After spending 3 weeks in Northern Brazil, primarily near Jericoacoara and Preá, I have assembled 5 VERY straightforward spots that anyone visiting this part of Brazil to kite should visit. If you take one piece of information away from this article, it should be that you will NEED a 4×4 truck to effectively navigate from place to place down there. If you elect to not rent a vehicle, you can also schedule and pay for ground transfers from local drivers with qualified 4×4 vehicles. Here are 5 easy spots to session while you’re in Jeri:
Located just down the beach (to the east) from Jeri, Preá is an increasingly popular destination for kiters due to insanely consistent wind conditions (7-9m kites) most of the year. Preá offers miles of ocean/shore riding which is great for freeride and downwind riding. To be totally honest, this is NOT your go-to spot for butter flat riding. Preá is either a great spot to session at least once while you’re in this part of Brazil, or is a great home base for lodging while you post up in the zone for the week or however long you are there. There are many affordable pousadas/hotels of various price point and luxury, with a good selection of local restaurants.
2. Ilha do Guajirú
About a 90 minute drive east from Preá, you and your crew will find this remarkable kite spot. You will arrive to a small cluster of pousadas and kite school on the bank of a massive lagoon that fills in when the tide comes up. While there is a huge primary lagoon, it extends downwind for several kilometers and meets the ocean so you can explore depending on the tide and crowd levels. Bottom line is that the place is built for awesome sessions: large section of flat water, with plenty of natural protection to easily drift to beach or shallow areas if necessary; plenty of natural spotters from fellow kiters and the kite school on the stadium-esque bank overlooking the lagoon. One thing that makes this place stand out against some of the other spots is that it doesn’t feel like you’re totally in the middle of nowhere; there are a couple restaurants and lodging options with bathrooms, showers, meal access, etc. There are also schools for folks who need lessons.
This is one of those token spots that you need to experience as the commute is an adventure in and of itself. You’re definitely going to need a 4×4 truck to get here. If you’re staying in Preá or Jeri, you’ll drive west past Jeri on the beach until you reach an inlet that requires that you drive on to a “ferry” which transports you to the other side. Let’s just say you’ll want to be precise with your driving skills as you drive on and off the ferry on rickety old 2”x10” pieces of wood.
Once on the other side, you’ll weave your way through a windy sand “road” through a small collection of cafes and restaurants serving traditional Brazilian fare at very affordable prices. A hundred meters further and you can park your car on the bank of a lagoon that fills in from the sea. Depending on the tide level, you can session the main lagoon or smaller sections of lagoon that get filled in at high tide. These are butter flat sections that make for great photo opportunities and perhaps some airs from one to the other. This is a great place to come with a cooler full of beverages, snacks, all the toys, and have yourself a strong several hour session. Make sure you confirm times with your ferry driver so that you get back in time for the last ride across.
This place will always have a special place in my heart for many reasons, but mostly because I personally made some of the biggest advancements with my own riding ability and progression. This is where I landed my first dark slides and some of the best front roll tail grabs (with a modest amount of poke). You can access Tatajuba in a few different ways but the suggested route would be to take the paved road west from Jeri until you reach the turn off to Tatajuba, which is about 20-30 minutes past Jeri. You’ll definitely want to have a 4×4 truck to get through the final stretches into the village of Tatajuba and be careful to not veer off course so as to avoid finding yourself stuck in the mud like I did with my crew!
Note, if you do get stuck in the mud near Tatajuba, have no fear; just walk into the main town and find any local and tell them you’re stuck in “a lama” (the mud). They are very much used to visiting kiters getting their rental cars stuck in the mud and will happily strike a cash deal to help you get it out before the tide comes in and totals the car. This is a scenario which falls outside of any car rental insurance policy you thought you had, because all of them say they’re void if you’re driving on the beach or tidal zones. At any rate, do whatever it takes to get there, have yourself a lovely lunch and açai at Sunset Beach. Ask for Gleison and tell him I sent you; he will take care of whatever lessons or anything you need. Get your gear ready to session; there is a huge area for potential riding depending on the tide level, however the truth is a rather specific section of some of the flattest water you could ever imagine. This spot is located about 300 meters looker’s left of Sunset Beach. There is a sand bar / raised land barrier that protects a 100-150 meter section of water that is just orgasmic to kite in.
5. Cafe Jeri
While you’re passing through and hanging out in and around Jeri, you might as well make yourself a reservation at Cafe Jeri which most would argue offers the best venue for live DJ and music, drinks, co-eds, dancing, etc. Daily sunset sessions with a spectacular view and vibe.
Of all the places in the world that I’ve visited, Brazil is one of the few that I will DEFINITELY be returning to again and again for the rest of my life. The local culture, the language, the conditions, the food… everything is just awesome. While the above 5 spots will certainly get you started and keep you busy as long as you want, there are easily 100 more spots waiting after that.