No More Beach Blues
As a general rule of thumb, the harder a destination is to arrive at, the more pristine and therefore more spectacular it must be.
Jericoacoara, Brazil, isn’t the easiest of places to reach; the nearest airport is a five hour 4×4 car ride away in Fortaleza, and budget airlines don’t fly there yet. In Jeri, as locals call it, there are sand paths instead of paved roads and although both electricity and the internet have recently become available, the tiny fishing village still feels totally disconnected from the 21st century. Colossal sand dunes, legendary sunsets and chilled beach parties attract bohemian voyagers from all over – this could be the Goa of the Carribbean – minus the hard drugs and techno.
Slightly off to the west of Jericoacoara is the Rancho do Peixe, comprised of 20 hand-thatched bungalows on stilts set amongst a truly Robinson Crusoe-esque backdrop of swaying palm trees, supreme tranquility and nothing else. There is an unobtrusive, lagoon-like pool and a mini spa hut for massages, but when not enjoying the waves guests will mostly find themselves unwinding with a caipirina on the hammocks.
Brazilian cuisine is eclectic, colorful and pretty heavy on the gut. The national dish, feijoada, comes in many regional variations including galinhada, peixada, panelada - essentially hearty rice and bean based stews with chicken, seafood or beef. Sweet offerings are just as intense but more palatable; chunky banana, coconut and tapioca cakes. However the Ceará coastline is renowned for superb fresh seafood and somewhat strangely, excellent pizzeria’s, as many expat Italians have set up shop here. If the calorie count concerns you, just hoist your bum onto a board, literally; because of mighty winds that blow year round this is the ultimate surfer’s paradise. The breeze also helps keep the shocking heat at bay; Jeri is after all (almost) slap bang on the equator. Rainy season and peak tourist season both fall around the holiday period from November to February so it’s generally muito, muito melhor to visit any other time of the year.