AVERAGE COSTSBeer: Local: R$4 Import: R$7
Restaurant Meal: R$10 – 80 pp
Accommodation: R$60 – 1000 pppn
THE LUREThe first main kite spot 40 minutes north of Fortaleza airport is the fishing village of Cumbuco, with its golden beaches and conditions for every type of riding style and level. 2,800 hours of sunshine per year, you'll also be mixing it with more pro riders than anywhere else as it's such a consistent training location and a lot of fun off the water, too.
THE SET-UPFind a super long season with mild air and ocean temperatures and strong, consistent southeast trade winds, cross or cross-onshore from the right that blow from June right the way through to February. Cumbuco is the most well known kiting spot in Brazil. The village has a six kilometre long, sandy beach to kitesurf from, so there is always plenty of space and there are pousadas and apartments spread along most of it. There's a small shorebreak just off the beach and then choppy water behind that and some sandbanks that create some small waves. The infamous Cauipe Lagoon is six kilometres downwind of Cumbuco, and is easy to downwinder or buggy ride to and there's always a buggy to give you a lift back. The water in the lagoon is shallow and flat, there are no concrete buildings, just sand, coconut trees and a couple of beach restaurants. Lots of PKRA riders head there through the season to perfect their skills.
Cumbuco can be the start of constant downwinders stretching over hundreds of kilometres with sandy beaches and lagoons the whole way, and you can join guided trips allowing you to cover a lot of that distance on your board. Pecem port can be seen from Cumbuco downwind in the distance 35 kilometres away and can produce clean, peeling waves. From there the list goes on all the way to Barra Grande and beyond (check out the rest of this guide!). There really are so many spots!
WIND, WEATHER AND WATERIt's windy here from June through to January 99% of the days, averaging a respectable 20 knots coming in cross- to cross-onshore from the right and very stable. Early season bring your 12, but from August onwards your nine metre will be the workhorse (generally, the further north you head, the windier it gets). Believe all you hear. It's unreal! Windguru and Windfinder always show 15 – 30 knots, but that's only trade winds and doesn't take into the account the rising speeds with the thermals from the sand dunes behind the village. Daytime temperatures around 29°C / 84°F, dropping to 23°C / 73°F at night. The water temperature sits at a comfy 27°C / 80°F for the majority of the year.
ACCOMMODATIONChoose between hotels and guesthouses (pousadas), most of which are small and cosy, or rent an apartment / house with a group or if staying for a longer period. Windtown is an intimate Beach Resort nestled within swaying palm trees and is directly on the beach, just 800 metres from the village centre - close enough to easily get to, but far enough away to feel peaceful. Busiest periods are November and Christmas/New Year. Best periods are September, first weekend in December and last weeks in January when it's quieter and the wind is still good.
SCHOOLSWINDTOWN CENTRE is located directly on the kitesurf beach, 800 metres from Cumbuco village centre and they teach all levels all year on Airush, Brunotti and Mystic gear. They also offer accommodation at the Windtown resort, have a restaurant and bar, wifi throughout the resort and a masseuse to ease those aching muscles.
Languages spoken by staff: English, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish.
+55 85 8596 8847
NO WINDCumbuco is the perfect place to relax or be active, with horse riding, sandboarding, buggy tours, yoga, mountain tours and partying.
GET AROUNDMost accommodation is just a short walk from the few central streets. Otherwise take a taxi for longer distances. There's no need to hire a car.
CURRENCYBrazilian Reais (R$) - £1 = R$4 / €1 = R$3 / US$ = R$2.5.
Make sure you always have cash at hand. There are several ATM machines in the airport and you're best to withdraw while you're there as the two ATMs in Cumbuco don't accept Visa and are temporamental. While we were there we withdrew cash and did our main grocery shopping from Caucaia 30 minutes back up the road towards Fortaleza (we got a taxi). If you travel up the coast it's also difficult to find an ATM that will work with international cards, however you can often pay by card. While you don't need a hire car the whole time, you'd be missing out if you didn't take one up the coast for a few days on your trip. There are so many spots to ride!
FOOD AND DRINKThere are over 30 restaurants serving local fish dishes to European and Asian cuisine, but it's not as cheap as it once was, but still cheaper than Europe. There are also three basic supermarkets for your essentials. There are a couple of lively clubs, too with a very eclectic mix of people. Thirty kilometres back up the road, Fortaleza is a big city with a population of three million. Keep your wits about you, and join a group trip if you can, but you'll find plenty of entertainment there if you need more!
AIRPORTFrom Fortaleza Pinto Martins (FOR) it's just a 30 kilometres to Cumbuco. Check with your accommodation for transfers.
Lake Como | Italy
Just an hour from Milan and home of the Italian Freestyle Champion, Stefano Martinelli, you can be sure you’ll pack in the riding time on Lake Como. Mix your kitesurfing trip with beautiful food, historical site visits and there’s also a cable park filled with kickers and sliders just a ten minute bike ride from the spot of Colico.
Baraka Charters | The Caribbean
Embark on a week-long quest for waves and flat water spots in crystal-clear, warm seas, many that are only accessible by boat, creating your own dynamic adventure through the pristine Caribbean oceans. You’ll anchor at idyllic spots around remote tropical islands with the thrill of launching directly off the boat. Your kite spot will extend to the horizon, shared with only the handful of riders also onboard. A change of scenery everyday, this is the the freshest of experiences you could hope to have.
Cocos Keeling Islands | Australia
Warm, flat aqua-blue waters that you’ll find here are like the kiting conditions you see in your dreams. Perfect for beginner and advanced riders wanting 15 – 20 knot winds morning, noon and night. There’s no wonder that The Cocos Islands are growing in reputation for blissful kiteboarding and if you’re lucky you can kite with the turtles, reef sharks and manta rays.
Kalpitiya | Sri Lanka
Experience phenomenal kite safari opportunities or stay right at your boutique hotel situated right on the flat water lagoon, with the option of riding on the sea. You can even watch the conditions from the pool!
Ulcinj | Montenegro
A new kiting hotspot on mainland Europe is being developed in Montenegro, former Yugoslavia. Ulcinj (pronounced: ‘Ooltseenie’), the southernmost town in Montenegro features a 14 kilometre long sandy beach and super steady side-onshore thermal winds that blow every day in the summer!
Keros | Limnos | Greece
Keros is a super safe sandy kitesurfing bay with a variety of conditions, suitable for all. The whole set up is within a protected ecosystem where you can spot wildlife such as rabbits, flamingos and rare species of flora.
The Algarve | Portugal
Glassy morning wakeboarding or surfing sessions are the perfect way to kick the early hours off, then it’s over to an afternoon of regular 25 knot wind speeds for some kiting action, changing spots a few times a week.
Sotavento | Fuerteventura
A year-round kiting holiday-makers’ favourite, Sotavento has a huge wide-open tropical beach land where you can ride the warm, shallow lagoon or hop over to the bright blue ocean for more bump ‘n’ jump action. Check out the stats – it blows here!