KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - ILHA DO GUAJIRU
This place rocks for kitesurfing eight months of the year, allowing you to pick from diverse conditions. In the same day you can kite insane flat water on the largest lagoon in northern Brazil, take on ocean waves on the coast and complete a fantastic downwinder, finishing up right in front of your pousada accommodation!
The main flat water lagoon of Ilha do Guajiru is almost one kilometre wide and five kilometres long. Sandy beaches surround the lagoon except at the far downwind end that is open to the ocean. Two tides a day leave over eight hours of lovely mid-high lagoon riding. At low- to mid-tide most kiters enjoy riding downwind and playing in the flat water butter created in the lee side of the island. The sandbar between the lagoon and the ocean set up 'finger island' and another small lagoon that's perfect for practicing tricks or photo shoots.
The main spot is wide open with fantastic flat water, is shallow and has consistent cross-onshore winds. Factor in how good it is for learning tricks, and this is an incredible spot for all levels. KiteWorldWide have a base thirty kilometres from Ilha do Guajiru where you'll find Brazil at its purest. (See Schools)
Cross-onshore wind kicks in here in June, usually for between four and seven days a week, averaging 14 - 18 knots; bring your 9 - 14 metre kites. Building in August, you'll enjoy 18 - 25 knots six days a week until December, when you'll mainly be on 7 - 10 metre kites. October and November are strongest with many days of 25 - 30+ knots. December to February the wind starts dropping back to 9 - 14 metre weather. The waves on the outside build with the wind, getting up to a maximum of one metre, but there are better wave spots two kilometres upwind, and three kilomtres downwind. Learning is best June to September and December to February.
The average air temperature in this part of Brazil is 26°C / 78°F and the water 24 - 26°C / 75 - 78°F. Does it get any better? At night you might want a long sleeve T-shirt, although the temperature doesn't drop below 22°C / 71°F otherwise it's boardies and t-shirts 24/7! There are no wind meters in the area, but as a guide the wind is usually in between what you'd find in Cumbuco and Jericoacoara.
Ilha do Guajiru is two-and-a-half hour direct transfer from Fortaleza airport (FOR), and costs R$350. Alternatively take the bus which takes six hours, but is cheap at R$30.
Ilha do Guajiru is five kilometres outside the city of Itarema, where you'll find supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants etc. Everything in Ilha is located on one long 250 metre strip, everything is close by so a hire care isn't necessary.
Currency: Brazilian Reais (R$) - £1 = R$3.3 / €1 = R$2.7 / US$ = R$2 Make sure you always have cash at hand. There are several ATM machines in the airport and two in Cumbuco, but up the coast they are rarely spotted.
Ilha do Guajiru has ten pousadas to choose from with the water no more than 30 metres away from each one. Each one runs its own school. See Windy Addiction below for Ilha and check out KiteWorldWide for more info on their own spot out of town.
There are lots of nice restaurants in Ilha, however if you want pizza or something different then you're best off in Itarema. This is a kiter's spot, so no crazy parties, but it is a great place to relax. Make a trip to Fortaleza for something more on the wild side.
There is rarely no wind, but you may choose to take some time off to visit the turtle sanctuary, rent a fishing boat or a dune buggy. The museum in Itarema hosts a live music festival each month, from October to January.