Quite often I hear people wondering weather they should spend a two weeks holiday in Fortaleza or maybe in smaller places like Canoa Quebrada and Jericoacoara. We all have our way and our style to travel, one loves urban city life, other traveller prefers to escape from it. Therefore I’m positive that there are travellers who are fully satisfield after having spent a two weeks holiday in Fortaleza, but to be absolutely honest I do think that if we made a little test the majority of the travellers would be happier after having decided to combine Fortaleza with some other less urban brazilian destination.
When we talk about Fortaleza, it’s good to remember that we talk about a huge city with more than 2,5 millions of inhabitants. It’s the capital of the state of Ceará and also the 5th biggest city of the country. So before you bpook a two weeks holiday package in Fortaleza, think twice if you wish to spend the holiday of your dreams in a city with crowded beaches, heavy traffic and not too many cultural or historical sights. The size of the city also brings the other side effects, such as crime level and prostitution which in most of the cases ends up to be a surprise for the travellers. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be worth stopping in Fortaleza for few days, but once that you have travelled as far as to Brazil makes sure you see the best of Ceará, which can be found just few hours drive away from the state capital.
In our previous blog post we already discussed about the wonders of Canoa Quebrada, so that’s why it’s time to bring up an another wonderful destination in the coast of Ceará. It’s called Jericoacoara, or simply Jeri as locals prefer to call it. The access to Jericoacoara is slightly trickier than to Canoa Quebrada, but once you reach this former fisherman village, you will quickly notice that it worth sitting approximately four hours in a car. There are basically two different ways to reach Jericoacoara. A private 4×4 transfer from Fortaleza is the most comfortable way to reach the village. An another option is to take a collective minibus until Jijoca and then after an alternative open-air transportation “jardinera” over the dunes.
So as you already may have guessed Jericoacoara is surrounded by dunes and has no real roads nor asphalt. The streets are sandy, and beach buggies or 4×4 cars are basically the only motorized traffic circulating in the village. The charm of Jericoacoara turned it quickly as one of the most popular destinations in the state of Ceará. Nowadays you will find a large number of tourism services, such as pousadas, restaurants and tours, but still the easygoing atmospheare is always present in Jericoacoara. In the village itself the principal attraction is the beach. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the warm waves or the neverending sun in one of the many beach bars. Thanks to the strong winds of Ceará, Jericoacoara is an excellent place to practise both windsurf and kitesurf. It’s number one windsurf destination in Brazil and one of the best spots in the world as well. The beaches of the regions also fit for surfers, being the principal beach suitable for beginners and the beach of Malhada the best option for advanced surfers. For surfing the best period of the year is from December till April, when the waves get bigger and the wind is lighter.
There are a lot of things to do nearby Jericoacoara as well. Just a simple walk away (one hour per way) from the village and you will reache Pedra Furada, an arched rock, that has became a symbol of Jericoacoara. It’s a great place to take wonderful pictures with the sparkling sea or the sunset in the background. The beach buggy excursions to some of the many lagoons located in the middle of the dunes are a popular attraction in Jericoacoara, don’t miss them out. The most popular ones are Lagoa Azul, Lagoa Tatajuba and Lagoa do Paraiso. These fresh water lagoons are perfect places to enjoy a bath and some tasty shrimps or other local specialities in beautiful natural settings…or why don’t you just lay down in one of the over water hammocks available at Lagoa Tatajuba and Lagoa Paraiso. If you have a chance visit all the three lagoon, if not we would advise you to choose our personal favourite Lagoa do Paraiso. It offers nice infrastructure, excellent waters for a bath and amazingly beautiful landscapes mixturing dunes and green vegetation. In addition to the lagoons the buggy excursions often include some other activities like sandboarding in the dunes, visiting a cashew farm or searching for sea horses in a river surrounded by dead mangrove trees.
Just before the sunset, everybody in Jericoacoara heads on the top of the main dune to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the sea. This is something not to be missed. In the evening time you can also watch the capoeiristas practising this traditional fight dance on the beach. The night of Jericoacoara is as relaxed as the day, no need for formal dressing, your flip flops are as useful during the night as during the day. The only difference is that during the night time you will propably find a lot more people on the streets of the village. Days are for the excursions and other activities, but during the night time the streets of the village are lively again. The night of Jericoacoara offers something for each and every taste, and especially during the high season in many places you can listen to live music as well. There is absolutely no hurry to enjoy the night life of Jericoacoara, just like the days the nights are long as well…
If you are still wondering whether you should stay two weeks in Fortaleza or not, we have a third option for you. The longer transfer times to Jericoacoara or to Canoa Quebrada may have scared you out, in this case opt for Cumbuco in stead. This laid back holiday village, that offers a relaxing atmospheare is a located just about 30 minutes drive from Fortaleza. We will discuss more about Cumbuco in our future blog posts…in the meanwhile keep enjoying the brazilian hospitality!
Check out our blog post about Canoa Quebrada.
Our suggested itineraries including Jericoacoara:
Brazil Diversity recommends:
- Pousada Masai Mara, Jericoacoara – A tiny, but charminh pousada in the heart of the village just a few steps from the beach.
- Pousada Wind Jeri, Jericoacoara – Wind Jeri offers hgh standard suites and chalets for those looking for quality accommodation in Jericoacoara.
- Restaurante Carcará, Jericoacoara – Delicious and well served brazilian meals with friendly service.
- 0031 Dunelodge, Cumbuco – Pousada 0031 located just a stone throw’s from the heart of Cumbuco is one of the best choices in the area offering good quality apartment for 2-4 persons.
- Marbello Ariau Hotel, Fortaleza – During your stay at Fortaleza try out something smaller than the huge multifloor hotels. Marbello Ariau is a pousada kind of hotel located at Fortaleza’s most popular beach Praia do Futuro.
- Restaurante Tia Nair, Fortaleza – Delicious meals and easygoing atmospheare at the beach of Iracema.
Filed under: Beaches, Ceará | Tagged: beach, Brazil, Ceará, Cumbuco, dunes, Fortaleza, Jeri, Jericoacoara, Jijoca, kitesurf, Lagoa Azul, Lagoa do Paraiso, Lagoa Tatajuba, lagoon, Malhada, Pedra Furada, surf, windsurf |