Jericoacoara is a small fishing village cum beach hippie resort in Ceará, Brazil, some 300 km west of Fortaleza. Jeri, as it is affectionately known, is the kind of idyllic place where many travelers end up deciding to stay for longer than they had originally planned.
Jericoacoara is a place removed from the hurried modern world of screeching sirens, maniac deadlines, traffic jams and endless lineups. A place where streets are paved with sand, where beaches stretch as far as the eye can see and where warm water marries with palm swaying breezes. Until about 20 years ago, Jericoacoara was still a secluded and simple fishing village. There were no roads, no electricity, no phones, no TV's, no newspapers, and money was rarely used.
Since 1984, the area around Jericoacoara was declared Environmental Protection Area (APA) and became a National Park in 2002. This brought many building restrictions and tourism controls what help to preserve the area. Electricity arrived in the village and today, hot showers and air conditioning are no longer luxury articles. However, illumination of the streets is forbidden by local law.
By roadMost visitors arrive from Fortaleza, changing vehicles in Jijoca, the nearest town to Jeri with paved roads. Then a 40-80 minutes ride passing through humble rural areas, with cashew-nut trees and farm animals on either side of the road. If coming from the west, Sobral might be a stopover, or use Camocim as your alternative gateway.
From Fortaleza to Jericoacoara:
- 4x4 Transport
- Package deal Micro Onibus
- Buses to Jericoacoara
Note: Don´t buy local tours in advance. It is usually more expensive and there are lots of operators that offer tours locally (sometimes with a discount).
Some hostels in Fortaleza can organize transport to Jeri for about 75 reais. You will be picked up by a tour company that is taking a bunch of tourists on two or three day tour to Jeri, but you can pay only for the ride there. Don't pay more than 75 (Feb 2016) as they might try to ask for 100.
- Private 4x4 trucks leave for Jijoca as soon as they are full -R$ 100 per person. R$400 for the car. Few departures after dark.
- Car. Taking your own car is not recommended. Even 4x4s get stuck unless the driver is experienced. Note that nowadays you are no longer allowed to park your car in Jericoacoara. At the entrance they created a parking lot where they can keep your car for a fee.
By planeFlight Tickets can be bought in Jeri at Global Connection Agency on Rua do Forro. You will probably need to travel back to Fortaleza (or Sao Luis), as the nearest International Airport is Pinto Martins in Fortaleza, approx. 280 kilometers south-east of Jericoacoara. Still under construction is a new international airport between Cruz and Jijoca, approx. 30 kilometers from Jericoacoara. The new airport was scheduled to be operational before the end of 2012 however, the date has been shifted to the future on a regular basis. Halfway through 2016 the airport is still not completed. It is expected to open at the end of 2016 - but don't hold your breath...
Jericoacoara is full of sandy pathways and everywhere can be reached by foot. Walking is, in fact, the best way of getting to know Jericoacoara. Only a few streets have names, guide yourself with landmarks and names of shops.
It is recommended that you use footwear, especially on the rocky patches of the beach. Since Jeri doesn’t have any street lamps, a small flashlight can be helpful on those moonless nights. You may occasionally have to share the road with a meandering mule or cow!
The Jericoacoara beach is reputedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, although mostly too shallow for real swimming. It is made of very fine gray sand that gets hard on low tide, and is wide and flat. Every evening a crowd climbs the "Por-do-Sol" dune to watch the sunset over the ocean, a rare view in Brazil, as very little of its coast faces west.
Be sure to make a day trip at least up to Lagoa Azul - amongst stunning freshwater lagoons. There are authentic and unspoilt villages nearby where you can stay, if you want to get off the beaten track. for example.
Jeri is full of things to do for the active and extreme as well as for those who wish to relax and recharge.
- Pedra Furada The Arched Rock has become the symbol of Jericoacoara. It offers beautiful vistas from all directions. If you happen to be in Jeri between June 15th and July 30th, you will have the good fortune to witness the sunset right in the middle of the Arch; it's an excellent photo opportunity. Walking east from town along the shore line you'll first pass Malhada Beach, which is a smaller beach popular with surfers. On low tide most of the beach is walkable, otherwise take the higher path up along the Serrote hill. The walk takes about 2 hours in total. You should not do this barefooted; bring footwear for the rocky patches (and occasional snakes!). Depart immediately after sunset, as the night falls quickly. Guided hikes can be arranged at many of the hostels, and this is highly recommendable if you are walking along the beach. Local guides know high and low tides better. If you take the path along the grassy dunes, you may do it on your own. You will probably find other tourist on the way.
- Windsurfing Jericoacoara is one of the best spots in the world for windsurfing and is certainly the best spot in Brazil, for both experienced windsurfers and beginners. Various windsurf centers can be found along the main beach. The most famous is ClubVentos
phone: +55 88 9946-2199An excellent place to rent equipment or take a lesson is Club Ventos, which provides the most recent neilpryde, jp and starboard equipment..
- Kitesurfing Jeri is a hot spot for kitesurfing.
Jeri Kite ZoneOffers plenty of space and flat water.
- Dare2Fly-ClubVentos offers high quality IKO instruction and uses the latest Cabrinha equipment. For more information wwww.clubventos.com
Kite Center JeriThe first kite school in Jeri run by the Naish team ride Beto Costa. Instructors are fluent in English and Spanish
phone: +55 88 8806-3540Ask for Marko. All Skyriders Instructors are IKO certified. New North Gear.Private Teaching.
Aloha Kiteschoolphone: +55 85 9982-6415IKO instructor and Waroo gear.
- Capoeira At sunset, people gather on the main beach to do capoeira. Lessons can be arranged with one of the Mestres or Capoeiristas. Lessons generally take place in the morning or later afternoon.
- Horseback Riding Ideal for short distances and those who prefer a more rustic style. It is possible to rent a horse for around R$10,00 / hour and visit Pedra Furada (Arched Rock), the nearby hills, dry mangroves or simply gallop along the beach.
- Buggy tours The best way to get to know Jeri's surrounding area. It is best to book a buggy tour at the reception of your hotel or pousada; they know the most experienced and trustworthy local drivers.
phone: +55 88 3669-2150Alvaro runs this small windsurf rental/school and can tailor packages for whatever you need. Thing don't alway move too fast, but service is good. It's a lot cheaper and more flexible than the bigger Club Ventos, but the equipment is also a bit more worn. Also arranges trips, transfers to/from Forteleza and anything else.
Ivonnephone: +55 88 9908-6279address: Rua do ForroDancing- use your time to learn the local dance Forro, and use your skills Wendesdays and Saturdays in Forro Amelia (after midnight).
- Arte e Capoeira
- Balaio de Couro
- Fleur d'Amazonie
- Jeri Arte
- Prata da Casa
- Meia Lua
- Sunglasses, Italian design & for kite and windsurf practice (OKLOS)
- Vila Chic Boutique
- Strep Less
- Infinito T-shirts
- Pé na Areia, Havaianas
OKLOSaddress: Pharmacy AlleySunglasses for kite & windsurfers, kids and Italian design. Protection for your whole family!
phone: +55 88 3669-9810address: 100 Rua dos CoqueirosJericoacoara Stables is the only Equestrian Center in Jericoacoara! Our goal is to raise happy, healthy horses and provide a safe and quality experience for guests. Jericoacoara Stables employs local guides and staff who have been professionally trained and are bi-lingual. Tours to Prea, Pedra Furada, in the National Park and all around the area. Rides vary from 1 hour to all day.
Jeri Dance Studioaddress: Rua Do ForroLearn to dance Forro, the local dance style, or polish your Salsa, Samba or AfroAxe, when you are in the mood show of your skills in the local dance club Forro Amelia Wendesdays and Saturdays after 12....Ivonne is the teacher and a lot of teaching experience. As well JeriDanceStudio is offering Hattha Yoga and Muay Thai. Beginners welcome
It might take you some time for your stomach to get used to regional seasoning and water. So if you don't want to spend your holidays on the toilet, choose bars and restaurants where hygiene is evident.
Tempero da Terraaddress: Rua São FranciscoAttracts an incredible amount of flies.
Carcaráphone: +55 88 3669-2013address: Rua do Forró 530This highly regarded restaurant has a wide variety of seafood dishes, from local specialties to international favorites such as sashimi and ceviche. You can choose between pleasant indoor and outdoor seating areas. Accepts Credit Cards.
Sabor a Lenhaaddress: Main road and the beachThe owner is "Jorge", very popular in Jericoacoara. Everything is cooked in a wood-fired oven. Delicious!
Na casa delaaddress: Main road, next to the ice-cream shopTypical regional northeastern food in a lovely atmosphere. Mariela and Pablo own as well the ice-cream shop next to the restaurant. It's an old low stone house at the main road, you can't miss it! Only for dinner. Accepts credit cards.
Café Brasilphone: +55 88 3669-2272address: Beco do Guaxelo, 65One of the first bar/restaurant in Jericoacoara, very popular for their breakfasts and sandwiches with homemade bread. Very cozy and lovely music. Accepts credit cards.
Pizza Nômadephone: +55 88 3669-2103address: Rua da FarmaciaPizzas on the wood oven, pastas, seafood, meat and salads. Charming place with very good music.
Casa de PedraHomemade ice-cream in different flavours. Acai na tigela, served with cereals and banana, is very delicious, and worth trying is also tapioca, filled either with coconut, chocolate, banana or cheese...
Naturalmenteaddress: On the shoreGood crepe with cosy atmosphere in the sunset. Lobster crepe (R$18); qualho cheese, tomato and basilico (R$9.50).
phone: +55 88 3669-2288address: Rua da Praia
The best place to party is down the main road, at the beach. If you have a weak stomach, then buy your drinks at bars and restaurants. You can also try drinks from the barracas, you will find dozens of them lined up along the street. Of course the standard drink is a Caipirinha. You can also have a Caipiroska (which is the same as caipirinha but prepared with vodka instead of cachaça), or a variant based on another fruit than lemon, e.g. maracujaroska, which has vodka with maracuja (AKA passion fruit).
Sky Bar and RestaurantAccepts credit cards
Chico Drinksaddress: Main RdChico Drinks is an open air bar on the main road just before it ends up on the beach (where the barracas start). The difference with the barracas is that Chico has bar stools, a blender, and very very cold beer.
phone: +55 88 3669-2187, +55 88 9601-4106, +54 11 5256-7432 (offices in Argentina)address: Beco do Serrote s/nLovely little guesthouse with excellent breakfast and cozy outdoor social area. A bit off Jeri's nightlife and shops, but only 5 minutes from the beach. Spanish, Portuguese and English spoken.
phone: +55 88 3669-2078address: Rua PrincipalBlends the home-like amenities of a guesthouse with the chill-out atmosphere of a hostel. Comfortable en-suites, some with private balcony. Free use of a fully equipped kitchen. Large garden and spacious veranda with hammocks. WiFi internet, multilingual owner.
address: Rua do Forró
address: Near CaicaraGreat house amongst the lagoons near Lagoa Azul, if you want to get away from it all, in the trees, 16 km from Jeri, in an authentic small community
address: Rua das DunasAffordable, cozy and comfortable home-stay!
phone: +55 88 9671-3553address: Rua da Igreja, 480Quiet and Beautiful Pousada em Jericoacoara, unique. Suites and Chales with Air-con, Tv-LCD, free Wi-Fi, Swimming Pool, etc. Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.
phone: +55 88 9671-3553Beach! For those who want to stay very close to it, the Pousada Pedra Furada is ideal in Jericoacoara, being located just two houses from the beach of Jericoacoara on the famous Rua do Forró. Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.
phone: +55 88 9671-3553Pousada Jerimar is very comfortable and has an excellent location.
Pousada Maurizioaddress: Rua PrincipalNice Italian owned property. Nice admosphere, bar and breakfast. Good rooms with A/C. Good value.
phone: +55 88 3669-2006address: Rua São Francisco, 202Good breakfast until 11:00.
phone: +55 88 3669-2136, +55 85 3266-4005address: Rua do forro, 433Fantastic breakfast, air-con, hot water, two pools, internet, laundry service, friendly atmosphere. Owner fluent in English and Spanish.
phone: +55 88 9962-9810, +55 88 3669-92359Number one on Trip Advisor! Unique and friendly bed and breakfast with 13 comfortable rooms: great mattresses, free WiFi, air-con, hot water, pool, decks and more. Owners fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
phone: +55 85 9755-1222address: Rua do Forro 147very nice atmosphere, delicious breakfast served until 12hh00. Closed to good restaurants, bars and the beach. Free WiFi, air-con, minifridge, safe box, hot shower, tv. Portuguese, English and Italian spoken.
Mosquito BlueOn of the nicer hotels in the area. Basic accommodations in a beautiful setting. The hotel also offers private transportation to / from Fortaleza.
phone: +55 88 9967-8739address: Rua do ForroGreat view to the ocean, big swimming-pool with jacuzzi, delicious breakfast-buffet and very comfortable rooms: Thats Hotel Villa Terra Viva, a very familiar four star hotel built in Portuguese colonial style.
phone: +55 88 3669-2285address: Rua das DunasCalanda offers bed & breakfast with a flowerful garden, many relax areas, and a swimming pool. The breakfast buffet includes real fruit juice, and freshly prepared eggs, pancakes, or tapioca (pancakes made of manioc flower) on demand. Calanda is located close to the beach next to the famous Sunset Dune.
- Area Code 88
- There are many cafés where you can access internet in Jeri and hotels where you can connect your laptop using wireless connection.
- Best option for information, internet, bus- and flight tickets is Global Connection, on Rua do Forro. They can help you to get around in Jeri - as well as to get out of Jeri to any place you want.
- Many pousadas and restaurants will accept Visa or MasterCard. Some hotels and restaurants change dollars or euros for reais, at poor rates.
- You can get cash advances on your credit card at the supermarket Tem Tudo, at a 10-15% commission. There are NO cash machines in Jericoacoara, the nearest being 23km away in Jijoca.
- Traveller Cheques are NOT accepted.
- Laundries are plentiful.
Innumerable fresh water pools, or lagoons, are located throughout the expanses of dunes that surround Jeri. Near the village there are only small pools mostly frequented by cows and horses. However, if you venture into the dunes, you will soon find lagoons and small rivers running as far as the eye can see in the "valleys" that lie between the dunes. The bottom of these pools is sandy, which makes them excellent for swimming, wading, and water sports. Near constant winds make the lagoons a favorite spot for wind surfing. Because the sand constantly changes shape and alters the landscape, the locations of the pools change as well. To discover a favorite swimming spot in one of these lagoons is to carve out a unique and ephemeral natural experience that is only more beautiful for the fact that it can't be repeated next year.
- Day-long buggy tours are offered to the village of Tatajuba, which had to be moved to escape invading sand dunes! If you are heading west, consider staying for a night.
You can go to the Lençois Maranhenses from Jeri although it is much easier to get there from São Luis. From Jeri there are 3 options (all are offered by globalconnection.tur.br in Jericoacoara:
- Get a 4x4 Toyota Hilux or SW4 directly to Barreirinhas or Caburé which takes around 7 hours, costs R$960 for up to 4 people. There are also several places that offer a tour of 3 days for the Lençois for R$1500 (only transport). Bargain the price, especially during low season!
- Since November 2017 they offer transport by Truck and Mini Bus between Jeri and Parnaiba (R$75) - and the next day Parnaiba to Barreirinhas (R$100), with the option of tours to do in Parnaiba and Lencois Maranhenses. They can also arrange a Mini Bus from Barreirinhas to Sao Luis (R$75). So finally it is possible to book the whole trip from Jeri to Sao Luis, including visiting Parnaiba Delta and the Lencois Maranhenses park.
- Get buses and vans from Jeri to Barreirinhas via Camocim, Parnaíba, Tutoia, Paulino Neves. It takes two days (one night in Tutoia) and costs around R$150.