Expat Exchange

Praia da Pipa, Brazil

William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 17, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Praia da Pipa, Brazil. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

What are the pros and cons of living in Praia da Pipa?

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Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Praia da Pipa responded:

"I've lived in Sao Paulo for 5 years and now here in Praia da Pipa for 5 more years. We are very happy with Pipa as it is safe, has great people living here and has an excellent infrastructure. I have fiber optics internet with 300 mbps download and there are 3 competing companies located within this service area. The exchange is currently R$1.00 = $5.35 USD so our money goes a long way. Natal is located 1 hour drive from our house and we chose to purchase a car. So we can go to Natal, a metro city of 1.3 million people.........so if we can't find what we are looking for here in Pipa we can drive to Natal for better quality groceries, medical care, etc," explained one expat living in Praia da Pipa.

"Pipa has many of the wonderful top rated beaches in Brazil. Dolphins are often swimming in the shallow parts near the beaches for some great photos. Pipa is a large sea turtle preserve where the turtles often come onto the beaches to build their next and lay their eggs. One must put up with the tourist, but the infrastructure for the city is wonderful with full sewage, water and high speed internet. I have fiber optics with 300 mbps download and 60 mbps upload," said another in Praia da Pipa.

"Pipa is a beautiful beach and tourist town with a very good infrastructure. Water & sewage is well established and there are 3 different high speed internet companies to choose form. I have 300 mbps download so watching movies on line is no problem. Pipa has many small grocery stores and 1 large so finding thing you need is easy but the prices are based on being a tourist area and are high higher than in Natal. As an expat the cost of living here in Pipa and Brazil is much lower than my home country," explained one expat in Praia da Pipa.

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What type of social life can someone expect in Praia da Pipa?

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When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Praia da Pipa, they replied:

"I answered the question "Dating Options" as "not at all satisfied" because I'm married, living with my wife and not lookiing..........so I don't know," explained one expat living in Praia da Pipa.

"Pipa as a tourist town has many options for food, fast food and bars. Pipa sports about 100 restaurants with some having international reputations from Spain and UK. Others offer cuisine from Germany, Italy, USA, Argentina, Thailand and of course Brazil. There are no museums, theaters and movie theaters here in the area but we do have some located in Natal, Brazil about a 1 hour drive from Pipa," said another expat in living in Praia da Pipa, Brazil.

"I'm married so dating is not one of my options. However I have lived here for 5 years and I am well accepted within the community," added another expat in Praia da Pipa.

What advice to expats in Praia da Pipa have about housing?

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"Pipa is located on the NE coast of Brazil and is a tourist town located within a Federal Preserve. Finding land to build houses is difficult and there is a housing shortage," remarked another expat in Praia da Pipa.

"Pipa is a tourist city so quality and affordability of housing is going to be a challenge. But during this last year there has been an apartment and gated community housing boom," explained one expat in Praia da Pipa.

"Praia de Pipa is a tourist town with heavy tourist traffic so available housing is limited," said another expat in Praia da Pipa.

What are medical services in Praia da Pipa like?

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When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Praia da Pipa, they replied:

"Brazil has a public health care policy and as a permanent resident I have access to and use their public health care clinics for relatively minor issues. For all other I have a Private health care plan and excellent private doctors in Natal, Brazil just 1 hour away," said another in Praia da Pipa.

"public health care is used by us for minor issues. Major medical we travel 1 hr north to Natal for private doctors and health care," explained one expat in Praia da Pipa.

What do I need to know before moving to Praia da Pipa?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Praia da Pipa, they said:

"Do lots of research as it is available on line. Include in your research a local attorney who speaks English and is a member of either Briton's legal Bar Association or the ABA in the States. It is always nice when the local attorney is licensed in one of those countries because unethical practices could get them barred. With their membership in one of the Bar Associations there should be available info on whether any complaints have been filed against them in the past. These local attorneys act very much like the Title companies in the States. They do all the research to ensure free and clear property and titles. Make sure that you visit the area and the home to ensure it is what you hoped it to be. I would also recommend staying at least 2 weeks and spend time knowing the area. THE MOVE: Moving from the UK or USA is probably not a big deal. However, to get your household goods into Brazil.....well that's another matter. For instance, the USA moving company needs a 3rd party in Brazil to facilitate receiving your container and moving it to your new home. They will need paperwork that to us seems highly unusual and bureaucratic. Brazil is after all a highly bureaucratic place to live and if you haven't lived here then your in for a surprise. One of the documents that I needed was my original boarding pass from the airline that I flew from Miami to Recife. The 3rd party Brazilian company stated that without the boarding pass to prove how I arrived in Brazil then the container could not be received in Brazil (my federally stamped passport and my federally stamped Entry Card does not count). The boarding pass along with a number of other paperwork had to be notarized at one of the local Cartarios and returned to the 3rd party company. It will require several hours of standing in line to get 5 minutes of work completed. If your moving to Brazil this is how they do things and all the complaining from me or you will not change it. With all this said, I will say now that after all the standing in line waiting, jumping through hoops and getting mad, after returning home to our villa and seeing the sunset from our roof top........PRICELESS," said another person in Praia de Pipa.

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How do I find a place to live in Praia da Pipa?

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We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"We started in 2006 researching the internet for property to the north of Natal in Rio Grande do Norte State. After finding some villa's just completed and for sale located to the north of Natal we then made contact with the real estate agent in Natal and made dates to visit. While there we heard of Praia de Pipa, Brazil and did more internet research at the hotel and made contact with the company building Pipa Beleza Resort. After driving down and visiting the resort we bought the last villa available for sale in 2007," remarked another in Praia de Pipa.

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Get a free international health insurance quote from our partner, Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Praia da Pipa?

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"There are 41 units within the resort, mostly owned by foreigners. There are a few owned by Brazilians but the others are mostly from Europe or UK. Each of the units vary in size but 150m2 is about average for the villas with 2 stories. Ours has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a roof veranda that includes a Jacuzzi. Pipa Beleza Resort is one of the leading and most modern resort in the area and several more have or are being built as we speak," remarked another expat in Praia de Pipa.

What is the average cost of housing in Praia da Pipa?

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If you are thinking about moving to Praia da Pipa, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"In the USA buying property of any type on or very near the ocean is way out of our price range. We bought this one to include a complete furnishing package and its built against a State park where future construction is limited due to the park. So the villa was much cheaper than in the States for a house of the same size. Because we bought our in 2007 I keep looking on the net for houses in the area and for pricing. $150k to 200k (USD) for a similar villa is the average cost as of this week. Electricity costs are high as they are everywhere in Brazil due to the lack of infrastructure," said another expat in Praia de Pipa.

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What should I bring when moving to Praia da Pipa?

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People living in Praia da Pipa were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"We were pretty careful after living overseas to ensure the critical things needed were being shipped and non-critical things were not placed into the shipment. We were more careful this time as we were paying for the move ourselves. A couple things: electricity in the USA is 120v. So knowing that some things will not convert to 240 (North 1/3 of Brazil is 240, the middle 1/3 is 127v and the bottom 1/3 of Brazil is 240), we purchased 2 large power converters to step down 240 to 120v. We also ensured that the converters were able to manage several electrical components at the same time. The one thing we did not bring........Phillips tooth brush heads for our Sonic tooth brushes. And no, we can't find them here," remarked another expat in Praia de Pipa.

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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Brazil Forum Brazil Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Brazil on our Brazil forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to Brazil Network Contribute
Help others in Brazil by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Brazil.

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Expats in Brazil offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Brazil.

Pros Cons of Living in BrazilPros & Cons of Living in Brazil

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what digital nomads & expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Brazil.

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