Beer: Local: R$4 Import: R$7
Restaurant Meal: R$20 – 100 p.p
Accommodation: R$350– 800 per room
THE LUREIt'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.
THE SET-UPIn 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 Octover-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 year!
WIND, WEATHER AND WATERWinds are cross or cross-onshore, predominantly from the northeast. Right in front of Jeri town it's cross-off, but most of the kiteboarding takes place along the enourmously long beach where it becomes more cross shore. 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% and frequently getting over 30 knots in the afternoon. If you like strong, long downwinders it's heaven. Best time to visit for all levels is between the end of May and the end of February. Water temperatures of 20 – 25ºC, so no wetsuits needed, just some good lycra and strong sunscreen of factor 40 – 50. Cooler in the evenings, so bring your hoody.
ACCOMMODATIONJeri 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
SCHOOLSKITESTROPHIK Kite Surf Club have been based in Jericoacoara on the main beach seafront for six years and teach all levels on the best equipment from North, Ion, Best kiteboarding, Mystic, Fanatic and F2. They offer kite, surf, SUP lessons, rentals, sales, storage, snack bar as well as transfers to the main kite sites by buggy, 4x4, horse and cart or horseback.
Languages spoken by instructors: English, Portguese, Spanish, French and Italian
ACCREDITED BY: IKO
email@example.com +55 88 99 299 339 / +55 85 96 896 986
+44 (0) 20 36 085 777
+44 (0) 1273 844919
NO WINDDaily 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...
GET AROUNDJeri 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
CURRENCYBrazilian 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.
FOOD AND DRINKWalking 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.
AIRPORTPinto 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.
Dahab | Egypt
Dahab, a hotspot for wind sports due to its world class, reliable, safe learning conditions in the lagoons
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.
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
One of the most consistently windy destination in the word, people are only just now beginning to believe all that they see and hear
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!