The coastal city of João Pessoa – known as Jampa, a play on São Paulo's nickname of Sampa – is the capital of Paraíba and the third-oldest city in Brazil. It claims to have more trees than any other capital city, including an Atlantic rainforest preserve, and has a reputation for being friendly and safe. It's an increasingly popular holiday destination for Brazilian families.
The 20km-long beachfront, stretching north and south of the central coastal hub of Tambaú, is agreeably clean, low-key and low-rise (no buildings above four stories allowed) while the historic center, 7km inland, is being slowly spruced up after attaining National Heritage site status in 2007, and makes for an interesting wander. All in all, João Pessoa, or ‘John Person’, is a very nice spot to break up a journey.