Near the village, the Praia de Jericoacoara is a stunning sight with its massive half-mooned shaped dune facing out onto the water. At the end of the day, tourists gather along the crest to watch the sun set (the dune’s unofficial name is Duna do Pôr-do-Sol, or “Sunset Dune”). The moment is always accompanied by whistles and applause. The beach’s shallow waters make swimming difficult but are ideal for windsurfing.
To the right, a 10-minute walk leads to Praia da Malhada, which is much better for bathing. At low tide, you can continue on, past Praia do Pontal, to Pedra Furada, a striking rock formation with a hole in the middle. Around 10 kilometers (6 miles) farther east, Praia do Preá has wind conditions that make it a mecca of kitesurfers. Meanwhile, if you want to travel back in time to Jeri of 20 years ago, take a buggy 30 kilometers (19 miles) west up the coast to the tiny fishing village of Tatajuba, whose beach is utterly primitive.
While Jericoacoara’s ocean is ideal for water sports, for sunning and splashing around many prefer the sugary sands and crystalline jade waters of the Lagoa de Jijoca. This freshwater lagoon consists of pure rainwater. So much of it evaporates during the dry season that it separates into two smaller lagoons. Closer to the town of Jijoca, the Lagoa do Paraíso is dotted with rustic pousadas and restaurants.
A couple of palm-thatched bars are the only sign of civilization at Lagoa Azul. When winds are strong, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and jangada outings are popular on both lagoons. Buggies and jardineiras (open-back trucks that serves as taxis) go back and forth from Jeri to Jijoca. The ride takes 30 minutes.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition