Spot guide in the best brazilian area, the north east
Going kitesurfing in Brazil is a lifetime experience. Each year the best riders of the planet go to Brazil to train thanks to it’s long cost stroked by the constant trade winds. The coast is so long and varied that you’ll find what you’re looking for, from freestyle to big air, from freeride to wave riding.
But how do you choose the right place to go, or the right equipment to carry?
After traveling for more than a month along its coasts I decided to write an article about the spots I visited that will help you in planning your trip.
Below is a list of the article’s contents that allows you to focus on what you really need.
But If you are looking for another spots to visit around the world click here, you’ll see some of the best country to go kitesurfing in and a detailed spot guide for each one.
PRO AND CONS
Meant for everybody
You can practise all kitesurf disciplines
You can let you wetsuite at home
Brazie is a kite trip to do at least once in your lifetime
Some spots are overcrowded
In some remote village ther are not many no wind activities
The brazilian coastline is caressed by the trade winds from E-SE.
The best kite period is from September to December, in this period it’s almost everyday windy.
The wind changes according to the place, in the north, close to Jericoacoara, it blows at aorund 30 knots, in the south of Fortaleza, close to Barra Nova, it is much lighter and it blows at around 16-22 knots.
The average temperature, especialy during the kite period, are high, around 25° to 30°.
The water temperature is warm all the year-round, between 27°-28°.
Yuo can kite in swimsuit.
The brazilian coastline is huge and the wind it’s not the same everywhere. The more you head to north (Jericoacoara) the more you need small kites, as a 7m for a 70-75kg person.
If you stay around Cumbumo – Taiba the kite most useful will be the 9-10m.
The more you go to the south (Barra Nova) the more you need a bigger kite as a 12m.
February – April is the rainy season.
August – Novemebr/December is the driest period.
In Fortaleza you can split the year in two seasons: january till june is rainy , july to december is dry.
SPOTS WHERE I’VE BEEN
Cumbuco is the closest village to Fortaleza and the one where all the kiters start their trip. The ocean is often choppy and the most practised style is the freeride. Moreover you have plenty of possibilities to do some downwind from Cumbuco.
Close to Cumbuco you have some lagoonsthat are perfect for freestyle. But they are often overcrowded.
If you want to do some big jump it’s better to go further north.
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Cumbuco suits all level thanks to its on shore wind and the big beach with two kite schools. When the ocean get rougher it can be less pleasant for beginners. Keep in mind that in the ocean you have choppy water all the time, if you want flat water you need to go to the lagoons.
Cumbuco is a freeride paradise where you can do lots of downwind or just enjoy the huge beach. To do some freestyle you need to go to Cauipe, Tabuba or Taiba lagoon
In Taiba you can enjoy the freestyle in the lagoon or the wave riding in the ocean. Taiba is perfect for both style especially because it’s less crowded than Cauipe lagoon.
If you want to go to Taiba without taking a car you can go downwind from Cumbuco. During you dowwind you can enjoy a good freeride, catch some waves and do some jumps.
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Taiba suits all levels. The lagoon is perfect for beginners. If you cross a sandnack at the end of the lagoon you will find the ocean and it’s choppy water or some waves. You can practise lots of differents styles in Taiba.
Facilities : there are not any structures around the lagoon where you can rest or eat, but the village is just 2km away.
Dangers : the lagoon can be overcrowded.
Warning : nothing to declare.
In Taiba a flat lagoon to freestyle is waiting for you, as well as some waves in the ocean to do some wave riding
Barra Nova is a small village in the south of Fortaleza. In barra Nova you will find a big flat lagoon and light wind. The best waty to enjoy Barra nova is doing some freestyle or some old school tricks.
The lagoon is empty in the morning and it fills up in the afternoon so during the first hours of the day you can do some freeride in the ocean, carch some waves or just try to find a free spot in one of the many little “lagoon” that will disappear later on the day.
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Barra Nova suits everybody thanks to his on-shore wind and shallow lagoon. The only problem is that the big lagoon become often pretty crowded.
Facilities : the village is tiny but it has everything you need.There are a couple of restaurants at the beach, one kiteschool and few pousadas. The village is small so it can be a good idea to book in advance if you want to find a place to sleep. There is a nice pousada, Pousada Barra Nova Kitesurf, that has a good location and the owner are nie and welcoming. If you want to go out for dinner you can go to Cascavel, just 6-7 km away.
Dangers : The lagoon it can be often overcrowded.
Warning : the tide.During the monrning the big lagoon is empty so you can ride in the ocean or into the tiny lagoons beyond the sandbank. After lunch time the tide goes up and the littles lagoons disappear and the ocean fill the big lagoon.
Barra Nova is the perfect place to learn kitesurf with light wind
ILHA DO GUAJIRU
Ilha do Guajiru is also called “the flat water sea” thanks to its huge lagoon. The lagoon is so big that it’s a pleasure to do some freeride and do some downwind from the north to the south going even through the ocean. According to the downwind you can or go back upwind or arrange a transport back with your pousada.
The lagoon is also pretty flat which is perfect for some freestyle, and when it’ not too crowded it can be nice to do some big air due to the strong wind.
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Side-on shore wind, flat and shallow water make this lagoon perfect for all kind of levels. But you need to be carefull because at low tide some area are too shallow ant you can risk to hurt yourself.
Facilities : on to the side of the lagoon is full of pousadas. It can be a bit more expensive than the other village and the pousada are often full so I advice you to book in advance.
Dangers : during the low tide some area of the lagoon can be really shallow and the sea bottom sharp.
Warning : the tide. It can happen the lagoon is almost empty to fill it up later on. so check the sea level before to get ready.
Ilha do Guajiru, “the flat water sea”, is a fantastic freestyle and freeride playground
Jeri is a village out of the ordinary and I loved its nightlife and the vibes. If you want to kite you need always to take a buggy to get to the spot, and I didn’t like it that much compared to all the other brazilian spots.
The wind is often strong and gusty which is nice to do some bigair rather than freestyle.
You should not miss the downwind in Jeri, that’s way I think the freeride is the best kitesurf discipline in Jeri.
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Off – Side off
Jericoacoarais one of the rare village inn the brazilian north east where the wind can blow off- side off shore, which it’s not adviced for beginners and intermediate level. The choppy water andthe strong wind make the task even more complicated.
If you are a beginner I do advise you to go northern up to Guriù’s lagoon.
Facilities : a Jeri you can find everything you need. You need a buggy to get to the spot.
Dangers : the wind blows off-shore so it’s not the best for beginners.
Warning : be careful about the wind, it can blows over 40 knots.
Jericoacoara is the place to go thanks to its vibes and its downwind. Indeed Jeri is located between Prea’s village and Guriù lagoon
Barra Grande is one of my favourite spot. The wind is pretty strong during all day, even is is a bit lighter during the morning. In front of the main beach at low tide the spot is perfect to do some freestyle,as well as the lagoon located 2 km downwindfrom the main beach, close to Macapá’s village. During the afternoon the wind get stronger and the ocean more choppy (not in the lagoon) and it becomes ideal to jump high doing some big air. The stronger is the wind the more chances you have to see the brazilian champions fly in front of you.
Finally, you can go downwind to the lagoon and come back upwind to mix all the kite disciplines in one single day : freestyle, freeride and big air.
On – Side on
Barra Grande suits everybody thanks to its differents options, but pay attention during the afternoon cause the wind can be really strong.
Facilities :Barra Grande is not a big village but you can find everything to be comfortable as a place to sleep (it can be a bit more expensive than the other village in the south) or to eat. Close to the beach you have few nice restaurants and a kite school where you can let your stuff whenere you want to go to downwind to the lagoon.
Dangers : nothing to declare.
Waring : the tide.At low tide you the ocean seems a huge flat lagoon. Gradually the tide goes up and the ocean get choppy but you can still enjoy the flat water in the lagoon close to Macapá. Come back upwind in the late afternoon can take you 30 up to 45 minutes ride according to the ocean and wind conditions. If you are too tired you can take a donkey ride back (it’s better to have some cash with you).
Barra Grande is the kite spot. A huge laggon to do some freestyle, a strng wind to challenge the brazilans in big air or just enjoy the freeride to go to Macapá’s village
This is the lagoon where all the pro kitesurfeurs go to train in freestyle. The lagoon is divided between beginners and advanced but in the high season is overcrowded.
Youc can reach the lagoon going downwind from Cumbuco or renting a buggy.
This lagoon is located close to Cumbuco and you can get there by bus. It’s a really dirty lagoon but it delivers good conditions for freestyle thaks to its flat water. It’s not that big so it can be pretty full of people.
When you finish your session you can come back to Cumbuco in downwind. It can be tricky to get into the ocean when the waves breaks close to the shore but then it’s a nice and short ride.
It’s the waveriding spot.
You can reach this lagoon doing a downwind from Jericoacoara. It’s a big lagoon and there is enough space to enjoy your ride. Keep in mind the it’s not a good choice to come back upwind till Jeri, so I do advice you to arrange your way back by minibus or taxi.
Brazil is the place where to enjoy the best downwind.. from the shorter to the longest.
- The shorter, as Tabuba – Cumbuco, Cumbuco – Taiba, Prea – Jericoacoara, Jericoacoara – Guriù
- An intense downwind from Cumbuco to Jericoacoara (120 km, 5 days).
- The”ironman” downwind from Cumbuco up to Atins (620km, 14 days).
TRANSPORTS AND ACCOMMODATION
If you want to be 100% free adn you are traveling with friends it’s a good idea to rent a car. If you want to stay mostly in the same place it’s better to go by taxi.
Normally you can share a taxi with other riders you meet on the spot and they will take you along all the coastline from Cumbuco to Barra Grande. It’s better go around in a group otherwise could be pretty expensive.
Rent a buggy it’s an experience to do in Brazil. Riding on a sand dune and get to the spot like a boss. Be careful because they break easily.
While renting keep in mind that some village, as Jericoacoara, are sandy and you can easily be stuck if you don’t have a 4 wheels car.
Each village is different. I found Ilha do Guajiru and Barra Grande the two most expensive place where to sleep. So keep en eye on booking.com and you can get some good deals.
It’s a good idea to stay at least the first night in Cumbuco because it’s the closest village to Fortaleza. I liked the Bada Hostel that has a nice service and cheap price. If you want your own room the owners manage also the Bada Pousada.
Jericoacoara is the village where you have the biggest choice.
OTHER USEFUL INFOS
How much does it cost ?
Brazil it’s not the cheapest destination, considering you can spend around 12-15€ per night in a hostel and an açai (a good yaourt-ice-cream) can cost you up to 4€. The if you can share especially the transport with friends you can save lots of money.
Credit card and ATM ?
This is a big problem in the brazilian north east. There are not a lot of bank where you can withdraw money and most of them has a small withdrawal limit (be careful to chose Real and not Euro otherwise you are going to pay an higher fee). It’s highly possible that you are gonna be run out of cash so it’s better to pay with credit card in hotels and restaurants. For sure you can find ATM in Fortaleza but as son as you head north it’s going to be easy to find one. In Cumbuco you can find one ATM in a big petrol station who accept just few Mastercard. IN Ilha do Guajiru I advice you to stop in Itarema and if you are lucky the bank can give you some cahs unless they run ou of money as well. Fially in most of the other small villages you are not going to find any ATM.
So be ready to have enough cash when you leave Fortaleza.
To all kitesurfeurs lovers.
Extra activities ?
- Surf or SUP in Paracuru.
- Riding a Buggy through Cumbuco’s dunes.
- Ride a horse in Cumbuco.
- Explore the Amazon.
Is it dangerous ?
Fortaleza look like a not safe city, but you are not going to kite there. In the kite areas I’ve never felt in danger, and I’ve never heard any weird or scary story about safety. I heard that some years ago the situation was complicated, but now it’s different. It’s a pity that everyone has this prejudice.
It depends on the villages but normally you can find a good wifi in the hotels.
MOst of the place your are going to are small villages so the locals speak just portuguese. And in the north east there is a dialact that it is even more difficult to understand compared to to south of Brazil. But do not be worried, the people are nice and if you speak spanish you can communicate with them.
There are two places where you can party hard, Fortaleza or Jericoacoara. Bars, caipirinha and music are gonna last all the night long.
Airlines companies and kite luggage
I’ve travelled with TAM airline and I had 2 luggages of 23kg without paying any extra. I found my flight on Skyscanner and I paid 600€ from Paris to Fortaleza.
There is another company that flies to Brazil, the TAP Airlines. They oblige you to pay an extra to atke your sport equipment.