Jericoacoara: Brazil’s best kept secret

There are few places in the world that remain truly untouched, yet an adventure through northern Brazil took Latin America expert, Jenny, to a real undiscovered gem on the Atlantic coast. Unequivocally off the beaten track, Jericoacoara is a little village with a big heart that welcomes all to its sand dusted streets and sun baked shores. With its otherworldly landscapes, enchanting allure and famed sunsets, we’re sure it won’t stay secret for long, here’s why… 

Located on the northern coast of Brazil, lapped by the Atlantic and only a stone’s throw away from the equator lies Jericoacoara. A tiny fishing village which captivates and enchants every traveler who stumbles across it. And it is somewhere you do literally stumble across. Until about twenty years ago, Jericoacoara had no road network or electricity and money hardly ever changed hands. Street lighting is still forbidden there and the few restaurants that spill out onto its five sandy streets are lit up by hanging lanterns and candles. Whilst there, it is easy to forget the rest of the world even exists as you sit under the stars on the sand with a Caipirinha in hand and live music thrumming away beside you.

Accessing the village is tricky and involves a thrilling drive across sand dunes and beaches from the nearby coastal town of Jijoca. As Jericoacoara now sits within a National Park there is no road into or out of it, and only 4×4 vehicles, motorbikes and dune buggies are able to make the sandy journey from Jijoca. Direct flights from Sao Paolo into Jericoacoara’s brand new airstrip are expected to start running from December. However, for the time being, those wanting to access the village by air fly into Fortaleza, which is a five-hour drive away.

Jericoacoara’s location enables it to receive consistently strong winds between July and November, encouraging a steady influx of kite surfers and wind surfers throughout these months. It also enjoys sunshine and warm temperatures for most of the year making any time a good time to visit

Aside from kite surfing and wind surfing, other daytime activities in Jericoacoara include dune buggy rides, sailing, horseback rides and trips into the National Park to visit its fresh water lagoons. In the evening the village comes alive, triggered by a steady trickle of people wandering off the beach and onto its sandy streets once the sun has set. Locals and tourists climb the ‘Por do Sol’ every afternoon; a large sand dune on the edge of the main beach. Its position faces west across the Atlantic Ocean, offering incredible sunsets, where the tip of the setting sun is known to turn emerald moments before it slides out of view. The disappearing sun produces a round of applause every day and the start of many Capoeira dances in the sand.

Our top pick of all of the hotels in Jericoacoara is The Chili Beach, a laid-back boutique resort situated on the edge of the village. This hotel is cool, quirky and boasts brilliant yet discreet service. It has six rooms divided into suites and bungalows, which sit amongst the cashew trees and behind an ocean front swimming pool with a swim-up bar and an open-air restaurant.

In a world where it is increasingly more difficult to switch off, it is easy to see why this hypnotic corner of the world charms its visitors. Once home you’re bound to find yourself whispering ‘Jeri’ to those in the know and longing to return to the peaceful little village in the middle of nowhere, where life simply stands still. Jericoacoara; secret for now, but not for long.

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