View from atop a verdant slope down to a flat beach and the water stretching to the horizon.

Once upon a time, Lagoinha was a pirate hideout. Photo © Otávio Nogueira, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Once one of the most idyllic beaches along the Sunset Coast, Lagoinha, located 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Fortaleza, may have lost some of its unspoiled beauty to development, but it’s still quite enticing. A pirate hideout turned fishing village, its palm-shaded beaches are backed by dunes that range in hue from creamy white to orange-pink. You can explore them by quadricycle or buggy.

The most popular excursion leads to the Lagoa das Alméceges, where you can bathe in crystalline waters and snack on seafood at the barracas along the shore. Like Cumbuco, Lagoinha can get unbearably crowded on the weekends.

Accommodations and Food

Should you want to spend the night, Pousada Mar à Vista (Av. Francisco Henrique Azevedo 170, tel. 85/3363-5038, R$60–80 d), perched on a cliff above the beach, is a decent, basic option with small but clean air-conditioned guest rooms. The patio restaurant is a good place to savor seafood with a view, or to watch the sunset while downing a cool caipirinha.

Getting There

There are no direct buses to Lagoinha; instead take a Viação Paraipiba (tel. 85/3256-4128) bus from Fortaleza’s Rodoviária to the nearby town of Paraipaba (2 hours, R$11). Buses run every hour. From Paraipaba, a communal taxi to Lagoinha will cost around R$2 pp. If you’re driving, follow CE-085, and after crossing the Rio Curu, stop to buy fresh fruits such as pitomba and sapoti from roadside vendors.

Excerpted from the Third Edition of Moon Brazil.