Fortaleza & Canoa Quebrada – North-Eastern Beach Adventures
Fortaleza is the capital of Ceara State in far north-east Brazil, and the arrival point for all kinds of beach and buggy-based adventures along the coast to Jericoacoara and neighbouring states. Canoa Quebrada is the finest beach town heading south-east along the coast, framed with beautiful dunes and cliffs, and perfect winds for kite-surfing and hang-gliding.
Fortaleza is a thriving, modern Brazilian coastal city, the fifth largest in Brazil. While the city has beaches and and a huge water park and is popular with Brazilian holidaymakers, it is usually visited by foreigners only as the gateway to the Ceara coast and the starting point for adventures along the coast to neighbouring states in each direction. The beach journeys to Sao Luis via Jericoacoara, the Parnaiba Delta and Lençois Maranhenses to the west, and Canoa Quebrada through Maracajau to Natal and Pipa, with as miles of empty north-east beaches along the way. The best winds in Brazil attract kite-surfers to the area with Fortaleza the arrival airport for kite-surf safaris to Cumbuco and Paracuru especially.
Canoa Quebrada lies around 3 hours away from Fortaleza heading south-east. The beach town began life as a typical, simple north-east fishing village which was discovered by hippies during the 1960s and 70s. It developed into a modern beach town over the last 15 years or so, but remains relaxed and pretty, with lively nightlife as befits a holiday destination. The cliffs backing the beach add a dramatic touch to the scenery, which is supplemented by the beautiful dunes backing miles of empty sands.
The days in Canoa Quebrada can be filled with buggy trips through the dunes and under the cliffs to Ponta Grossa, or kite-surfing around Rio Jaguaribe. Taking to the ocean on a jangada, the traditional simple sailing boat found along the north-east coast of Brazil, is another fun way to spend the day. Hang-gliding and parasailing also take advantage of the coastal breezes, with Ceara having some of the best winds for serious enthusiasts, and some of the longest flying times in Brazil possible after catching the thermals coming in from the Atlantic. Perhaps the very best adventures you can have that involves Fortaleza and Canoa Quebrada is to take the 4x4 trip along the best beaches of the north-east, between Jericoacoara and Praia da Pipa, close to Natal. This can even be extended to the stunning dunes of Lençois Maranhenses and Sao Luis in the other direction, one of the most adventurous journeys in Brazil.
Suitable Destination For: Those who seek sun, sea, sand and a little adventure... or a lot.
Best Time to Visit: All year long. Ceara State guarantees 365 days of sun/year and offer refunds on trips to visitors who don’t see the sun. Brazil Adventure Tours can do the same (although only for Ceara State!). March and April are the wet season months, so if any months are best to avoid it would be those two. Kite-surfing winds are best from July to January.
Essential Sights & Activities: The dunes and cliffs of Canoa Quebrada; Ponta Grossa; The Ceara coast in general.