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The rustic beauty of Jericoacoara and its beach are beginning to draw more and more visitors. It’s an enchanting place of clear water lagoons, soft sand dunes and consistently sunny weather. Discover Culture Trip’s top 10 things to do in this piece of paradise.
Jericoacoara is well known for its perfect conditions for kite surfing, a high intensity sport gaining popularity throughout Brazil. Book an introductory lesson and experience the beach in a totally different way. If you’re interested in other water sports, there is also plenty of surfing, windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding to get your fill of salt water and waves.
You’ll need to take a dune buggy just to arrive in Jericoacoara, but it’s worth another trip just for fun. Book a tour on a buggy or jeep, or for a slower pace see if there’s a horseback ride available, or pick up a sand board and surf the dunes. Either way you’ll discover the otherworldly beauty of the dunes and their importance as part of the natural environment of Jericoacoara.
The azure waters are an obvious highlight of Jericoacoara’s beach scene, but instead of just soaking up the sun on shore, it’s worthwhile to get out on the water. Take a sailboat out for a peaceful but invigorating look around the area, which is particularly enchanting at sunset.
Although Jericoacoara is a bit out of the way – in fact it only recently received electricity – it’s not without some special charms when it comes to shopping. Along the main strip in the center of town there are many artisanal shops stocked with items made by local craftsmen. They often use natural elements, like seeds, shells and stones to create their works of art, or even recycled and reclaimed materials.
The gorgeous landscape of Jericoacoara is punctuated at the end of the beach by Pedra Furada, a beautiful rock formation that has a natural archway through the middle. This is the perfect spot for a dramatic beach photo, but be prepared to wait a few minutes to get your shot, as sometimes a crowd forms at this natural beauty, all waiting to take a selfie.
One of the best views of Jericoacoara isn’t found on the beach; it’s up on the Serrote Hill, where the lighthouse is located. From there you can get a stunning 360-degree view of the area, including the dunes and the ocean. It’s worth the trek at sunrise or sunset, and often horseback riding tours will come through the area to enjoy the view.
Although the ocean is lovely, the lagoons in Jericoacoara also warrant some attention. They have crystal clear waters that are calm enough for even the most timid swimmer. One of the most relaxing spots is at Lagoa do Paraíso – or Paradise Lagoon – which has hammocks set over the water, perfect for an afternoon nap.
The local church is a simple but beautiful work of stone, and is known by any of these three names: A Igreja de Jericoacoara, Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima, or Igreja Nossa Senhora da Consolação. Whatever name you give it, it is an excellent location to discover the history of Jericoacoara and take in a panoramic view of the area from the church tower. Every year on December 13 – the date of the church’s inauguration – the locals hold a huge festival that attracts thousands.
After the sun has set but before the nightlife kicks in, head to the base of the dune to watch the capoeiristas practice this blend of martial arts, dance and acrobatics. It’s a mesmerizing experience, as the two capoeiristas dodge kicks and weave in and out of each other’s reach. This time-honored tradition is practiced throughout Brazil, and is a worthwhile sight to watch in the tranquil settings of Jericoacoara’s dunes.
For another water sport that requires no wind or waves, head to Mangue Seco, about three miles (five kilometers) from Jericoacoara. Mangue Seco is, like Jericoacoara, a small fishing village, but it also has a fresh water lake and dried mangrove forests, which gave the town its name. Take a kayak through the waters all around the area of Jericoacoara to see more of this unique environment.