KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - JERICOACOARA
It's no surprise that this once very simple village made its name when widely hailed as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world by the Washington Post. Jericoacoara is a very special fishing village on the northeast coast of Brazil in the state of Ceara, 330 kilometres west of Fortaleza and close to the equator. Surrounded by dunes and fresh water lagoons and set in a national park, there are no proper roads, sand everywhere and wind almost every day.
In the 1990s Jericoacoara was recognised as one of the best windsurfing spots in the world, with wind right through from June to February. Kiting arrived in 2001 and has grown year-on-year thanks to the fantastic conditions that the area offers. Flat water lagoons, river mouths and ocean waves,
you'll find it all. There are four tides a day: two high and two low, with the best swell October-November. At full and new moons the best waves are at Prea, Malhada or Por-do-so beach. At low tide the best and flattest conditions are at Guriu river, which is a thrilling downwinder over several kilometres, setting off from Jericoacoara itself. Take a buggy across the national park, 12 kilometres upwind to the cross-shore winds of Prea and you
can also make a nice downwinder back (being careful to come in before Jeri, or taking a wide berth around the point where the windsurfers are to avoid the wind shadow). Due to such a variety of conditions Jeri can provide stacks of kiting for all levels and it's solid for seven months a
WIND, WEATHER & WATER
Winds are cross or cross-onshore, predominantly from the northeast. Trade winds combine with a late morning thermal directly off the northern sea and a typical day of wind begins at 7am, with mild trade winds of 15 - 22 knots from the east. Around noon the heat generated thermal winds from the north combine with the trades to form a strong 20 - 30 knot northeaster. The main wind season is known as the Temporada do Vento and begins in early July, typically blowing through until February, when the rain season usually takes over. The windiest months are August ? November, with formidable stats of 95%. Best time to visit for all levels is between the end of May and the end of February. Water temperatures of 20 - 25°C, so no wetsuits needed, just some good lycra and strong sunscreen of factor 40 - 50. Cooler in the evenings, so bring your hoody.
Jeri is a safe and fantastic place to visit, whether you want to get around on foot, in a buggy or on horseback! Rent a dune buggy or quad, but you're best to do it with a driver who will follow you on a downwinder. Just walking on the Jeri sand is quite an amazing experience. Kiteworldwide offer Jericoacoara as part of their 'Relax Kite Tour' through Prea, Jeri and Tatajuba.
More at: www.kiteworldwide.com
Currency: Brazilian Reais (R$) - £1 = R$3.7 / €1 = R$3.1 / US$ = R$2.3
There is no cash machine in Jeri, the nearest bank is Jijoca, a small village 35 kilometres away. You can pay by card in restaurants, though. There are plenty of tourist agencies and foreign exchanges, too.
Jeri is littered with around a hundred hotels and pousadas covering a wide range of styles, from the simple to more luxurious. All should include breakfast (cafè da manha). When we visited we stayed at the very unique Villa Kalango pousada kite village, complete with a range of comfortable room styles, including palafitas built into the trees, superb food in their bar and restaurant, plus it's the closest hotel to the water by the Sunset Dune. www.vilakalango.com.br
FOOD AND DRINK
Walking around Jericoacoara is a really unique experience. The whole town is sandy and it's full of buzzing restaurants and bars and it's easy to see why it's the most popular destination on this coast. There are supermarkets and a great many restaurants, offering lovely fresh fish, lobster and
shrimp, Brazilian, Italian, Japanese and Arabian foods.
Daily dune buggy excursions, the most popular being Blue Lagoon, Paradise Lagoon and Tatajuba Torta Lagoon. Take an eco walk for the 'Pedra Furada' – the symbol of Jericoacoara – a large rock on the seashore with a large hole in the middle. If you want more action, there's powerkiting, sandsurfing, SUPing, windsurfing, surfing, quad biking, horse-riding, capoeira...
Pinto Martins, Fortaleza (FOR) is 330 kilometres from Jeri and is serviced from the major capitals of Europe by major airlines. The least expensive way to get to Jeri from Fortaleza is by bus, which takes you to Jijoca, where you'll switch to a 4x4 for the last stretch of dirt road: www.fretcar.com.br
Car is of course the most convenient, taking roughly four hours. A driver can pick you up for R450 each way. Kitestrophik and Vila Kalango organise transfers. If you're renting your own car and it's not 4x4 you'll have to leave it just outside of town.
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