stunning natural areas in Brazil

PICTURE dozens of national parks packed with walking trails, each leading to amazing waterfalls and the best ponds you could ever swim in; luscious Amazonian rainforests with incredible vistas. Welcome to Brazil, every outdoor junkies’ dream come true.

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Sunrise is the perfect time to see the famous pink dolphins of the Amazon River.

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Be prepared for a grueling three-hour hike combined with some freestyle rock climbing to make it to the top of Pedra da Gavea, one of the world’s highest monoliths and the largest mountain on a coastline. You’ll also find the best views of Rio de Janeiro and its surroundings.

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Ilha Grande is a tropical island packed with hiking trails that run through the Virgin Atlantic rainforest. It’s also a great spot for snorkeling and stunning beaches.

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Paraty is a melting pot of adventures. By hiking through the rainforest you are guaranteed to find a place looking a little like this.

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You won’t be able to look away once you see the Iguazu Falls in all their awe-inspiring glory. Once you’re here you can take a day trip over to Argentina and check them out from a different and equally beautiful angle.

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If you’re looking for white sand beaches, head to the untouched shores of Prainha in Arraial do Cabo.

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The exotic blue waters of Cachoeria Santa Barbara are an effort to get to but oh-so-worth-it.

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In Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, the waterfalls outnumber the tourists.

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Cachoeira Loquinhas has a magical hiking trail leading to ten natural pools where the water of each pool is a different blue.

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Don’t miss the 45-minute hike up Morro Dois Irmãos to help get your bearings in Rio de Janeiro.

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The motto of Morro de Sao Paulo is “Island vibes, Island time.”

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You’ll find rolling hills, hippie villages, and jaw-dropping landscapes in the hiker’s dream of Vale do Capão on the outskirts of Chapada Diamantina National Park.

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The most unbelievable lookout of all time is tucked away in a little corner of Vale do Pati in Chapada Diamantina National Park.

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Want to slide down a rock formed waterslide? Lencois is full of naturally-formed wonders like this.

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The town of Bonito is an aquatic wonderland filled with ecological wonder.

Out On the Dunes: ATV Adventures in Jericoacoara

You’ve already read how in just one week, I fell deep under Jericoacoara’s spell. While the tiny, remote Brazilian beach town had charm in spades, most people were drawn to what lay beyond its borders — miles upon miles of endless, untamed sand dunes, their shapes changing with the whims of the wind.

To explore them, you’ll need a set of wheels. From what I discovered, the tourism industry in Jeri is still quite underdeveloped and most “tours” are arranged on a whim. If you’re traveling solo like I was, you’ll need to form a group of your own before approaching a tour operator or they are likely to shrug you off.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

Thankfully, I was adopted by a group of a dozen Israelis who arranged two separate days exploring on ATVs for us. The first day we had a slightly smaller group than the second, and each paid 140R ($40US), while for our second outing we each paid 115R ($33). My newfound travel tribe were excellent negotiators, I should note — I have no doubt we would have paid more had I been the one in charge of setting a rate.

In general, it appears there are two general routes the guides will lead you on — one to the east, and one to the west. You could also tackle either of these routes in a buggy with your guide behind the wheel, if you didn’t feel like self-driving. In our case, the guides zoomed ahead on monster-sized dirt bikes, leading the way for our caravan of ATVs.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

On our first day, we went west. I have to admit that I’m not the most comfortable behind the wheels of an ATV — I’ve had a few friends get in serious accidents in the last few years and well, I just feel vulnerable bouncing around on this big ‘ol hunk of metal that could flip over and crush me any second.

So I was more than happy to be a passenger on this little excursion, though within moments I could tell that at the speeds my crew was driving, I was going to spend a lot of the day screaming with my eyes clenched shut.

Our first stop was in the hamlet of Mangue Seco. It’s not every day you get to use the word hamlet, but in this case it seems the only descriptor appropriate for the blip on the map that Mangue Seco was.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

Water levels were high in the area at the time, and so we eventually reached a standstill where our ATVs had to be loaded onto precarious rafts and pushed across the water onward. On the other side, our guide asked us if we wanted to take a short boat trip for another 10R to see the “Cavalo Marinho.”

We puzzled over what this could possibly be, my Israeli friends turning to me and asking if my Spanish knowledge might reveal any clues. “Well… caballo means horse in Spanish,” I said with a shrug. “Could they be talking about… sea horses?

I said it with incredibly trepidation. After all, we were crossing a freshwater lake, right? But shortly after we loaded into the boat, the new guide leaned over the hull and scooped into a mason jar, yup, three tiny little seahorses. It was my greatest moment of communication victory in all of Brazil. Six weeks, and I finally was able to accurately predict what sea creature I was about to see.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

After exiting through a surreal, jumbo-sized mangrove forest that we unfortunately didn’t stop to photograph, we were back to the dunes.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

We soon spotted a crowd in the distance, and paused as we pulled up next to them to see what all the commotion was about, out here in the sand-filled middle of nowhere. We found an enterprising group of locals selling rides down into a rainwater lake for a mere 5R. After watching a few groups face-plant in the sand, I grabbed a board and took my own turn publicly humiliating myself. It was wonderful.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

Finally, a chance to relax after the super stressful day we’d been having (ha!) Looking back at a map, I can’t say for sure if we were at Lago Grande or Laguinho da Torta Tatajuba, but I can confirm that it doesn’t really matter. The dunes surrounding Jericoacoara are surrounded by scenic lagoons dotted with in-water hammocks and fringed by palm trees. I wouldn’t get too picky about which one you end up in.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

This was the best part of the day. It was incredibly windy, but we didn’t mind. Hours melted away as we lounged in the sun, watched kite-surfers work their magic, and marveled at the paradise we stumbled upon in what felt like the end of the earth. Seafood and beer were offered every time we so much as looked at a hammock; and my travel companions were all too happy to take one for the team with a few orders.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

All good things must come to an end, and eventually we packed up and prepared ourselves for the long drive back to Jericoacoara. Now, all day, I’d been lightly teased for my clear discomfort with our driving speeds. As our guides geared up, one of the boys, Eliko, approached me and asked what was making me so nervous. “These things flip over all the time,” I pointed out. “No, no,” he assured me. “You are very safe. We all drove in much more difficult circumstances in the army. You are safe.” Who can argue with a man who just dedicated three years of his life to compulsory military service?

I hopped on the back of another ATV and braced myself when the adrenaline-loving driver started taking it in tight circles. Maybe now would be a great time to ask him to stop doing this, I thought to myself, and in that exact moment I felt the left two wheels of ATV lift off from the ground as we both were launched into the air. Somehow, time really did go into slow motion, enough for me to push off with my feet to get as far away from the vehicle as possible, and enough for me to lock eyes with Eliko, who was looking on in horror. If I didn’t know better, I might even recall that I had time to shake my head with disapproval mid-air. When we hit the ground, time resumed at a normal pace, and I was quickly surrounded by a dozen faces of concern.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

We slowed down a bit after that. Eventually, the girls teamed up and I hopped on the back of Maude’s ATV for a bit, where we happily enjoyed the view from the back of the caravan. Never a dull moment, as they say!

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

A few days later, when my bruises and memories of the crash had faded, I was talked into doing it all over again (sorry mom.) This time, we went east.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

Our first stop was the famous arch called Pedra Furada. It was quite the scramble to get there after we parked our wheels, but it was worth it for the gorgeous geological formation that awaited us. Here, I wowed everyone with my remote shooting capabilities to capture a group photo with my dSLR balanced on a rock and triggered from an app on my iPhone. Stick with the travel blogger, I assured them. They always have the best selfie tricks.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

Next up was Arvore da Preguica, a truly amazing tree shaped by years of wind and harsh desert conditions. We didn’t have it to ourselves for long though before the next group rolled up next to us — this route was far busier and far less remote and wild than the one we’d taken the previous day, when I wondered how the guides knew which way to go into the endless dunes ahead of us.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

This was a much more subdued journey, a balance I was more than a-ok with.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

Again came my favorite portion of the day, the one in which we lounged in Instagram-ready water hammocks. This time, we ditched the local beer shacks in favor of the upscale beach club (or should I say lake club?) Alchymist at Lagoa Paraiso. As the fanciest of its kind in the area, stepping into Alchymist felt a bit like stepping into a portal to a European beach club — and I didn’t hate it.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

That said, we didn’t spring for beach chairs or expensive cocktails. After splurging on a late lunch, we happily spent the rest of our time splashing around in the lagoon and enjoying our last day in Jericoacoara together.

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

ATV Sand Dune Tour in Jericoacoara, Brazil

Simply put, you’d be crazy to come to Jericoacoara and not spend at least one day out on the dunes exploring the wild west of the desert. These were some of my greatest adventures in all of Brazil — I loved them almost as much as the town we went home to.

Are you an ATV wimp like me or an adrenaline-loving daredevil like the rest of my crew?

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A Guide To Jericoacoara Brazil

ATV Adventures in Jericoacoara Brazil

The Best Airbnbs in Brazil

Considering a trip to the land of caipirinhas? Consider accommodation where you’ll have a kitchen in which to whip up your own. Airbnb exploded in popularity in Brazil in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and then again ahead of the 2016 Olympics, a shift that continues to benefit travelers — especially those headed to big cities.

Want to get $40 off your first Airbnb booking? Click here!

Airbnb has its perks everywhere around the world, but in Brazil in particular I found it had quite a few advantages over traditional hotels.

Airbnb in Brazil

For one, laundry — I was warned ahead of my trip by several bloggers that laundry service was hard to come by in Brazil, and boy, were they right. Unlike hostels in Europe and Southeast Asia, not a single hostel and even several hotels I stayed at in Brazil did not offer a laundry service of any kind. Some offered to point me in the direction of a local laundromat, but my days were quite busy and setting aside a full one to do a wash and dry just didn’t fit into the itinerary. So having access to a washing machine occasionally along the way of our trip was essential. (A Scrubba washbag would have been a good back up in-between.)

Also, much of Brazil can be fairly challenging to travel for those with special dietary needs — vegans will certainly find themselves occasionally frustrated in this meat and cheese laden land. Solution? Having a kitchen at hand! Even without any special circumstances beyond a light case of picky eating, I enjoyed having some breaks from eating out on such a long trip.

Finally, I personally found Brazil to be at times overwhelming to communicate in. If you don’t speak Portuguese, an Airbnb can be a nice place to retreat, recharge, and get ready for your next round of talking tango. For our six week trip through Brazil, Heather and I rented Airbnbs in São Paulo and Rio de Janiero, and scoured listings for every destination we visited in the country. Here are a few of my favorites!

Airbnb in Brazil

São Paulo

São Paulo had, hands down, the best selection of Airbnbs I’ve seen… anywhere! I was astounded at the amount of super trendy, wildly affordable apartments in some of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods, like hip Vila Madalena and charming Vila Mariana. I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised; considering São Paulo is the art and design capital of the country, it makes sense its residents would have some pretty well-done dwellings. Based on the amazing and diverse listings I favorited, I feel like any traveler to São Paulo would be crazy not to check out Airbnb listings.

Heather and I ended up renting a colorful one bedroom in Vila Madalena to recover from the Tomorrowland Brazil festival in. We’d originally rented a similarly styled apartment at a lower rate, but when the host cancelled at the last minute, Airbnb happily provided us enough credit to upgrade to this listings. Between the pool, the gym, and the comfy couch, we didn’t want to leave! The hosts were generous and kind, and we left rested and refreshed after two short nights. Starting at $96 per night.

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Looking for something a bit more affordable? Check out this contemporary studio in the heart of the same neighborhood, starting at $53 per night.

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Airbnb in Sao Paulo

Rio de Janeiro

Overall, the Airbnb selection in Rio was a bit dated compared to São Paulo’s slick listings, and in the Southern beach zones, the majority were located in Copacabana as opposed to hipper Ipanema.

That said, I was beyond obsessed with the charming and chic loft we ended up booking for three nights by the beach. Again our host was communicative and helpful, and we relished the opportunity to play house for a few days between hotel-hopping. Rates start at $85 per night.

Airbnb in Rio

Airbnb in Rio

Airbnb in Rio

Airbnb in Rio

Airbnb in Rio

Airbnb in Rio

Airbnb in Rio

Another listing we considered was a small but sweet studio in Copacabana starting at $60 per night.

Airbnb in Brazil

Not a beach bum? Check out this colorful and artsy offering in Lapa, starting at just $40 per night.

Airbnb in Brazil

Paraty

Paraty probably won’t wow you with its overall selection of Airbnbs. This traveler’s retreat home is a stunning exception. Starting at $96 per night.

Airbnb in Paraty

Airbnb in Paraty

Airbnb in Paraty

Airbnb in Brazil

Ilha Grande

Like Paraty, Ilha Grande doesn’t have a huge selection of Airbnbs. Most are rooms in pousadas or guesthouses rather than freestanding apartments. One incredibly unique exception? A charming ramshackle houseboat floating in Vila de Abraão Bay. Heather and I nixed it due to the lack of electricity and wifi, but for travelers not running online businesses, it might be the perfect fit! Starting at $82 per night.

Airbnb in Ilha Grande

Airbnb in Ilha Grande

Airbnb in Ilha Grande

Airbnb in Ilha Grande

Airbnb in Ilha Grande

Brasília

In a vast sea of drab corporate hotels, Airbnb stands out as an exciting option in Brasília. While most apartments won’t be featured on design blogs anytime soon, I did find one great deal with style in spades. I didn’t end up making it to Brasília on this trip, but when I return I’d love to hit up this modern and cute studio for just $36 per night.

Airbnb in Brasilia

Airbnb in Brasilia

Airbnb in Brasilia

Don’t forget! If you want to get $40 off your first Airbnb booking, click here for my free discount code! I can’t wait to hear about your own experiences in Brazil and beyond in the comments.

Do you look for rental apartments when you travel, or do you still stick to hotels and hostels?

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The Best Airbnbs in Brazil

Why You Should Airbnb in Brazil

Under Jericoacoara’s Spell: A Brazilian Backpacker Paradise

“Estava aqui!”

I blinked awake, trying to determine if my eyes had properly opened or not. Yup, lids lifted. Confirmed. It was just pitch black both in and outside the bus I’d been on for the last six hours. I checked my phone, it was just after midnight. No service. I scanned the darkness outside my window. I guess this is Jijoca, I thought.

Sleepily, I gathered my things and headed for the exit. Sitting on my backpack in my dream-like state, I didn’t blink when the bus — the bus that had deposited us on the side of a dirt road in remote Northern Brazil — pulled away and headed back towards civilization.

Travel Guide to Jericoacoara Brazil

Travel Guide to Jericoacoara Brazil

My fellow travelers also seemed unconcerned, though to be fair I didn’t actually understand a word they were saying. A Brazilian family joked in still-mysterious Portuguese, two young blonde girls whispered in French, and a rowdy group of Israelis debated in Hebrew. I sat quietly, wondering what my final chapter in Brazil had in store for me.

Eventually, I heard a surprised laughter and the crunch of wheels, and I looked up to see the source of the commotion: an ex-military dune buggy worthy of a Transformer movie credit, a monster-sized open-air vehicle designed to carry us the final stretch through unforgiving sand dunes to our final destination: Jericoacoara.

Known simply as “Jeri” to its loyal fanbase of bohemian wanderers, adrenaline-addicted adventurers and end-of-the-earth seekers, Jericoacoara is still a well-kept secret. Or perhaps, at least, a well-hidden one. Tucked amongst unpaved sand dunes in a remote National Park in the far reaches of Northern Brazil, it’s not the kind of place you simply stumble upon.

Jericoacoara Brazil Beach

Jericoacoara Horseback Riding

The next two hours felt like another surreal dream as we bounced through the endless desert, lit only by the full moon and our truck’s headlights, passing only the occasional cow or a glimpse of the dark ocean in the distance. The Israelis attempted to play guitar but the vehicle’s constant jerking back and forth was uncooperative, so they sang — loudly — instead. I thought of all the times I’d fretted that a seatmate might be disturbed by the sound of wayward audio from my headphones, and shook my head with a smile while secretly admiring their unapologetic gusto. Little did I know, in that moment, that they’d become my constant companions for the week.

It was after 2am when we crawled down off the monster truck and I took my bags and dragged them through the sand until I found Villa Chic. As I drifted off to sleep, again, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I was in a dream.

Travel Guide to Jericoacoara Brazil

Villa Chic Hostel Jericoacoara Brazil

Villa Chic Hostel Jericoacoara Brazil

The next day, I awoke to a reality that left me pinching myself. A cute pousada with a pool, a breakfast room filled with travelers swapping tales, and a charming town awaiting beyond the gate. I spent most of the first day hanging around the pousada catching up on work, wandering around town trying to set wheels in motion for a trip to the Lençóis Maranhenses, and just marveling at the fact that this tiny hidden town was already everything I had hoped for an more.

At sunset, I closed my laptop and walked down the unpaved, sandy path toward the beach. I was joined, it appeared, by the entire population of Jericoacoara, who gather nightly to watch the sunset with the same gravity that some might attend the opera. Arrive early for a good seat, get a drink, marvel at the show, and clap when it’s over.

Scanning the crowds with a fresh caipirinha from a clever local with a drink cart in hand, I saw a group from my hostel and gave myself the standard solo-traveler-pep-talk before forcing myself over for an introduction.

Jericoacoara Horseback Riding

Jericoacoara Brazil Beach

Jericoacoara Sunsets

I almost cried with happiness when I realized they were real, live, native-english-speaking Brits. Be still my heart! After five weeks of body-language olympics trying to communicate in Portuguese, my brain did a happy dance at going into auto-pilot. Later, I texted Heather. The backpackers of Brazil, I hath found them! They are in Jericoacoara! After weeks of traveling we’d yet to find a core of travelers on the so-called Gringo Trail. Now I knew where they’d been hiding. We joined a crowd gathered around a circle of capoeira dancers complete with live musicians, like a scene from a tightly edited music video. But this was no work of fiction — it was the nightly ritual of Jeri.

Saying goodbye to my new friends, I bought an acai bowl from a street vendor and wandered back towards the hotel, planning for a wild night of reading in my hammock under the stars. I smiled and waved when I saw the French girls from my bus, who I’d later learn were in fact French Canadians. “We’ve been looking for you,” they told me in broken English. “So have the Isrealis!” I tilted my head at them. “Tomorrow, we go on ATV tour.” Confused but intrigued, I agree to meet them back at the same spot the next morning.

The next morning, I obediently arrived in the agreed upon location to find a fleet of ATVs and the warm greetings of long long friends. By the time we arrived back from the dunes that night — a trip you’ll read all about in an upcoming post — I’d invited myself to Shabbat dinner the next evening. You know Shabbat? They’d marveled, amazed, when I overheard them discussing cooking plans. Of course, I replied. I’m from New York.

Jericoacoara Nightlife

Jericoacoara Nightlife

Jericoacoara Nightlife

Jericoacoara Nightlife

That night, I went for dinner at the town’s lone Thai restaurant, and remembered how much I enjoy eating alone. When I thanked the restaurant owner with a kap kun ka, her eyes lit up and she pulled me down to chat, bringing over souvenirs from her last trip back home to Bangkok, which I oohed and ahhed dutifully over. You come again, she insisted. Next time I cook you real Thai food. My heart soared.

The next day, I blogged away happily by the pool again, closing up shop just before sunset. Eliko, the ringleader of our new travel tribe, texted me to look for them on horses. On horses?

Down by the water’s edge, I caught them out of the corner of my eye. Five horses, cantering down the wide end of a dune. Who owns these horses?, I asked, when I caught up and realized the group was without guides. Yahel looked at me like I had asked why the earth was flat. We borrowed them. Very cheap.

Jericoacoara Horseback Riding

Jericoacoara Horseback Riding

Jericoacoara Horseback Riding

Jericoacoara Horseback Riding

And so went the week, rushing by in a blur of sunsets and unsupervised horseback rides and acai on the beach and long caipirinha-fueled conversations about Brazil and Israel and travel and life.

We spent hours on the sand, spread out on cangas, planning my future trip to Tel Aviv, recounting the routes we’d taken to get to Jericoacoara, discussing the challenges of traveling while keeping kosher (at least one in the group was traveling with a full set of pans and utensils in order to strictly adhere) and observing the sabath (on Saturday, we rested), and trading stories of life on the road. One more ATV adventure into the dunes aside, it was just about all we did.

Jericoacoara Brazil Beach

Jericoacoara Brazil Beach

In a way, Jeri was lacking in quite a few of my favorite things. There were no cheap and charming spas, no yoga classes, no scenic jogging paths, very few trendy cafes, and little infrastructure for travelers. (Fellow fitness fiends, fear not — there was a rusty gym that I never bothered going into, and I did stumble onto an outdoor zumba class one night in a dimly-lit courtyard).

But, there was a fairly epic show every night on the beach as the sun made it’s final farewell beneath the sea.

Jericoacoara Horseback Riding

Jericoacoara Horseback Riding

Jericoacoara Horseback Riding

And while I had certainly cemented my status as an honorary Israeli for the week — the whole crew even moved over to my hostel, lest we have to walk the six minutes between ours too many times — I made more friends in that one week than I had my previous five in Brazil. I went to the beach with a programmer from Belo Horizonte, a government worker from Brasilia, a Canadian border agent, and even one unfortunate American post-grad who left us all cringing. I instantly clicked with a British girl named Gwen who was in the midst of a kitesurfing course and made an excellent wine-drinking companion, and whom I adored so much I visited a few months later when in England. I was spoiled for company.

And what of visiting the Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses, the primary factor that motivated me to travel to Jericoacoara? It simply didn’t happen, though not for lack of passion or trying. From the first day I arrived in Jeri, I made daily rounds to the town’s travel agencies and hotels, hoping to find a tour to join. I quickly learned that I’d have to form my own group in order to take the multi-day trip across the desert. To my shock, I couldn’t find a single person who was also planing to go. As someone who’d dreamed of visiting this surreal and magical place for years, I couldn’t fathom that every single person in Jeri wasn’t also headed in that direction, even deeper into these wild dunes.

Jericoacoara Sunsets

Technically I could have shouldered the burden of paying for the guide and driver and truck and other expenses alone, but it was wince-ingly expensive to do by myself, and it gave me great pause to consider going deep into the wilderness alone with what would surely be two men and little shared language between us. If I were to create a flow chat of my emotions as I struggled to get to and eventually ceded the idea of visiting the Lençóis Maranhenses, I would say it started strong and determined, quickly tipped downward into sadness and desperation, and slowly evened out to, who could be upset about anything, when there’s a sunset so gorgeous I have no choice but to applaud it?

Yes, it’s unfortunate. I was hours away from one of my dream destinations in peak season for visiting, and my circumstances prevented me from making the final journey. But it speaks to the magic of Jericoacoara that honestly, I’m not that broken up about it.

It was one of my favorite weeks of my travels, one I still look back on wistfully and with a smile. Out there in the dunes, eight bumpy hours from civilization, people came together in a way that after five years of travel, I know is special. I say this about a lot of places, but I will be back to Jericoacoara. Perhaps to tackle the Lençóis Maranhenses, perhaps to take the kitesurfing course I’ve been lusting after for years… or perhaps just to watch a few more sunsets.

Jericoacoara Sunsets

Jericoacoara Sunsets

Till next time, Jericoacoara…

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What to Do in Jericoacoara

Jericoacoara • A Backpacker's Paradise in Brazil