“I have left my heart in so many places”… and a big part stays in Jeri!
This small fishing village in Ceará on the north-east coast of Brazil is the kind of idyllic place where backpackers (like me), get stuck for weeks, months even! Jericoacoara (nicknamed “Jeri”) is famous throughout Brazil for windsurfing and kitesurfing, but these aren’t the only attractions of this tropical paradise. Surrounded by beautiful wide beaches and sand dunes, it’s the perfect place to relax during your backpacking adventure.
There are no street lights in Jericoacoara – well, there are no streets. There are just small sandy paths that lead you to and from the many pousadas (inns) to the many restaurants. During the night you’ll find live music everywhere in the village and you can enjoy a Caipirinha sitting in one of the beautiful wooden rooftop bars.
Don’t get me wrong, Jeri is by no means undiscovered, it is pretty touristy and the place is full of backpackers and Brasilians alike. (Can you blame them!?) Yet somehow the small fishing village still retains that ‘edge of the world’ feeling.
Where to stay in Jericoacoara?
There are many hostels, hotels and pousadas in Jeri, and whatever your budget, you’ll find a place to stay. Whether you’re looking to be a flashpacker or a budget backpacker, there are many options.
- Hostal America do Sul: Located just outside of the centre, this hostel is probably the cheapest place to stay in Jeri. (You can get a bed for 4o Reals.) There are loads of hammocks, a kitchen where you can cook, free decent breakfast and a very relaxing atmosphere.
- Hostal Jeri Arte: Creative people are more than welcome at this hostel! Great place to stay with a really nice atmosphere, beautiful tropical garden and a kitchen. Dorms cost 50 Reals. If this place is full, the owners have a sister hostel up the road, Hostel Jeri Arte Pool.
- Essenza Hotel: Splash out and stay at this luxurious hotel! To be honest, most backpackers cannot afford staying in the Essenza Hotel (a room with a private pool will set you back over US$300 per night, but you should at least have a peek at it from the beach!)
What to do in and around Jericoacoara?
- Lagoa do Paraíso
This amazing lagoon in the National Park of Jericoacoara has beautiful turqouise water and seems more like the ocean than a lake. There are wooden constructions where you can relax in a hammock, being refreshed by the water of the lake. To get there take a 4×4 car for 15 Reals from San Francisco street in Jeri village. (The same vehicles go to Jijoca.)
- Pedra Furada
Just three kilometres away from Jericoacoara you can see an impressive rock archway in the sea! Just keep walking from the main beach, but be careful as the high tide comes fast, so the beach disappears! Walk up to the dunes and enjoy the sea views until you get to this huge archway. To walk back you can also take the direct path to the village. Or if you are too lazy, wagons pulled by donkeys will pull you!
There are also plenty of tour agencies who offer day trips in beach-buggys to the above two places, as well as to other lagoons and dunes around Jeri, where you can go sandboarding!
Surfing, kite-surfing, wind-surfing, stand-up-paddling – you can do every kind of water sport in Jericoacoara! Loads of schools offer lessons or day packages to learn, or you can also just rent the equipment and try it yourself.
How to get there?
- Fretcar runs buses from Fortaleza to the city of Jijoca (4-5 hours, 45 Reals), where you have to change to a 4×4 car (15 Reals) to get to Jeri, as you cannot enter there by bus. Getting there driving through the sand dunes is an adventure in itself!
Where to go next?
- Canoa Quebrada: Further down the coast you’ll find this hippie Village with beautiful, deserted beaches.
- Pipa: Want to see dolphins right next to the beach? Head south to Natal and change buses to beautiful Pipa.
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park: Head north to this unique national park where you’ll find amazing white and sandy dunes and beautiful freshwater lagoons. A little hard to get from Jeri, but not impossible. Between March – September is the best time to visit, as this is when the rainwater builds to create natural lakes between the dunes.
About the writer: This article was written by Anne Schmitz. Check out her Facebook page ‘Anne’s Road’ here!