Jericoacoara Destination Guide
Whether you're a water sport enthusiast looking for adrenalin-pumping wind and kite surfing, or you want to get away from the worries of the world, Jericoacoara offers an abundance of vacation options. This once quaint fishing community, without electricity or modcons, has developed into a secluded travel haven that can be a challenge to reach; but the reward is more than worth the effort.
In 1984, Jericoacoara was deemed an ‘Environment Protection Area’, and in 2002, the area became a National Park. Often it is featured as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The name ‘Jericoacoara’ is perhaps a combination of yuruco (hole) and cuara (turtle), meaning ‘hole of the turtles’ in the Tupi-Guarani language. This probably refers to the fact that sea turtles come to dig holes here and laid their eggs. Though, some fishermen believe that the name is inspired by the Serrote hill that stands by the village. When seen from the sea, the hill resembles a jacarequara or an alligator.
Things to see and do in Jericoacoara:
Click in the links to the right or scroll further down the page to find out about the best Jericoacoara attractions...
As the day comes to a close, the crowds climb to the top of the famous "Sunset Dune" for the best views of the retiring sun. The dune is just to the west of the village and overlooks the sea for outstanding views.
This stone church was made by the locals and there is a tower nearby that affords lovely views over the bay. There is also a neighbouring lighthouse with a 360 degree of Jericoacoara the surrounding area.
The iconic ‘Arched Rock’ is a symbol of Jericoacoara and is a remarkable sight in the Rocky Region that has been weathered by the waves and frames the ocean. If there is luck, one can catch the sun set through the centre of the natural rock formation annually from July 15th to the 30th. The trek out to this arched rock usually takes about 2 hours in total (1 hour there – 1 hour back) and one should start out east from the village and walk along the coastline. First, pass Malhada Beach, which is a smaller beach in style with windsurfers and then continue to follow the water for 2 km (if the tide is low) or stroll on the higher road passed the Serrote hill. At the end of the path, it is possible to see out in all directions and perfect for photo opportunities. Be sure to wear good walking shoes boots for the trek because there are quite a few rocky stretches.
25 km from Jeri is Tatajuba, a village accessible via buggy or 4 wheel drive vehicle since you have to cross the river and the dunes. Over time, some of these dunes have undergone crystallisation and have formed sand sculptures. There is another fresh water lagoon here. You can enjoy fresh fish here, take a jangada ride and laze in a hammock that dips into the cool water.
By way of a one hour exhilarating buggy ride over sand dunes, tourists can arrive to picturesque fresh water lagoons that lie southeast of Jericoacoara. Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon) and Paraiso (Paradise) are neighbouring fresh water lakes that share white sandy beaches and Caribbean coloured waters. There are some well appointed restaurants around the water with delicious food and refreshing drinks and the tourism has been develop so that one can go windsurfing and sailing on the waters; motorised equipment is prohibited. It is advisable to check in advance before making the trip over the sand dunes because the water levels can fluctuate during dry weather.
The coastal fishing village of Mangue Seco is about 5 km from Jeri. The speciality of this village is that it has a small fresh water lake surrounded by long dried mangrove, which creates a ghoulish look.
Guriu marks the end of the Environmental Protection Area in the west. It is a small fishing community at the mouth of a river. The friendly fisherman will take you through the mangroves to see the sea horses that live here.
Jericoacoara is one of the best places for windsurfing. You can rent excellent equipment or take lessons around here.
Kite surfing is catching up big time in Jeri. You can try it out at Sunset Dune, Kite beach and several other beaches which offer flat water.
Capoeira is a dance form which was actually a cry for liberation, introduced by the slaves from Angola and other African countries. You can see the Capoeristas practising their art at the base of Sunset Dune.
As evening dawn, you can see people dressed in white moving to the rhythm of the berimbau - a simple string instrument. You can learn the art from Capoeiristas by arranging special lessons.
The night sky in Jeri appears like jewel-studded velvet. It is a treat for lovers, astronomers and star-gazers alike. The gently swaying palms brush the skyline as the stars perform brilliantly.
The mangroves are ideal for paddling and exploring the region. You can embark on this adventure just 20 minutes away from Jericoacoara village.
The best place for this is Sunset Dune. Sand boarding is very similar to snowboarding, with the additional benefits of dressing up in shorts and being bare-footed. You can rent sand boards from the main street.
Visitors to Jeri are very attracted to ideal conditions for wind surfing here. The gentle waves of the bay suit beginners and long boarders. You can ride bigger waves at Malhada beach. The waves are bigger and winds lighter between December and April.
Dune Buggy Tours
No visit to Jeri is complete without this. You can ride popular routes and explore the region. All Jeri hotels and pousadas have information about dune buggies.
You can ride a horse and visit Pedra Furada as well as the hills and dry mangroves nearby. Horseback is ideal for short trips. Guides are available to manage the horses for first-timers.
In Jeri, people usually slip into slumber straight after an early dinner to wake up by midnight and dance until dawn. You can catch all the action at the bottom of the Main Street. Several bars and restaurants dot this area and you can enjoy the famous caipirinha or a chilled beer.