and the lakes (the entrance to Nísia Floresta is located at São José de Mipibu), or RN-063 (alongside the coast) to reach the beaches.
Nísia Floresta is a rural area, so you need a car to properly explore it. Of course, you may go around with a bicycle if you have the time and disposition.
The municipality contains 22 lakes with clean, transparent waters. Some of the most famous are Carcará and Arituba. Both contain moderately warm waters excellent for swimming, an infrastructure of kiosks, and kayaks and paddle boats for renting.
- Pirangi do Sul. With calm waves, appropriate for nautical sports such as windsurf and kitesurf.
- Praia de Búzios. The most famous beach of the region, has strong waves that attract suffers of all kinds (wave, wind, kite), although it has also some calmer parts. Contains also a broad strip of dunes. The village along the beach is unexploited, with mostly simple houses and a number of condominiums. "Búzios" is Portuguese for "cowry shells".
- Barra de Tabatinga. From the top of the cliffs there is a spectacular view of the beach, and sometimes (typically during the end of the afternoon) it is also possible to spot dolphins in the beach. With calm waters.
- Camurupirim/Barreta. Surrounded by reefs, with calm and moderately warm waters. The "Pedra Oca", a small grotto, is formed when the tide is low. From here you can cross on foot to the Malembá beach, ih the adjacent municipality of Senador Georgino Avelino, or take a ferry boat to Tibau do Sul.
- Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora do Ó. Colonial church in baroque style constructed between 1735-1756
- Baboá. An enormous tree of African species, planted (according to rumors) by a slave in the colonial period.
- Papary train station. Built by the English company Great Western in 1881, in neoclassic style. Now it hosts a shrimp restaurant.
- Mausoléu da Nísia. Monument built in 1909, where the remnants of the local writer Nísia Floresta are buried.
Check for local handcrafts, such as bobbin lacemaking.
- [formerly dead link] Marinas Camarões, Estação do Papary, Nísia Floresta, ☏ . Restaurant specialized in shrimp and other seafood, located at the historical train station of Papary.
- Restaurante e Bar do Caranguejo.
- Sol e Mar. Pizzeria.
- Pego Fogo.
Most visitors to Nísia Floresta stay in Natal. The beaches have a couple of B&Bs.
- [dead link] Pousada Sol e Mar (Praia de Búzios), ☏ .