Jericoacoara (also known as Jijoca or spelled Gijoca) is a small fishing village come beach hippie resort in Ceará, Brazil, some 300 km west of Fortaleza. Jeri, as it is affectionately known, is the kind of idyllic place where many travelers end up deciding to stay for longer than they had originally planned.
Jericoacoara is a place removed from the hurried modern world of screeching sirens, maniac deadlines, traffic jams and endless lineups. A place where streets are paved with sand, where beaches stretch as far as the eye can see and where warm water marries with palm swaying breezes. Until about 20 years ago, Jericoacoara was still a secluded and simple fishing village. There were no roads, no electricity, no phones, no TV's, no newspapers, and money was rarely used.
Since 1984, the area around Jericoacoara was declared Environmental Protection Area (APA) and became a National Park in 2002. This brought many building restrictions and tourism controls what help to preserve the area. Electricity arrived in the village and today, hot showers and air conditioning are no longer luxury articles. However, illumination of the streets is forbidden by local law.
Most visitors arrive from Fortaleza, changing vehicles in Jijoca, the nearest town to Jeri with paved roads. Then a 40-80 minutes ride passing through humble rural areas, with cashew-nut trees and farm animals on either side of the road. If coming from the west, Sobral might be a stopover, or use Camocim as your alternative gateway.
From Fortaleza to Jericoacoara:
- 4x4 Transport
A 4x4 car can pick you up from any place in Fortaleza and drop you off at your hotel or pousada in Jericoacoara. This is definitely the fastest and most convenient option to get to Jeri. They bring you and your luggage straight to Jeri, without any delays – it is basically a taxi for about 300 km, with air conditioning. The trip takes about 5 hours and costs around R$550 (depending season) for a car (up to 4 persons). All companies they work with are registered and include insurances.
- Package deal Micro Onibus
These little vans or buses leave from the airport and pass at the hotels at Praia de Futuro, Beira Mar and Praia de Iracema to pick up clients. You can buy a complete touristic package, including transport, pousada, local hiking tour and visiting the lagoon at the Jericoacoara National Park for a budget price. They offer a wide range of pousadas, hotels and even apartments for very good prices. Prices start (depending on the season) at around R$300 round trip, with 2 nights pousada/apartment (per person, based on 2 persons). But you can also decide to choose a pousada/hotel yourself and just get the rest of this package tour for about R$ 150 round trip (R$ 75 each way) and the trip takes about 6 hours. Now that is cheaper and faster than a regular bus, except there is a lot more included and it is way more convenient, as you will be picked up from the airport (early in the morning) or hotel and dropped of at your pousada in Jericoacoara. There is always a guide around and some companies offer local assistance for any help or information.
- Buses to Jericoacoara
Fretcar offers a VIP bus, leaving the Rodoviario at 07:50h and passing at the Airport at 08:05h and the Beira Mar, in front of the Praiano Hotel at 08:30 (7,5 hours from Beira Mar / R$ 76 and an Executivo, leaving the Rodoviario at 18:30h (7,5 hours / R$57,40). Check in advance. There might be more buses leaving from the Rodoviaria (bus station) and not all buses are daily available. Also be aware these buses usually delay. Add some hours in between if you have connections. Near Jijoca you change the bus for a jardineira, a lorry with benches, for the last hour of your trip. Prices of these jardineiras might be up to R$ 32. If you choose to go by bus, buy only a bus to or from Jijoca and take a camionete (D20) for the part between Jijoca and Jericoacoara (R$ 15).
Note: Don´t buy local tours in advance. It is usually more expensive and there are lots of operators that offer tours locally (sometimes with a discount).
Some hostels in Fortaleza can organize transport to Jeri for about 75 reais. You will be picked up by a tour company that is taking a bunch of tourists on two or three day tour to Jeri, but you can pay only for the ride there. Don't pay more than 75 (Feb 2016) as they might try to ask for 100.
- Private 4x4 trucks leave for Jijoca as soon as they are full -R$ 100 per person. R$400 for the car. Few departures after dark.
- Car. Taking your own car is not recommended. Even 4x4s get stuck unless the driver is experienced. Note that nowadays you are no longer allowed to park your car in Jericoacoara. At the entrance they created a parking lot where they can keep your car for a fee.
You will need to travel back to Fortaleza (or São Luís), as the nearest international airport is Pinto Martins in Fortaleza, approx. 280 km southeast. Still under construction is a new international airport between Cruz and Jijoca, approx. 30 km from Jericoacoara. The new airport was scheduled to be operational before the end of 2012 however, the date has been shifted to the future on a regular basis. Halfway through 2016 the airport is still not completed.
Jericoacoara is full of sandy pathways and everywhere can be reached by foot. Walking is, in fact, the best way of getting to know Jericoacoara. Only a few streets have names, guide yourself with landmarks and names of shops.
It is recommended that you use footwear, especially on the rocky patches of the beach. Since Jeri doesn’t have any street lamps, a small flashlight can be helpful on those moonless nights. You may occasionally have to share the road with a meandering mule or cow!
- 1 Jericoacoara Beach. Reputedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, although mostly too shallow for real swimming. It is made of very fine gray sand that gets hard on low tide, and is wide and flat. Every evening a crowd climbs the "Por-do-Sol" dune to watch the sunset over the ocean, a rare view in Brazil, as very little of its coast faces west.
Be sure to make a day trip at least up to Lagoa Azul - amongst stunning freshwater lagoons. There are authentic and unspoilt villages nearby where you can stay, if you want to get off the beaten track. for example.
Jeri is full of things to do for the active and extreme as well as for those who wish to relax and recharge.
- Pedra Furada The Arched Rock has become the symbol of Jericoacoara. It offers beautiful vistas from all directions. If you happen to be in Jeri between June 15th and July 30th, you will have the good fortune to witness the sunset right in the middle of the Arch; it's an excellent photo opportunity. Walking east from town along the shore line you'll first pass Malhada Beach, which is a smaller beach popular with surfers. On low tide most of the beach is walkable, otherwise take the higher path up along the Serrote hill. The walk takes about 2 hours in total. You should not do this barefooted; bring footwear for the rocky patches (and occasional snakes!). Depart immediately after sunset, as the night falls quickly. Guided hikes can be arranged at many of the hostels, and this is highly recommendable if you are walking along the beach. Local guides know high and low tides better. If you take the path along the grassy dunes, you may do it on your own. You will probably find other tourist on the way.
- Windsurfing Jericoacoara is one of the best spots in the world for windsurfing and is certainly the best spot in Brazil, for both experienced windsurfers and beginners. Various windsurf centers can be found along the main beach. The most famous is ClubVentos
- [dead link] Helio Windsurf, ☏ +55 88 9946-2199, firstname.lastname@example.org. An excellent place to rent equipment or take a lesson is Club Ventos, which provides the most recent neilpryde, jp and starboard equipment..
- Kitesurfing Jeri is a hot spot for kitesurfing.
- Jeri Kite Zone. Offers plenty of space and flat water.
- Dare2Fly-ClubVentos offers high quality IKO instruction and uses the latest Cabrinha equipment. For more information wwww.clubventos.com
- Kite Center Jeri, email@example.com. The first kite school in Jeri run by the Naish team ride Beto Costa. Instructors are fluent in English and Spanish
- Aloha Kiteschool, ☏ +55 85 9982-6415, firstname.lastname@example.org. IKO instructor and Waroo gear.
- Capoeira At sunset, people gather on the main beach to do capoeira. Lessons can be arranged with one of the Mestres or Capoeiristas. Lessons generally take place in the morning or later afternoon.
- Horseback Riding Ideal for short distances and those who prefer a more rustic style. It is possible to rent a horse for around R$10,00 / hour and visit Pedra Furada (Arched Rock), the nearby hills, dry mangroves or simply gallop along the beach.
- Buggy tours The best way to get to know Jeri's surrounding area. It is best to book a buggy tour at the reception of your hotel or pousada; they know the most experienced and trustworthy local drivers.
- [dead link] Gaia Windsurf (End of Rua de Forro, right on the beach), ☏ +55 88 3669-2150, email@example.com. Alvaro runs this small windsurf rental/school and can tailor packages for whatever you need. Thing don't alway move too fast, but service is good. It's a lot cheaper and more flexible than the bigger Club Ventos, but the equipment is also a bit more worn. Also arranges trips, transfers to/from Forteleza and anything else.
- Ivonne, Rua do Forro (over the post office), ☏ +55 88 9908-6279. 1. Dancing- use your time to learn the local dance Forro, and use your skills Wendesdays and Saturdays in Forro Amelia (after midnight). Contact Ivonne for Salsa, Samba, Afroaxe as well. 30 Reais.
Just along the main street, towards the beach, there are many handicraft shops where you can buy souvenirs and jewelry. Also, there are many narrow streets where you can find sunglasses, T-shirts, Havaianas flip-flops and such.
- OKLOS, Pharmacy Alley (beside Hotel Mosquito Blue). 8h00 - 12h00 & 14h00 to 23h00. Sunglasses for kite & windsurfers, kids and Italian design. from R$ 99.
Although Jericoacoara has only four main streets (all leading to the beach), it hosts a wonderful variety of restaurants and cafés. There's pizza, pasta, meat, fresh fish dishes, crepes, tapioca, and all at very affordable prices. It might take you some time for your stomach to get used to regional seasoning and water. So if you don't want to spend your holidays on the toilet, choose bars and restaurants where hygiene is evident.
- Tempero da Terra, Rua São Francisco. Attracts an incredible amount of flies. Many dishes at R$ 5-6.
- Carcará, Rua do Forró 530, ☏ +55 88 3669-2013. This highly regarded restaurant has a wide variety of seafood dishes, from local specialties to international favorites such as sashimi and ceviche. You can choose between pleasant indoor and outdoor seating areas. Accepts Credit Cards. Price range $$$.
- Sabor a Lenha, Main road and the beach. Open for lunch and dinner. The owner is "Jorge", very popular in Jericoacoara. Everything is cooked in a wood-fired oven. Delicious! Budget $..
- Na casa dela, Main road, next to the ice-cream shop. Typical regional northeastern food in a lovely atmosphere. Mariela and Pablo own as well the ice-cream shop next to the restaurant. It's an old low stone house at the main road, you can't miss it! Only for dinner. Accepts credit cards. Budget $$..
- Café Brasil, Beco do Guaxelo, 65, ☏ +55 88 3669-2272. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of the first bar/restaurant in Jericoacoara, very popular for their breakfasts and sandwiches with homemade bread. Very cozy and lovely music. Accepts credit cards. Budget $..
- Pizza Nômade, Rua da Farmacia, ☏ +55 88 3669-2103. Pizzas on the wood oven, pastas, seafood, meat and salads. Charming place with very good music. Budget $$..
- Casa de Pedra (Main road, next to restaurant Na casa dela). Homemade ice-cream in different flavours. Acai na tigela, served with cereals and banana, is very delicious, and worth trying is also tapioca, filled either with coconut, chocolate, banana or cheese... Budget..
- Naturalmente, On the shore. Good crepe with cosy atmosphere in the sunset. Lobster crepe (R$18); qualho cheese, tomato and basilico (R$9.50).
- ClubVentos Buffet, Rua da Praia (just get to the beach), ☏ +55 88 3669-2288. 9:30.
- Zé Edson (Just off the main avenue). Decent pizzas and burgers, day and night Large pizza R$ 14.
The best place to party is down the main road, at the beach. If you have a weak stomach, then buy your drinks at bars and restaurants. You can also try drinks from the barracas, you will find dozens of them lined up along the street. Of course the standard drink is a Caipirinha. You can also have a Caipiroska (which is the same as caipirinha but prepared with vodka instead of cachaça), or a variant based on another fruit than lemon, e.g. maracujaroska, which has vodka with maracuja (AKA passion fruit).
- [formerly dead link] Sky Bar and Restaurant (Main Road and the beach). open for lunch and dinner until very late at night. Accepts credit cards Mid range $$.
- Chico Drinks, Main Rd (Opposite Planeta Jeri). Chico Drinks is an open air bar on the main road just before it ends up on the beach (where the barracas start). The difference with the barracas is that Chico has bar stools, a blender, and very very cold beer.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
Dozens and dozens of hotels and inns in all price ranges.
- [formerly dead link] Cumelen Bed & Windsurf, Beco do Serrote s/n, ☏ +55 88 3669-2187, +55 88 9601-4106, +54 11 5256-7432 (offices in Argentina), firstname.lastname@example.org. Lovely little guesthouse with excellent breakfast and cozy outdoor social area. A bit off Jeri's nightlife and shops, but only 5 minutes from the beach. Spanish, Portuguese and English spoken.
- Jeri Athome Guesthouse, Rua Principal (Beside Laundry PH Neutro), ☏ +55 88 3669-2078, email@example.com. Blends the home-like amenities of a guesthouse with the chill-out atmosphere of a hostel. Comfortable en-suites, some with private balcony. Free use of a fully equipped kitchen. Large garden and spacious veranda with hammocks. WiFi internet, multilingual owner.
- [dead link] Pousada Juventude Familiar, Rua do Forró. Double R$ 40, negotiable.
- Relax in Brazil, Near Caicara. Great house amongst the lagoons near Lagoa Azul, if you want to get away from it all, in the trees, 16 km from Jeri, in an authentic small community
- Pousada Gincoara, Rua Nazaré Vasconcelos 1772 (3 blocks off the main avenue.), ☏ +55 88 99632-9301. Also has camping in the back yard. Friendly and clean. single/double R$ 30/50, with a/c R$ 40/70.
- Pousada do Serrote, Rua da Igreja, 480, ☏ +55 88 9671-3553, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Quiet and Beautiful Pousada em Jericoacoara, unique. Suites and Chales with Air-con, Tv-LCD, free Wi-Fi, Swimming Pool, etc. Portuguese, English, French and Spanish. From R$ 120.
- [dead link] Pousada Pedra Furada, ☏ +55 88 9671-3553, email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Beach! For those who want to stay very close to it, the Pousada Pedra Furada is ideal in Jericoacoara, being located just two houses from the beach of Jericoacoara on the famous Rua do Forró. Portuguese, English, French and Spanish. From R$ 120.
- [dead link] Pousada Jerimar, ☏ +55 88 9671-3553, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Pousada Jerimar is very comfortable and has an excellent location. From R$ 120.
- Pousada Maurizio, Rua Principal. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. Nice Italian owned property. Nice admosphere, bar and breakfast. Good rooms with A/C. Good value. R$ 80 for double.
- [dead link] Pousada Tirol, Rua São Francisco, 202, ☏ +55 88 3669-2006. Good breakfast until 11:00. Dorm R$ 32, Single R$ 50, Double R$ 75, Camping R$ 8, Discounts for HI cardholders..
- Recanto do Barão, Rua do forró, 433, ☏ +55 88 3669-2136, +55 85 3266-4005. Fantastic breakfast, air-con, hot water, two pools, internet, laundry service, friendly atmosphere. Owner fluent in English and Spanish. Double R$90-120 low season lat=.
- [dead link] Vila Bela Vista, ☏ +55 88 9962-9810, +55 88 3669-92359, email@example.com. Number one on Trip Advisor! Unique and friendly bed and breakfast with 13 comfortable rooms: great mattresses, free WiFi, air-con, hot water, pool, decks and more. Owners fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Rooms from R$ 370.
- [dead link] Pousada Aqua, Rua do Forro 147, ☏ +55 85 9755-1222, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14h00, check-out: 11h00. very nice atmosphere, delicious breakfast served until 12hh00. Closed to good restaurants, bars and the beach. Free WiFi, air-con, minifridge, safe box, hot shower, tv. Portuguese, English and Italian spoken. Rooms from R$ 140.
- [formerly dead link] Mosquito Blue. One of the nicer hotels in the area. Basic accommodations in a beautiful setting. The hotel also offers private transportation to / from Fortaleza.
- Hotel Villa Terra Viva, Rua do Forro, ☏ +55 88 9967-8739, email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Great view to the ocean, big swimming-pool with jacuzzi, delicious breakfast-buffet and very comfortable rooms: Thats Hotel Villa Terra Viva, a very familiar four star hotel built in Portuguese colonial style. R$ 170 - 320.
- Pousada Calanda, Rua das Dunas (approx. 100 meters from the beach), ☏ +55 88 3669-2285. Calanda offers bed & breakfast with a flowerful garden, many relax areas, and a swimming pool. The breakfast buffet includes real fruit juice, and freshly prepared eggs, pancakes, or tapioca (pancakes made of manioc flower) on demand. Calanda is located close to the beach next to the famous Sunset Dune.
The small pharmacy in Jeri has a limited stock of medications.
- Area Code 88
- There are many cafés where you can access internet in Jeri and hotels where you can connect your laptop using wireless connection.
- Best option for information, internet, bus- and flight tickets is Global Connection, on Rua do Forro. They can help you to get around in Jeri - as well as to get out of Jeri to any place you want.
- Many pousadas and restaurants will accept Visa or MasterCard. Some hotels and restaurants change dollars or euros for reais, at poor rates.
- You can get cash advances on your credit card at the supermarket Tem Tudo, at a 10-15% commission. There are NO cash machines in Jericoacoara, the nearest being 23km away in Jijoca.
- Traveller Cheques are NOT accepted.
- Laundries are not plentiful. As of January 2020, there are two that wash clothes, the others only washed hotel linen. One within a hostel (central hostel) charges R$ 20/kg, the other "public" laundry charges R$ 2,50 per item (e.g. t-shirt). The hostel America del sul rents their washing machine for self service at R$ 30.
It is possible to charter a dune buggy to virtually anywhere. They will take you to the fresh water lagoons for about R$ 30 per person.
Innumerable fresh water pools, or lagoons, are located throughout the expanses of dunes that surround Jeri. Near the village there are only small pools mostly frequented by cows and horses. However, if you venture into the dunes, you will soon find lagoons and small rivers running as far as the eye can see in the "valleys" that lie between the dunes. The bottom of these pools is sandy, which makes them excellent for swimming, wading, and water sports. Near constant winds make the lagoons a favorite spot for wind surfing. Because the sand constantly changes shape and alters the landscape, the locations of the pools change as well. To discover a favorite swimming spot in one of these lagoons is to carve out a unique and ephemeral natural experience that is only more beautiful for the fact that it can't be repeated next year.
- Day-long buggy tours are offered to the village of Tatajuba, which had to be moved to escape invading sand dunes! If you are heading west, consider staying for a night.
You can go to the Lençois Maranhenses from Jeri although it is much easier to get there from São Luis. From Jeri there are 3 options (all are offered by globalconnection.tur.br in Jericoacoara:
- Get a 4x4 Toyota Hilux or SW4 directly to Barreirinhas or Caburé which takes around 7 hours, costs R$960 for up to 4 people. There are also several places that offer a tour of 3 days for the Lençois for R$1500 (only transport). Bargain the price, especially during low season!
- Since November 2017 they offer transport by Truck and Mini Bus between Jeri and Parnaiba (R$75) - and the next day Parnaiba to Barreirinhas (R$100), with the option of tours to do in Parnaiba and Lencois Maranhenses. They can also arrange a Mini Bus from Barreirinhas to Sao Luis (R$75). So finally it is possible to book the whole trip from Jeri to Sao Luis, including visiting Parnaiba Delta and the Lencois Maranhenses park.
- Get buses and vans from Jeri to Barreirinhas via Camocim, Parnaíba, Tutoia, Paulino Neves. It takes two days (one night in Tutoia) and costs around R$150.
|Routes through Jijoca de Jericoacoara|
|São Luís ← Parnaíba ←||W E||→ Fortaleza → END|