The turquoise ocean slowly sways the colorful hammocks. I close my eyes and lean back against the hammock’s net. The sweet life requires change of pace: slowing down and then off to new experiences. What are the three most wonderful beach adventures of Jericoacoara?
We live in a wonderful world of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if we only seek them with our eyes open.Jawaharlal Nehru
The hippie town of Jericoacoara
We meander through the nature park’s never-ending row of dunes to Jericoacoara, a surf town with a hippy vibe. Sand swirls around the Jeep, penetrating nostrils and tickling the eyes. The hours-long bus trip from Fortaleza changed to traveling with a Jeep in the city of Jijoca. Seated in the back of the pick-up are our family and a few beautifully tanned travelers in their twenties and thirties with their back-packs. The ripple of conversation is a mixture of French, Portuguese, and English.
As we finally make it to our destination, the huge, orange sun is about to dive behind the horizon. There’s barely use for shoes here. The streets – if you can call them that – are simply fine sand carried from the dunes. The houses are an unorthodox mixture of colorful Portuguese-style estates or amorphous shacks. The charming, carefree combination seems to give everyone permission to be exactly who they are. We will stay here for the next two weeks. We feel especially at ease in our hotel, Pousada Armonia, whose Italian owner caressed little Hanna at every turn and where a funny all-around guy fixed all of our problems in the blink of an eye.
Top 3 most wonderful beach adventures
1. Admire the sunsets
Duna do Pôr-do-Sol
Jericoacoara is famous for its sunsets: Every night, the sand dune Dunas por do sol next to Jeri gets packed with tens, if not hundreds, of photographers and sunset admirers. Nature’s own show repeats itself night after night. The number of people does not cause anxiety, though.
Enamored couples caress each other passionately, young people sit in a circle and down their colorful drinks from plastic cups as the music plays, children ride down the dunes laughing, and down by the water the sunset riders gallop with their hair flowing wild in the wind. The sunset at Duna do Pôr-do-Sol is a collective moment to bid the hot day farewell and welcome the nightlife. Yes – Jeri is also known for its Caipirosca-carts and its beach parties that don’t start till late.
Pedra Furada is located a couple of kilometers from the village of Jericoacoara, right by the cliff on the beach. It is a formation of rocks, in the center of which is a split where you can see the sunset and the roaring waves. Above the beach are the rugged rocks and the hiking trails overtaken by cactuses.
Pedra Furada is worth visiting, but taking a unique and successful picture requires patience and some nerve, because the other one hundred tourists want to take a picture from the exact same place at the exact same time, too. You can walk, ride a horse, ride a bicycle or hop on a horse carriage to get to Pedra Furada. It is a good idea to come well in advance and ensure a good spot for taking photos.
A sunset place of one’s own
The entire Jeri beach is full of cliffs and empty beaches beneath them, each more beautiful than the other, and they all invite for a romantic sunset picnic. You are guaranteed to find your own secret place. It is worth keeping an eye on the kids while working on the picture taking, though, to make sure the viewing spots they find aren’t all too crazy.
2. Go on an adventure on the dunes
Jericoacoara is no longer the well-kept secret one would hope it was. We heard rumors that there are a few “new Jeris” close to Jeri – places, that tourists haven’t yet discovered and where the prices are half of what they are at Jericoacoara. On the other hand, Jeri has just the right amount of services and different things to do, so we didn’t really need another spot.
The Jeri village is located in the middle of dunes, so it’s natural that a lot of the trips to the dunes are done on a buggy or a horse, or by hiking. You can surf the dunes or ride down them, which was especially popular among young men and kids. Some of the tourists went running up and down the dunes, which is surprisingly hard, but fun.
You can also do day trips to the nearby areas on a beach buggy and visit places like the beach of Lago do Paraiso or the mangrove forest; go look at sea horses or red crabs; hit the beach in Tatajuba, or go on a river cruise.
3. Ride a horse or hike to your own paradise beach
Once the water has slowly, throughout the day, pulled back to the sea, the main beach is left immaculate for playing soccer or building sand castles. But after a few days we began to long for a change of scenery. The beach scenery next to Jeri is like candy to the soul. The higher you descend on the cliffs, the more impressive the scenery you find. Behind every bay is a new paradise beach. Carry snacks, drinks and a bathing suit. That’s all you need for a perfect beach day. On the way you can spot flowers, lizards, butterflies and birds. Find the dream beach either by foot, or rent a horse – with or without a guide. The freedom you feel as the horse gallops up the cliff is stunning.
A quick guide to Jericoacoara, Brazil
- Jericoacoara is a small fishing village 300 kilometers west of Fortaleza.
- The village of Jericoacoara is located in the middle of an Environmental Protection Area (EPA), which protects the area from getting overly touristy.
- The easiest way to get to Jeri from Rio De Janeiro is to fly to Fortaleza and then either take a bus or rent a car – shared or personal, and with or without a chauffeur. We don’t recommend driving on your own – at least not all the way – because the route from Jijoca through the dunes to Jeri is not marked with signs
- Remember to bring enough cash, because the nearest ATM is in Jijoca. You can pay by credit card at some hotels, shops and restaurants.
- Remember to bring your passport, as well as a few copies of your passport, for (for example) the organizers of the bus trips.
- During peak season it is wise to book accommodation in advance, as the best accommodations are booked fast.