Jericoacoara, Brazil: Boutique Pousadas

Practical travel advice on visiting Jericoacoara, one of Brazil’s most unique beach destinations. Where to stay, what to do, and how to travel there. 

Visited: May 21-22 2008

Driving to Jericoacoara

 From Mundau it was a four hour drive West along Brazil’s coast to the village of Jericoacoara. The road is well signposted, however scheming locals have taken it upon themselves to grafiti over many of the signs to Jericoacoara so that independent drivers get confused and subsequently pay them for their totally unnecessary services as a guide. Our experience was one of locals following us, hassling us, mis-informing us and generally being f***ing tw$ts. There’s signposts that have been designed pointing you to Jericoacoara via Prea - my confused understanding is that this is the best route if driving to Jericoacoara, though all the locals seemed to have a different opinion on which was the most suitable road for a non 4WD vehicle. This is a scenic route was Prea, but not 100% suitable unless you’ve a 4wd, though we did manage it without too much difficulty by letting our tyres down to drive along the beach. There’s an alternative road via Jijoca, though whether it’s an easier drive I’m unsure…

Advice on driving to Jericoacoara - many of the signs have been erased by the scheming idiots who pose as guides. Please do ignore everything and anything they say. These supposed guides will tell you that you’re not allowed to enter the Jericoacoara National Park without a guide - this is a lie, and all they want is your money.  Just ignore all those ‘guides’ who’ll be hassling you en route. Of course, if you take a bus - there’s a few a day from Fortaleza - you’ll avoid all these complexities.

The village of Jericoacoara

Jericoacoara is a very beautifully set village. The coastline here is one of large, shining white sand dunes backed by crystal clear freshwater lakes meeting huge, beautiful long beaches and a calm sea of almost green colour. Windsurfing, kite surfing, beach buggy tours or walking for miles along truely stunning beaches are all popular activities in Jericoacoara.

Jericoacoara, Brazil
Beaches of Jericoacoara, Brazil

Jericoacoara Pousadas

The village is very popular with well off Brazilian tourists and international travellers looking for a resort in Brazil that’s a little different. When we visited in May, the low season, it was busy but never felt at all overwhelmed by visitors. While Jericoacoara used to be a fishing village, it’s now almost completely tourism orientated. Before I visited, I was concerned that it might have become a little spoilt, but it isn’t just yet. Although almost every building a visitor sees is either a pousada, hotel, restaurant, tour operator or boutique style shop, Jericoacoara remains a laid back, charming village of sandy streets.

I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere in South America with such a high concentration of boutique style pousadas. All the hotels in Jericoacoara are charming - every single pousada I saw I’d have been delighted to stay in, or book for my mum, or even my granny. Jericoacoara is just that kind of place - a really unique beach destination in Brazil. There’s about five of the more expensive pousadas on the beach itself, but as the village is essentially in the middle of the sand dunes, one feels as if you’re on the beach whichever pousada you select. There must be over 30 pousadas to choose from - having looked around various ones, we selected Pousada Atlanta as it was just as good as most, but only cost $30 for a night. There were many more expensive, upmarket boutique hotels in Jericoacoara, but I couldn’t see how anyone could dislike Pousada Atlanta, and the price was very reasonable.

My advice for anyone looking for a pousada in Jericoacoara - just pick one - they’re all great. There’s so many to choose from it’s mind boggling, but as there are so many, competition is fierce - it’s therefore very much a case of what you get depends on what  you’re prepared to pay. Consider this - you’re only likely to be dissapointed with your pousada if you select one of the most expensive options, then later discover alternatives that are just as good but cost much less.

My Jericoacoara travel tips

- don’t pay over the odds, and try to choose a small hotel if you want a more personalized experience.

- bring plenty of sun cream, and a parasol as there’s almost no shade on the beaches.

- Remember that those dune buggy tours aren’t really necessary, and they’re bad for Jericoacoara’s environment.

- 3 to 4 nights will be plenty for most visitors.

- Ignore those scheming guides that try to confuse drivers driving to Jericoacoara. If you do drive via Prea without a 4wd vehicle, be sure to deflate you’re tyres before hitting the sandy road along the coast - it’s easy, and great fun, if you’re adventurous!

More travel tips and articles on Brazil can be found on our Brazil travel guide, or browse the Brazil section to this blog.

One Response to “Jericoacoara, Brazil: Boutique Pousadas”

  1. I was in Jericoacoara January 2004 with my Brazilian girlfriend. Africa is directly off the beach, but is 4000 miles away! I was venturing all the way from Canada for this special encounter. A long way to go for a first date! But i’m a little crazy anyway! lol… A must place to visit for the adventurer. Don’t go it alone, find an Omni-bus tour in Fortaleza along Iracema Beach, near the hotels. Some great restaurants here at Praia do Iracema, in Fortaleza. Things come alive at night near the pier with many restaurants. On the way to Jeri, there is one transfer from the coach to a giant dune buggy in a small town one hour from Jeri. It seems like the Sahara along the northeastern coast of Brazil. Very isolated and quite a special experience. Great accomodations in Jeri, most include a very nice breakfast for about $40. total, not per person. Our cottage was lovely, with AC and clean brandnew bathroom @ Pousada Caju. Many great pousandas. Mosquito Blue was more expensive but wonderful and right on the beach. They all seemed great! Sand streets throughout the village, with horses and cattle wandering the streets at night on your way home from one of the many great restaurants. From fish, seafood, pizza, suishi or Italian and much more. Don’t miss the Brazilian maritial art fighting on the beach every night at dusk, with crowd clapping to the beat and enjoying very much. And dancing and partying at night near the beach with live music. The water is warm and lovely and the beach goes on forever! Horseback riding on beautiful well cared for horses, dune buggy tours, or sand surfing down the dunes to the ocean. And it is somewhat a wind surfers meca with great ocean breezes. Great place! But 3 ou 4 nights might be enough. Brazil is a great place to visit. And maybe because i was with a local native girl, in my four trips to Brazil i have never had one problem of any kind. Fortunate perhaps. But be smart and keep your wits. Another must see is Paraty, 3 hours south of Rio. Also a very special town. 30,000 people and quite unique. Full of artists of all kinds and wonderful all day schooner tours with lunch, live music and many stops for swimming and snorkling among the islands and gorgeous beaches. Paraty is a magical and a must. Flor do Mar was our pousada, right near the pier. Very reasonable. 80 reais per night with breakfast. (or $40.) Small and sweet. Nice lady and her daughter. Paraty is much closer to Rio or Sao Paulo. Jeri is far up the coast, in the state of Ceara. Also, south of Fortaleza and not north like Jeri, is Canoa Quebrada. Awesome too! Pousada do Reis was wonderful with an ocean view and super rooms near the pool!! Don’t miss the dune buggy tour! A special experience for 4 per buggy!! You will love it. It stops at an isolated oasis for a drink, way down the beach. And great food in the many restaurants right on the beach, where you eat in your bikini! Just wonderful.

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