Looking for a true getaway? Put Praia de Jericoacoara on your list. This heavenly beach area has amazing dunes to discover and fantastic winds for kite surfing, but there are some important tips to keep in mind before you go.
Getting there is not easy
Unfortunately this piece of paradise is not a just simple Uber ride away from the airport. The closest major city is Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará. Travelers can take a bus from the city or hire a transfer service, and the trip will take about six or seven hours, depending on your transportation mode. Eventually all travelers arriving by car or bus will need to switch to dune buggies to navigate the park area and arrive at the beach.
Bring cash in the local currency
There are no ATMs in Jericoacoara. Although more restaurants and pousadas are accepting credit cards, it’s best to have cash ready, and you’ll need it for any activities you want to try in the area, like kite surfing. It’s also best to bring a variety of bills, not just R$100 notes that the ATM gives you: locals will appreciate your smaller bills when it comes time to pay.
There’s no bad time to go
The weather in Jericoacoara is always gorgeous, but depending on what you’re interested in doing, certain months may be preferable. If you’re interested in wind and kite surfing, go during the summer (October to February), when there are generally cloudless, windy days. During the winter (March to July) you can expect some tropical rains that normally don’t last long. Expect mostly sunny skies and some hotter temperatures that can reach 95F (35C).
You don’t need to rent a car
The best way to get to Jericoacoara is to book a transfer (you can usually do this through your accommodations) and there is no need for a car once you arrive. The streets are literally made of sand, and renting your own dune buggy is an option, though you should stay clear of the dunes so you don’t get lost. Your pousada or hostel can help with transfers anywhere else.
Health facilities are limited
There is no hospital in Jericoacoara, just a rather small health clinic. The next closest health center is an hour away via car in Jijoca, again with limited services. The closest hospital is three hours away in Sobral, so bring any medications you may need. The pharmacy in Jericoacoara is also small with a short supply of medicine.
Make reservations in advance
Jericoacoara may be difficult to get to, but it is becoming ever more popular. There are a limited number of pousadas and hostels in the area, so you’ll want to book your accommodations in advance to make sure you don’t drive hours to get there only to have no place to stay. More and more pousadas are offering online booking to make it even easier to plan your trip.
Respect the natural surroundings
Jericoacoara isn’t just any beach setting. It is within a preservation area and bordered by parklands, so keep in mind that any trash should always go in the bins. Additionally you’ll need to stick to marked trails and leave any rocks or seashells where they are. The natural beauty of the place is part of what makes it so stunning, so remember to respect it and the locals who live there.
Bring your own toiletries – and pretty much everything else you may need
There are many perks to heading to a secluded beach area surrounded by rolling sand dunes. Hunting for toiletries and other travel necessities isn’t one of them. The availability of products in Jericoacoara is limited, so everyday items you’ll need, like sunscreen, come at a higher cost and lower quality. Do yourself a favor and bring whatever you may need in terms of personal hygiene products.
The sunset is phenomenal
Jericoacoara may be difficult to get to and have some limitations, but you should remember that it’s practically heaven on Earth, despite the drawbacks. One thing you must know before heading there is that the sunset is extraordinary, because it is one of the few places you can see what’s called the Emerald Sunset. It’s a phenomenon that happens just as the edge of the sun sinks below the horizon. It turns a bright green color for just an instant, and is one of the reasons Jericoacoara is worth the effort to visit.