Two hours east of Fortaleza (160 kilometers/99 miles), the poetically named Canoa Quebrada (Broken Canoe) is one of Ceará’s most popular beach getaways. A former fishing village that became a 1970s hippie haven and is now merely hip, Canoa Quebrada possesses a youthful yet distinctly cosmopolitan vibe that draws an international crew of sun and sand worshippers.
By day, all the action takes place on the pinkish dunes, where buggies zoom around like roller coasters, and on the turquoise waters, which are dotted with kitesurfers and triangle-sailed jangadas. But at night, the bars on Broadway (yes, Canoa has a great white way) start pulsing with tanned bodies intent on dancing until the sun comes up.
You can visit Canoa Quebrada in a day trip from Fortaleza. However, to really take advantage of its laid-back ambiance, you need to give yourself some time to unwind. If you favor tranquility over a party scene, try to come during the week.
Getting to Canoa Quebrada
Nordeste (tel. 85/3205-4199, www.viacaonordeste.com.br), Guanabara (tel. 85/3235-2467, www.expressoguanabara.com.br), and São Benedito (tel. 85/3272-1232, www.saobenedito-ce.com.br) offer frequent bus service from Fortaleza’s rodoviária to the nearby town of Aracati, 9 kilometers (6 miles) inland from Canoa Quebrada. From here, you can catch a municipal bus to Canoa or take a taxi (around R$20). If you’re driving, follow the CE-040 to Aracati and follow the turnoff to Canoa.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition