Mar 7, 2010

Jericoacoara is still an authentic fishermens´village with special privileges

by Antonella Kann
Jericoacoara, a fishermen´s village located 330 kms from Fortaleza, was discovered by the hippies in the 70´s and remained untouched by “modern” civilization until a decade ago, as even electricity was unavailable. And when tourists slowly appeared, many from overseas, Jeri – as it is called among the Brazilians – became a favorite spot for those in search of unspoilt natural beauty, calm sea, hospitable people and warm climate.

Although now the village is boosting with all types of charming restaurants serving from typical seafood to sophisticated fusion recipes, cosy inns as well as boutique hotels, attractive shops and a wide range of outdoor activities offered by several local tour operators, it has not lost its original languorous and laid-back atmosphere, which are genuine characteristics of the northeastern part of Brazil.

The coast of Ceará runs parallel to the Equator, which makes it different from the rest of the Brazilian coastline. For this reason, the best time to go to Jeri is from June to January, which locals describe as “summer”, when it never rains. This period also attracts windsurfers, as weather conditions are perfect for the practice of all sports related to sailing.

Getting to Jericoacoara is not so complicated: from Fortaleza airport you can either rent a car at the airport ( Hertz, Avis, Localiza, Unidas, Europecar & other companies) and drive along the BR-222. Best option is to leave you car in Jijoca and have your hotel provide you with adequate 4x4 transfer from there to Jeri and back at the end of your stay. Your car will be kept safe too. It´s not advisable to risk driving by yourself as the sandy road is tricky.

One of the palafita´s room in Vila Kalango
Consider staying in one of these pousadas: Pousada Vila Kalango Charm and rusticity combined in comfy accommodations amidst coconut trees. If you can, book the rooms perched on “palafitas” (perched 5meters above the sand) with panoramic view to the sea, beach and dunes. Luxury with an Asian touch. Perfect choice for couples in search of total privacy. Check their interesting rates for March, April and May. Or MosquitoBlue .Top of the list hotel with large accommodations and international standard of comfort. Large swimming pool. Ideal for families with small children. Located in front of the beach and also at stone´s throw of the center of the village.

As the beaches are part of a National Park, you can walk for miles without a soul on sight. The sea is calm and the water warm. Now and then, there is a very simple and rustic hut selling beer and coconut water to quench your thirst and tempt you with grilled shrimps. On the other end, the devices used to carry the tourists from one place to another have been upgraded.

Though donkey rides are still available and quite folkloric, nowadays it became common practice to rent a buggy with a driver (it is mandatory) and explore the region through the coastline while the tides are down. This rustic vehicle with large tires is perfectly adequate for sandy terrain and the most reliable way to reach other attractive faraway sites and beaches. The journeys are thrilling as it will usually include river crossing and experience roller coasting on white sand dunes. Consider Tatajuba, 36 kilometers from Jeri, or the Blue Lagoon where you can soak in dark sweet water.

Mangue Seco is only 5 kilometers away from the village and Jijoca´s lagoon is an excellent spot for windsurfing. But before booking with the local tour operators located in the centre of the village, compare prices and discuss the fare beforehand. The former most attractive program still persists: walk or rent a horse and head for Pedra Furada, the rock formation with a hole- the eternal post card. It is a one- hour ride or two-hours hike to this small beach along trails and cliffs, and the view is fabulous. You can spend some time in the beach or take a rest before returning.

Beware of the heat and always protect head and body from the sun, which is known to be even stronger in this part of Brazil. And while talking about the sunset, it is still the most sought-after show on earth. Daily, around 5:30 p.m., a crowd begins the ascend to the 30 meters high Sunset Dune, the highest in Jeri. Some people walk, others ride up on horseback, with the same goal in mind: to watch step by step the rays as they start spreading across the ocean while the sun gently falls into the line of the horizon and disappear into the sea as an enormous ball of fire. When it´s over, the public cheers, acclaims and applauds.

The ritual of climbing the dune to watch the sunset

1 comment: