Dunes and dreams in Jericoacoara
Far up on the very northern tip of Brazil lies a paradise of lakes and giant sand dunes which few manage to reach, but Jungle takes a closer look to see what all the fuss is about.
Jericoacoara is a beach located 300km north of Fortaleza, in the state of Ceará, in the municipality of Gijoca (Jijoca of Jericoacoara). Until 1985 it was a simple fisherman village without electricity, roads, telephone or television, lost in between immense white dunes and completely isolated from the rest of the world, until tourism discovered it and it began receiving more visitors.
Since 1998 Jericoacora has been supplied with electricity and started to develop fast, but always keeping a natural and rustic style. Most of the houses and structures are built out of wood and are surrounded by flowers and plants, the roads are still covered in sand… the atmosphere is magical.
Jericoacoara lies in an area of environmental preservation, having become a National Park in 2002, sat between vast transitory dunes, lakes of crystalline water, coconut trees and beautiful beaches, with calm ocean waves, where contact with nature is intense and the beauty of the landscapes most impressive indeed. The National Park covers an area of 6,850 hectares and extends across the beach of Jericoacoara, including the municipalities and Jijoca Cruz, with the famous Prea beach, which represents 33% of its total area.
The park has various activities and entertainments, and in recent years windsurfing and kitesurfing has made this beach one of the most visited in all of Brazil amid lovers of strong winds! Kitesurfing is practiced primarily in Prea beach, around 15 km from Jericoacoara. And at the more attractive tourist beach is Pedra Furada (the symbol of Jericoacoara and Ceará State), an enormous stone arc, carved by waves and the passing of time, situated in the rocky region of Jeri, the Serrote.
Late every afternoon, tourists are drawn to Sunset Dune to watch the end of another day. And given that Jericoacoara is located on the far north coast of Ceará, it is one of the few places in Brazil where you can enjoy watching the sun setting directly into the sea. From the top of the dune there is a stunning panoramic view of the village, the Serrote (next to the small mountain town, where the lighthouse is located in Jericoacoara), and of course the dunes.
It is guaranteed that with a trip to Jeri you’ll get what you want: peace, fun, a little adventure, some ecotourism, an all round ideal option for those looking to escape the everyday stress…
Jericoacoara also offers a lot of fun options during the evening as things begin to get a bit more animated in the bars, restaurants and nightclubs later into the night. After a delicious dinner just follow the sound of the music to reach the party, most of which are held on the beach. Those who prefer something a little calmer or more romantic can simply admire beautiful shooting stars in the night sky, especially when the moon is full, the spectacle of the ocean illuminated by rays of the moon rendering the beach a sight more picturesque than any postcard.
Jericoacoara is not just beaches and beautiful landscapes – don’t forget to get to know the village and its people. Talk to the local fishermen, learn from them about the local culture, and understand that in reality… life can be so much simpler.
The above text was reproduced and edited from the website www.jeri-brazil.org
Jericoacoara – who said getting to paradise was easy?
Brought to you by Hidden Pousadas
What might seem like a voyage to the end of the earth to get there, crossing the tremendous sand dunes, is more like a right of passage to reach a corner of paradise unseen by many. The town itself has no paved roads, high-rise hotels, banks or even ATMs, just small shops and laid back bars and restaurants and one amazing sand dune at the end of the beach, the aforementioned Sunset Dune, where everyone goes to watch the sun go down. Such difficulty in access has not only deterred the worst of mass tourism but also preserved an unimaginably beautifully landscape and eco-system.
Visiting in the summer months, which in the north of Brazil means the dry season from June to November, is when Jericoacoara is easiest to get to, and there are several great spots for accommodation.
Where to stay
Located in Beco do Serrote, Cumelen Bed & Windsurf has been designed and created in perfect integration with the local landscape, preserving the area and rustic charm. With spacious 40m² chalets, it’s surrounded by the magnificent landscape of the National Park, offering a unique and special pousada to discover this small paradise enclosed by the dunes, half-deserted white-sand beaches and blue waters. And for those more adventurous amongst you what better than to experience the sights and colours whilst windsurfing… check their website for advice on when’s best to go.
Pousada Vila Kalango is perhaps one of the most well known of them all and is situated in a great location, close to the famous crescent sand dunes. This is a large, sophisticated pousada with 24 apartments, the most unique of which are stilt houses, surrounded by 5000 sq metres of gardens and a large red swimming pool. Side trips to Pedra Furada, Lagoa Azul and Paraiso are a must. Great spots for food include Dona Amelia restaurant in town and Alexandre and Skylab on the beach.
Twelve kilometres east of Jericoacoara is Praia do Prea, a lovely stretch of deserted beach, which is home to Pousada Rancho do Peixe, a boutique eco–lodge with enormous sea facing bungalows. This is a beautifully designed pousada influenced by the surrounding nature and constructed using local raw materials. What the beach also offers is superb conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing and Pousada Rancho do Peixe has its own school on site which offers lessons to visitors.
To experience the Praia do Prea in its true glory, as a relaxing escape from busy life, or who knows maybe to write that elusive novel, May and November are best (missing out the holiday seasons of July and August and the rainy winter December to April) . Simply lounging in the hammocks of the pousada, overlooking the ocean, savoring a good book with a caipirinha in hand, offers the ultimate tranquility.
By Fola Odumosu