Buggy ride in Jericoacoara, Ceará: Lagoas do Paraíso e Azul (lagoons of Paradise and Blue), Praia do Preá (Beach), Árvore da Preguiça (Sloth Tree) and Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone)

In Jericoacoara, Ceará, the best way to get to know the main attractions is by going on a buggy tour. The most known is the tour of the East, which includes the famous Lagoas do Paraíso e Azul (lagoons of Paradise and Blue), the beach of Preá, the Sloth Tree (Árvore da Preguiça) and Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone). We did the tour with our nephews in January 2016, and they loved it. I will tell you all about it in this post.

The tour can be pre-booked the day before, at your hotel or at one of Jericoacoara’s various agencies. But as the weather was rainy, we preferred not to make any reservation, and the day we wanted to do the tour, we went to Rua Sao Francisco (San Francisco Street), from where the buggies leave, to find a bugueiro (a buggy driver) and to negotiate. The ride costs between R$ 250 and R$ 300 for 5 hours for up to 4 people, depending on your negotiation skills. Buggies usually leave at 9 am and return around 2 pm.

Buggy ride in Jeri
Buggy ride in Jeri

As we were there during high season, a week after New Year’s Eve, with some negotiation, we got a deal at R$ 280.

The normal route of the bugueiros starts in the National Park, goes to Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone), then Sloth Tree (Árvore da Preguiça), then the beach of Preá, Lagoa Azul and the grand finale is Lagoa do Paraíso. When we left it was still sunny, but the black clouds already appeared at the horizon, so we decided to make the route backwards to start with the best part.

The great advantage of doing the reverse route was that we arrived at the places while they were less crowded. For example, at Lagoa do Paraíso (Paradise Lagoon), when we arrived there were very few people and we could find empty hammocks. When we left, 2 hours later, it was already full and people had to wait in order to get a free hammock.

Lagoa do Paraíso (Lagoon of Paradise)
Lagoa do Paraíso (Lagoon of Paradise)

Another positive point of doing the reverse route was that normally you stop for lunch at Lagoa do Paraíso, where the food prices are pretty touristy, so they are expensive. And the way we did it, we had lunch at a hut on Preá Beach where we ate very well and probably paid half of the prices at Lagoon of Paradise.

The famous hammocks at Lagoa do Paraíso (Lagoon of Paradise)
The famous hammocks at Lagoa do Paraíso (Lagoon of Paradise)

Jeri’s buggy ride, unlike the Genipabu dunes in Natal, doesn’t give the option of “with or without emotion” because buggies can’t drive on Jeri’s dunes. The tour is very relaxed so you can go with children. Our nephews loved it, one of them never went on a buggy ride before, so it was a lot of fun.

Jericoacoara National Park
Jericoacoara National Park

As soon as the bugueiro left Jeri, when he enters the area of the National Park, he stopped for taking pictures in the dunes. Then we continued to Lagoa do Paraíso. We got there at 9:30 am and as I said, there were just a few people at that time.

Lagoa do Paraíso (Lagoon of Paradise)
Lagoa do Paraíso (Lagoon of Paradise)

The entrance to the Lagoon is free and there is a bar service and restaurants. You also don’t pay anything to use the hammocks. But be careful, you pay a lot of money to lie down on the sun beds. Therefore, they are usually empty.

The stop at Lagoa do Paraíso is for 2 hours and then we went to Lagoa Azul which had a low water level and very dark water due to the lack of rainfall in previous months. So, we took some photos and didn’t stay for long.

Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon)
Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon)

The next stop was Preá Beach, which is very beautiful, with a calm ocean and many kite and wind surfers. We ate lunch at Monica’s which offered good service, a tasty and well-served meal and also well-priced by Jeri standards. This beach is already outside of the municipality of Jijoca. It belongs to the municipality of Cruz.

Praia do Preá (Preá Beach)
Praia do Preá (Preá Beach)

After lunch, we stopped at Árvore da Preguiça (Sloth Tree) for photos and then continued to the Pedra Furada trail. The buggy can’t drive until the stone which is a typical postcard motive of Jeri. From the place where the buggy parks until there it is a very easy walk down to the waterfront of about 20-30 minutes walking. For those who go on the trail leaving from the village of Jericoacoara, the trail takes around 1h30 and it is only possible to go along the beach at low tide.

The stone is very crowded, so taking a photo just itself is very difficult. The natural formation became famous because, at a certain time of the year, it is possible to see the sun set through the hole. But in my opinion, the beach itself and the other natural formations are prettier than the stone Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone).

Pedra Furada
Pedra Furada

Early in the afternoon, we returned to Jeri. We asked the bugueiro to drop us off at the beach and we stayed there enjoying the afternoon to rest. Our bugueiro was called Manoel and he was very friendly and made us feel comfortable throughout the tour.

Buggy ride – R$ 250 to R$ 300 for 4 people

Coconut Water in Paradise Lagoon – R$ 6 each coconut

Lunch at Preá Beach – R$ 114,40 for 2 adults and 2 children (shrimps in a pineapple, portion of French fries, 2 mugs of juice)

For those who want to economize

The buggy ride is well worth it for anyone who is in 4-person group. But for those traveling alone or as a couple it can get expensive. A more economical option to get to know the famous Lagoa do Paraíso (Paradise Lagoon) is to go on a truck D-20. The stretch costs R$ 15 per person.

To get to Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone) it is possible to go on a trail from the village which takes about 1h30.

Written in Portuguese by Karla Larissa

Translation by Juliane Boll


Jericoacoara: tips for the trip, your budget and a 3-day itinerary

Jericoacoara is among the most desired beach destinations in Brazil. Because it is a National Park, Jeri has some particularities that need to be taken into account when planning the trip. We traveled to Jeri in January 2016 with our nephews, aged 10 and 13, and I share with you some tips to organize a trip there, with or without children, our budget and some suggestions for a 3-day itinerary.

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How to get there

Jericoacoara is 300 km away from Fortaleza. The village is in an area of ​​dunes and therefore you can get there only by buggy or a 4-wheel drive car. All of you who aren’t traveling with a 4-wheel drive, it is possible to park your car in Jijoca (there are several parking lots) and from there to take a truck (called Jardineira D-20) to Jericoacoara. Take the route CE-085 from Fortaleza to Jijoca as it is in better conditions than the BR 222. It takes about 4h30. From Jijoca to Jericoacoara you will need another 40 minutes on the truck D-20.

Jericoacoara
Jericoacoara

Parking in Jijoca costs between R$ 10 and R$ 15 a day. The drive Jijoca – Jericoacoara on D-20 costs about R$ 15 per person. Anyone who wants to go Jijoca – Jericoacoara in a private Hilux for up to 4 people will pay around R$ 100. There is also the option to hire a guide to take your own travel car to Jeri. In that case, they flatten a little the tires and charge around R$ 80 to drive the car. I don’t recommend this option, as in addition of a risk to dammage the car, in several areas of the national park it isn’t allowed to drive around in ordinary cars.
For those arriving by plane in Fortaleza and don’t want to rent a car, you have the following options Fortaleza => Jericoacoara:
Option 1 – shared transfer in a Hilux (up to 4 people) where you can go all the way from Fortaleza to Jeri without changing cars. Costs around R$ 150 per person, leaving you at the hotel’s door or hostel (you can ask the directions to your hotel in advance). About 4 hours of driving.

Option 2 – go with a tourist agency which makes the stretch Fortaleza => Jijoca by bus or van, changing to a D-20 vehicle in Jijoca (the guest has to take his/her luggage from the bus to the truck). From Jijoca to Jeri on a D-20 truck, leaving you at the hotel’s door or hostel. About R$ 80,00 per person. Departure from Fortaleza airport daily at 6 am and hotels in Beira-Mar around 7 am. About 6 hours of traveling.

Option 3 – by Fretcar bus that offers the stretch Fortaleza => Jijoca in executive buses, changing for a truck D-20 in Jijoca (the guest has to take his/her luggage from the bus to the truck). Route Jijoca to Jeri in a truck D-20. Descent at the Fretcar agency in Jeri and walking on your own to the hotel or hostel. About R$ 76,00 per person. Purchase through the internet at www.fretcar.com.br (website in Portuguese). Departures from the airport at 7 am, 15 pm and 18 pm. About 7 hours of traveling.

The same options are valid for return.

In our case, we went in our car, leaving from Natal. If we would have went straight it would have been almost 12 hours. As we were with two children, we made the trip in two days. The first night we slept in Mossoró and the following day we went from Mossoró to Jericoacora. On the way back, we slept one night in Fortaleza, and the following day we drove from Fortaleza to Natal. For those who have more time, you can divide the trip into 3 days.

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Where to stay

Jericoacoara is very visited all year round. There are several accommodation options, from hostels to luxury hotels. Prices are often high compared to other national destinations. Therefore, it is very important to make the reservation in advance. Some people stay in Jijoca. But I recommend staying in Jericoacoara, because Jijoca doesn’t have such a nice charm of the village.

See the accommodation options in Jericoacoara

The prices in Jeri vary a lot depending on the type of accommodation. But one bed in a hostel costs around R$ 50 a night. We stayed at a hostel on Rua Principal (the main street) and paid R$ 260 a night for a couple and 2 children.

Our room at Casa Strella
Our room at Casa Strella

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What to do – our 3-day itinerary

Day 1

We arrived in Jeri around 3 pm (check-in was from 2 pm). We had lunch and afterwards spent the afternoon at the beach. As it was cloudy, the sunset wasn’t too beautiful which we saw from the beach itself. In the evening, we went out for dinner and strolled along Rua Principal (the main street) and Forró Street, getting to know the village.

Cloude late afternoon, from Jericoacoara beach
Cloude late afternoon, from Jericoacoara beach

Day 2

As the weather was sunny, we went on the buggy ride (East), which included the famous Lagoas do Paraíso e Azul (lagoons of Paradise and Blue), the beach of Preá, the Sloth Tree (Árvore da Preguiça) and Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone).

Buggy ride
Buggy ride

[Lagoa do Paraíso (Lagoon of Paradise)
[Lagoa do Paraíso (Lagoon of Paradise)
The tour is about 5 hours long, from 9 am to 2 pm, and you will get to know the main attractions of Jeri. We paid R$ 280 for the 4 of us. But prices range from R$ 250 to R$ 300 depending if it is low or high season.

Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone)
Pedra Furada (Perforated Stone)

On our way back, we spent some time on the beach. And at night we had dinner on Rua Principal (the main street).

Day 3

If you want, you can do that day the other buggy ride (West) which goes to Tatajuba village, passes through Mangue Seco beach and crosses Guriú River. On this route, an extra ride is offered to see seahorses and it is possible to rent a surfboard to go surfing. The buggy ride to Tatajuba costs around R$ 250 for 4 people. We didn’t do this tour, so I can’t give you more details on it.

Our nephew, Serginho doing Stand-up Paddling
Our nephew, Serginho doing Stand-up Paddling

On that day, we rented a Stand-Up Paddle board, for R$ 40 (1 hour), which we split between the four of us.

In the afternoon, we finally got to see the famous sunset of Jericoacoara. We climbed the Sunset Dune (Duna do Pôr do Sol) 1h 30 earlier and the kids had fun playing on the dune.

LOVE: With our nephew and niece at Sunset dune (Duna do Pôr do Sol)
LOVE: With our nephew and niece at Sunset dune (Duna do Pôr do Sol)

On our way back from the dune, we stopped at Rua Principal (the main street) for dinner. At night there was a blackout (a common problem when the village is crowded), but luckily we were already in our hotel.

Sunset view from the dune
Sunset view from the dune

Even during a blackout, Jeri’s restaurants continue to function with candlelights.

On the fourth day, we left after breakfast to get the truck D-20 back to Jijoca. The trick is to look for one of the trucks leaving from Rua Sao Francisco (but we got from Rua Principal) and ask the driver to stop at your hotel to pick up the luggage.

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Budget

As you know, we usually travel economically, but with children it is more difficult… The main costs of our trip:

Private Hilux for 4 people Jijoca – Jericoacoara: R$ 100
Parking Jijoca: 3 days x R$ 10 = R$ 30
Accommodation (with a private room and bathroom for a couple + 2 children, tv, air-conditioning and frigobar, breakfast): 3 days x R$ 260 = R $ 780
Meals: between R$ 70 and R$ 120 each meal for the 4 (self-services, a la carte restaurants, pizzerias)
Buggy ride: R$ 280 for the 4 (price ranges from R$ 250 to R$ 300, depending on the season)
Stand-Up Paddle Rentals: R$ 40 (1 hour)
Truck D-20 Jericoacoara – Jijoca: R$ 15 per person

I didn’t include expenses for the petrol from Natal to Jijoca, nor other expenses, such as snacks and water.

Prices are from January 2016.

Written in Portuguese by Karla Larissa

Translation by Juliane Boll


Pipa Beach-RN, Brazil: discover this paradise that attracts people from all over the world

The most famous tourist destination of Rio Grande do Norte, after the capital, Pipa Beach pleases everybody. The place is the most cosmopolitan one of the entire state and attracts people from all over the world. Many of those who visited the beach adopted it as their home and ended up staying. 

The truth is that Pipa is one of the districts of the county of Tibau do Sul, which unites eight beaches of incredible beauty, in addition to the Lagoa de Guaraíras. Two of Pipa’s beaches are among the top 25 in Brazil, according to TripAdivisor 2016. As if it wouldn’t be enough beauty, the destination offers options for all types of tourists: the more relaxed once that just want to enjoy the beach, those who come with family, those seeking adventure and sports, those who love nature and also those who like to enjoy the nightlife.

Pipa Beach
Pipa Beach

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