The pearl on the Ceará coast, Jericoacoara's attraction is partially its isolation. Visitors can only arrive by 4WD, preferably driven by someone who knows what he or she is doing; the 18km (11-mile) drive from Jijoca through the constantly shifting sands is not for the uninitiated. The payoff for those who persevere? Miles and miles of unspoiled beaches, rock formations, lagoons, mangroves, palm trees, and a Sahara desert landscape of beautiful dunes, some over 30m (100 ft.) tall. In recent years this formerly sleepy fishing village has gotten, if not exactly crowded, certainly much more visited. The region is now an environmental protection zone, with laws forbidding the construction of new hotels and pousadas within the protected area and guidelines for garbage and recycling. Still, in high season it can be busier than you'd expect in paradise, so plan your travel for the shoulder season (Aug-Nov and late Mar to June). Jeri (as locals call it) offers many of the same activities as other beaches on the coast. There are buggy tours, hikes, sand boarding, and visits to freshwater lagoons. However, the main attraction (in addition to the isolation) is the wind; Jeri is one of those places -- like the Gorge in Oregon -- with the kind of consistent near-gale beloved by top-notch windsurfers. There's a useful website at

Clube dos Ventos (tel. 088/3669-2288; has new, top-grade gear for rent. Price (with pre-booking) is R$122 (US$61/£33) per day, R$606 (US$303/£245) per week. Their website has details on gear and wind conditions (including a daily wind report).