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„Jericoacoara (Jeri) is a village situated in the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará. The coastline in the area is a mecca for downwinders. There are hundreds of kilometres of beaches with constant wind blowing every day. Jericoacoara is situated in a national park, there is no asphalt in the village, and the streets are covered with sand that gives it a special appeal. You won’t find big hotels with private beaches there. Wind is strong, and blows every day in the season. Kiting spots in and around the village are diverse. Sunsets are breathtaking. Brazilians are friendly and helpful, and there are no problems with security. Read the rest of this Jericoacoara Kitesurfing Review to learn everything you should know about this beautiful place.”
Pros: it is windy every day, diverse spots around the village, the area is ideal for downwinders, great food, interesting nightlife, laid back atmosphere, a charming place (unlike the surrounding villages)…
Cons: wind is super gusty on the main spot by the dune, and not for unsupervised beginners due to conditions on spots in Jeri.
The main kiting spot is located by the massive sand Dune just outside the village. It will take you 20 minutes to get there from Jeri’s center on foot. Not that close by, if you take into consideration that you have to carry equipment and the wind is really strong. You might arrange transport with buggy drivers in the area.
There is also a spot north of the village called Malhada. It is good if you use it as a launching or landing point for the downwinders. Definitely not for beginners due to dangerous rocks on the beach.
Downwinders are the main reason for kiters to visit this area. They are an excellent way to discover your own perfect spot, since the coast goes on forever. You will be able to find flat water lagoons, wave spots and everything in between. It is totally different from famous European spots like Tarifa or Rhodes.
If you go upwind from Jeri (east), the first village you are going to get to is Prea. The distance between these two places is approximately 12 km. You will have to find a ride which will take you to Prea first. Ask buggy or 4×4 drivers. Rancho do Peixe is the spot where you can launch your kite. They have excellent infrastructure, a nice restaurant, compressor, beach boys etc.
You can kite there for a while (choppy water) and then go downwind. Some people finish their trip 4 km before Jericoacoara at the place called Placa (see the map). The coast from this point to Jeri is rocky, wind is off shore and if the conditions are not good or something unforeseen happens you might get into trouble.
It is really hard to get out of the water due to rugged terrain. In case you decide to finish your trip at Placa just go out on the beach and someone will be there to land your kite. You can hitchhike back home, as one of the cars passing by would pick you up for sure. The cost of the ride back shouldn’t be higher than a few EUR. If you choose to go all the way to Jeri, finish your trip at Malhada (during low tide) or at the Dune.
You can rent a buggy to follow you during your downwinder to Guriiu and Tatajuba. One buggy can transport 4 persons plus driver and your equipment. If you have more people in your crew you can rent a bigger 4×4 truck. It can transport up to 12 individuals. Negotiate price with the drivers. You will get a better price if you catch them in streets Rua São Francisco or Rua Principal than in agencies around the village.
Guriu is 12 km away. It has a great lagoon. When tide is lower, water in the lagoon is as flat as a pancake, quite the opposite from the small waves and chop on the way from Jeri. The coastline is gorgeous. There are several “barracas” (huts) among mangroves. They serve grilled seafood, drinks and coconuts on the beach. Prices are affordable. You can also have a break on sun beds by the pool at the minimalistically designed Casa Uca.
After a stop in Guriu you can get on the second leg of the trip to Tatajuba (in total 24 km from Jeri to Tatajuba). Usually, this part of the journey is marked with stronger wind and bigger waves. Tatajuba also has a lagoon. It is small and can get crowded. Tide influences everything from kiting conditions to transport. Bear that in mind during your trip planning.
Windy season starts in June and ends in January. During peak months (July – December) wind blows almost all the time (9 out of 10 days in average). It is really strong, so you will only need smaller kites. During my stay (end of October and beginning of November) I used a 7 m2 kite the most, and in many cases I was overpowered. Wind was blowing in excess of 30 knots. As the day progresses, the wind gets stronger and stronger until late in the afternoon when it drops a bit.
Sadly, the main spot by the Dune is not perfect. Wind there blows off shore from right to left. Due to the configuration of the coastline, if something happens you won’t end up on the open sea but will get on shore far away from the area where you entered water. Another downside is the fact that the Dune makes wind really gusty.
Beaches are ideal in this part of Brazil. They are wide, long, and sandy, without any obstacles close to water. That’s also the case with the main spot by the Dune in Jericoacoara. There is no infrastructure at all. You will have to bring everything you need with yourself. There are small waves on the spot. Several kite clubs operate in Jeri. Club Ventos is the biggest and the best-equipped. If you take classes or rent gear from them they will transport you to the Dune by boat.
On the other hand, Malhada has a rocky and dangerous bottom. Low or high tide have a big influence on this area. You should use the spot only during low tide when the rocky portion of the beach stays out of the water. Due to difficult conditions these two spots are not for beginners.
Prea has nice beach ideal for kiteboarding, there is great infrastructure and the wind is steady. It is situated in front of Rancho do Peixe. The spot was host to the final round of strapless freestyle kitesurf World Cup in 2019, but it is also perfect for beginners. Watch out for fishing boats and a big rock downwind from the beach.
The area between Jeri and Tatajuba is just perfect. You will find small waves and never-ending sandy beaches there.
You won’t have to worry about dangerous sea life. Sun is burning relentlessly, but the ocean is warm, so you won’t need anything but sunscreen, boardshort, and lycra.
Jericoacoara is small, and you won’t need a ride in order to go around the village. There are no paved roads at all, and everything is covered by sand. Only 2 types of cars operate in the area: small buggies and 4×4 trucks. As I mentioned earlier, if you need transport it is always better to stop a driver in the street and negotiate the price than to go to an agency. There are several points where drivers gather in Rua São Francisco and Rua Principal. You can also find transportation for downwinders there.
Getting to Jericoacoara is not that easy and it takes time, especially if you are travelling from Europe. Jeri has its own airport but it is reserved only for flights from Brazil. Departures are not that frequent and tickets are much more expensive if you compare them to the closest international airport in Fortaleza.
Transfer from Jeri airport is going to take you 45 min. Fortaleza is only 280 km away but you will need at least 5 hours to get on your destination. There is no pavement on the last 12 km of the trip. You will be driven across sand dunes along the ocean.
If you think that this is not adventurous enough, try sightseeing in Fortaleza. It has the uncomfortable title of being the 9th city in the world according to murder rate.
The fastest way to hit your target is to rent a 4×4 truck. It is going to cost you from 150 Reals (40 EUR) per person depending on the number of people you are going to share it with. You can organize your transfer with your accommodation, or you can use WhatsApp to contact Marcelo (+5521 99300-0163) and arrange everything.
If you want to save money and you have time to spare, you can catch a Fretcar bus. There are several departures per day directly from the airport. The ride is going to take you 8 hours. Price is around 87 reals (21 EUR).
Pousadas are small family-run boarding houses. They are the most popular type of accommodation in Jeri. There is a wide choice of pousadas to choose from, and they range from basic to chic. There are no big hotel chains or resorts. Prices are the highest around New Year’s Eve. If this Jericoacoara Kitesurf Review helped you pick your next adventure, book your accommodation here.
Jeri doesn’t have any problems with security. There is no street crime. Even so, be careful of where you leave your valuable possessions.
Jericoacoara is a paradise for water sports. There is a beach ideal for small wave surfing in front of Club Ventos. If there is any swell, you can rent a long surfboard or an SUP and give it a try. Hiring an instructor might be a good idea if you are a novice. The windsurf spot is also in the neighborhood.
You can hike to Pedra Furada, a huge rock with a hole in the middle situated on the beach. Horseback riding is also popular. Sunsets are a huge thing in Jeri. Go to the Dune and enjoy one, or stay in a bar on the beach and try caipirinha (a Brazilian cocktail made of sugar, lime, and cachaça, the national alcoholic beverage). The bars have cool, funky, bossa nova style live music.
Jericoacoara is well-known for its nightlife. There is a good number of great restaurants and bars. Brazilian food is delicious, as they love to combine fish and fruit. Cantina Jeri is one of the oldest restaurants in the village. You must taste the local dish called “camarão no abacaxi”. It is made from a pineapple filled with sauce and shrimps. Pao de Sol serves another typical local dish “pao de queijo com carne de sol”. Small breads with cheese filled with meat are not to be missed. Try the tuna steak at Aqua Salata. Eat on the Streets has some mouth-watering burgers.
Café Jeri is a popular club where you can enjoy the sunset, good music, drinks, and party until late hours. In peak season (end of December and beginning of January) long queues are possible. The place hires performers to stir up the atmosphere.
When you are in Brazil, it would be a pity not to visit Rio de Janeiro. You should see Copacabana and Ipanema beaches (among the most famous in the world). Sugarloaf Mountain has a breathtaking view, as expected. Catch a cable car to the top. The ride is a special experience in itself. Christ the Redeemer Statue is one of the landmarks to visit, and the best way to get to the statue is to take a train. Choose days with good visibility to visit Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer, because it would be a pity to miss any of the scenery.
Football is the Brazilian national sport, so we had to visit a game. Flamengo is the most popular club, and they play on Maracana stadium. The atmosphere is unforgettable. Don’t go to local derbies or important championship games due to safety concerns.
Lapa is a vibrant part of the city where you can go out at night, and it is full of bars, clubs, and restaurants with live music. You can listen to every type of music there, from samba to rock and roll.
Security is a big issue in Rio de Janeiro. Don’t wear a watch or any jewelry because you might get robbed. Stay in safe areas, and most certainly don’t visit favelas on your own.