Jericoacoara National park

With its unparalleled natural beauty, the Jericoacoara National Park is one of the most impressive protected areas in Brazil. Amidst golden sand dunes, crystal-clear waters, and exotic flora and fauna, this natural wonder invites you to immerse yourself in an unforgettable experience. In this guide, we will explore everything this paradise has to offer, from its top attractions and activities to best practices for protecting and respecting its environment.

Introduction to Jericoacoara National Park

Jericoacoara National Park

Geographical Location

Located on the west coast of the state of Ceará, Brazil, encompassing the municipalities of Jijoca de Jericoacoara, Cruz, and Camocim, Jericoacoara National Park covers an area of 8,850 hectares with a perimeter of 49,929.4 meters. This park is managed by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio). It is approximately 300 km west of the state capital, Fortaleza, and is home to the famous Jericoacoara beach, internationally recognized. You can pinpoint its geographical location using the coordinates: 2°48′S 40°30′W / -2.8, -40.5 or at the address: R. dos Coqueiros, Jijoca de Jericoacoara – CE, 62598-000, Brazil, between the municipalities of Guriú and Preá, offering visitors an unparalleled experience amidst the natural beauty and biodiversity of Jericoacoara.

History and Establishment of the Park

Created in February 2002 by Decree No. 90379 of October 29, 1984, Jericoacoara National Park was established to protect and preserve the exceptional coastal ecosystems of the region, ensuring the conservation of its natural resources and providing a space for scientific research, environmental education, and ecotourism.
Initially, it was created through the partial reclassification of the Environmental Protection Area (APA) that had been established in 1984. Then, in June 2007, its boundaries were redefined, expanding its area to 8,850 hectares and including a one-kilometer-wide marine strip parallel to the coast.

The park is a tourist destination with great potential, attracting a large number of visitors. Among its main attractions is the famous rock formation called "Pedra Furada," an icon of Jericoacoara visited by many tourists. In addition, the Serrote, another rock formation in the park, hosts the highest point, where a lighthouse stands at 95 meters in height. The dunes, especially the "Duna de Por do Sol," are also prominent landscapes in the park.

Visitors can enjoy an ecological tour through the mangroves and temporary ponds, which are natural attractions in themselves. The beaches are another highlight, offering a variety ranging from those with more tourist crowds to more secluded ones suitable for water sports.

Meaning of the Name "Jericoacoara"

The name Jericoacoara comes from the Tupi language, an indigenous language, and its meaning is "house of turtles" or "turtle nest." This name refers to both a city and beach in the state of Ceará, as well as the national park that was created in its surroundings.
The town of Jericoacoara is known for its favorable conditions for sports such as windsurfing and sandboarding, making it a popular destination for water sports and adventure enthusiasts.

Natural Characteristics

Dunes of Jericoacoara National Park

Flora and Fauna

Jericoacoara is home to a unique biological diversity. Here, you can find everything from migratory birds to sea turtles. The flora is equally impressive, with a mix of coastal and dune plant species, some of which are not found anywhere else in the world.

Dune Migration

In Jericoacoara National Park, you can witness the fascinating phenomenon of dune migration. Mainly in coastal regions with abundant sand and constant winds, dunes cluster together to form what is known as "Dune Fields." The process of sand transport occurs primarily by saltation, where sand particles are lifted and moved by the wind.
These dunes migrate at varying speeds as the wind carries sand particles to other points, typically accumulating on the leeward side, in the region called the "leeward." Coastal dunes always form in the direction of the prevailing wind.

  1. They migrate from the mainland: they border the Pedra Furada promontory and can return to the coastline through sediment bypass, forming a kind of sand crossing.
  2. Upon reaching the Doce Creek and the Guriú River estuary, they give rise to sandbanks, which are transported by river dynamics and tides, and sediments immediately return to the beach.
  3. The dune fields also migrate inland to the plains until they are fixed by vegetation or overlap with other already fixed dune fields.

The dune field in Jericoacoara consists of fixed and mobile dunes in a barján format. Growing dunes are the most common, with peaks at both ends and are generally wider than they are long, sloping in the direction of the prevailing wind, which in Jericoacoara goes from east to west. Dune migration, occurring at a rate of approximately 15 meters per year, alters the entire environment, including pushing natural lagoons.

A prominent example of this process is the famous Duna do Pôr do Sol, which has experienced about 500 years of formation to this day. This dune, currently measuring around 30 meters in height, faces the sea and is a privileged spot where thousands of tourists from around the world gather to admire the sunset over the sea in Jericoacoara. However, it’s essential to note that natural processes and human interaction accelerate the change and reduction in the size of these dunes over time.

Geography and Climate

The sand dunes, freshwater lagoons, and pristine beaches define the geography of Jericoacoara. Its tropical and warm climate year-round, with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius, makes it a perfect destination for nature and adventure enthusiasts.
Jericoacoara is located very close to the equator, which means that seasons are not very pronounced in this region. The tropical climate features high temperatures that do not vary much throughout the year. For this reason, the year in northern Brazil is not divided into seasons as known in Central Europe or North America but rather into rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season lasts from January to May, while the dry season spans from June to December.

During the rainy season, from January to May, there is significant precipitation in Jericoacoara, with a total average ranging between 90 mm and 310 mm of rainfall. Daily maximum temperatures range between 30 °C and 33 °C, and it can occasionally be slightly cooler with temperatures between 22 °C and 24 °C. During this season, you can enjoy 5 to 7 hours of sunshine per day.

The dry season (from June to December) in Jericoacoara is characterized by high temperatures and dry weather. Days are mostly sunny and hot, with average maximum temperatures between 31 °C and 33 °C. On the few cooler days and nights, temperatures range between 22 °C and 24 °C. Precipitation is scarce during these months, varying between 0 mm and 50 mm of rainfall per month, and the climate is pleasantly sunny. During the dry season, travelers can enjoy 7 to 9 hours of daily sunlight.

Water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Jericoacoara, are comfortably warm throughout the year, ranging between 27 °C and 29 °C, making it an ideal destination for a beach getaway regardless of the season.

Main Tourist Attractions

Aerial View of Jericoacoara National Park

Duna do Pôr do Sol

The Duna do Pôr do Sol is one of the main attractions of the park, known for providing some of the most stunning sunset views in all of Brazil. People gather here every evening to witness the spectacular display of colors as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Pedra Furada

Pedra Furada, another iconic landmark of Jericoacoara, is a massive rock formation with a hole in the middle through which you can see the sea. During the month of July, the sun sets exactly in the center of the hole, creating an unforgettable view.

Lagoa do Paraíso

Lagoa do Paraíso is located in the headwaters of the municipality of Jijoca, and its 15 km² of freshwater with crystal-clear waters are surrounded by impressive dunes. Also known as Laguna de Jijoca, this lagoon is a paradise for nature lovers and offers an unforgettable experience amidst its natural beauty.

Laguna Azul

Laguna Azul is a beautiful freshwater lagoon with crystal-clear waters, surrounded by white sand dunes and native vegetation. Its charm lies in the tranquility and clarity of its waters, making it a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a refreshing swim.

Barra do Rio Guriú

Barra do Rio Guriú is located 10 km from the town of Jericoacoara and is a small fishing village that marks the western boundary of the National Park. Its location near the Guriú River and the sea makes it a picturesque and peaceful place to enjoy nature.

Dunes and Lagoons

Among the main attractions of Jericoacoara National Park are its impressive sand dunes and crystal-clear lagoons. These unique landscapes offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and immerse themselves in a dreamlike environment.

Mangue Seco

Mangue Seco is a small village located on the west side of the Park. Its main attraction is a lagoon located amidst the dunes, surrounded by a strip of mangrove that was previously occupied by the sea, giving it its characteristic name.

Nova Tatajuba

Nova Tatajuba is a small village located 25 km from the western side, near the neighboring municipality of Camocim. Some of its dunes are in the process of solidification, forming hills called "fixed dunes." This village is named "Nova Tatajuba" (New Tatajuba) because the old Tatajuba was buried by the dunes.

Pedra Furada

Pedra Furada is the icon of Jericoacoara and is located in the rocky area at the base of Serrote. This arch-shaped rock formation has been sculpted by the action of wind and sea waves. During the winter solstice, between July 15th and August 15th, it is possible to see the sunset through the arch of Pedra Furada. However, it’s important to preserve this fragile formation, so climbing it is strictly prohibited.
During the month of July, you have the privilege of witnessing a unique natural spectacle at the end of the afternoon: the sunset through the arch of "Pedra Furada." This scene is simply stunning and only occurs at this time of the year, during the full winter solstice when the sun sets further north.

In other seasons of the year, this phenomenon is not possible because the sun’s rays project through the hole onto the sea, reaching the farthest point on the beach during the summer solstice in December.

The shadow that the arch casts at sunset is another fascinating sight worth capturing in aerial photographs. The setting sun’s light enhances the reddish color of the quartz ferruginous rocks, which are characteristic of this rare formation along the Brazilian coast.

It is essential to remember that the rock formation is extremely fragile, and to preserve it, climbing or damaging "Pedra Furada" is strictly prohibited. Thus, visitors can delight in this stunning natural phenomenon while caring for and protecting this natural treasure for future generations.

Duna do Pôr-do-Sol

Duna do Pôr-do-Sol is located to the west of the town of Jericoacoara and is the most popular spot to watch the sunset. It is adjacent to Praia das Canoas and is famous for offering stunning views of the sun rising and setting over the ocean due to its peninsular location.

Praia da Malhada

Praia da Malhada is an important beach in the region located at the foot of the rocky hill called "Serrote." It is especially popular among surfers due to its ideal conditions for this water sport.

Praia do Preá

Praia do Preá is a fishing village that serves as one of the gateways to Jericoacoara, located 17 km east of the town. Fishing is abundant in the region, and its cuisine stands out for dishes featuring fish, shrimp, and lobster. Additionally, this beach is known for being perfect for kitesurfing.


Serrote is a mountain located to the east of the town of Jericoacoara, with a height of approximately 100 meters, where the lighthouse is located. It offers panoramic views of the mobile dune fields, providing a unique experience for visitors.

Jericoacoara Lighthouse

The Lighthouse is one of the most visited places to observe the moonrise and sunrise. It operates on solar energy and is completely automatic, offering spectacular views and unforgettable moments to tourists who visit it.

Barrinha and Lagoa da Pinguela

Barrinha and Lagoa da Pinguela are located after the beach "Praia do Preá" in an easterly direction. This charming fishing village preserves a primitive atmosphere with pristine dunes, crystal-clear waters, and lush vegetation. Here, visitors can enjoy an untouched natural environment and witness the unparalleled beauty that this special place offers.

Activities in Jericoacoara National Park

Hiking, Trekking, and Walking

With a network of trails that extend through the dunes, mangroves, and beaches, Jericoacoara offers excellent opportunities for hiking and walking. The best way to experience the stunning natural beauty of the area is on foot.

  1. Dunes Route: This will take you through the majestic dunes of Jericoacoara, where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the coast and the ocean. Walk on the fine golden sand and admire the interaction between the wind and the dunes that shape this unique landscape.
  2. Mangrove Trail: See the mangroves as you walk this trail. Discover the local flora and fauna, observe migratory birds, and marvel at the interconnection of the mangroves with the sea. This path will take you to serene and tranquil places, perfect for connecting with nature.

Water Sports and Adventures

From windsurfing to stand-up paddleboarding, the wind and water conditions in Jericoacoara make it a perfect place for water sports. The area is internationally known as one of the best places for kitesurfing in Brazil.


The night in Jericoacoara is a spectacular attraction due to the beauty of its starry sky. The absence of street lighting in the town creates a pollution-free environment, allowing you to gaze at the sky in all its splendor. On full moon nights, climbing a dune offers a surreal experience with the dunes illuminated by moonlight and a silver ocean framed by coconut trees along the coast. However, moonless nights are also a treasure as they reveal the brightest and most fleeting stars in an unparalleled starry sky.
In addition to the stunning night sky, Jericoacoara has much more to discover. Get to know the town and its people, immerse yourself in its rhythm, and converse with the fishermen to learn about their simple way of life and appreciate the true essence of life. Visiting the Church, built in stone by the local indigenous people, is a worthwhile experience, and from its tower, you get a beautiful view of Praia da Enseada. The night in Jericoacoara is an opportunity to enjoy nature, immerse yourself in local culture, and marvel at the grandeur of the universe above our heads

Local Cultural and Gastronomic Experiences

In addition to its natural beauty, Jericoacoara offers a rich cultural and gastronomic experience. Visitors can taste delicious local dishes, learn about the history and culture of the region, and enjoy the lively nightlife of the town.
Some of the typical dishes of Jericoacoara include:

  1. Moqueca de Pescado: This is one of the region’s most iconic dishes, a delicious blend of fresh fish cooked in a flavorful broth made from palm oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cilantro. It is served with rice and pirão, a kind of thick broth made with the same moqueca broth.
  2. Camarão na Moranga: A local specialty consisting of fresh shrimp cooked inside a roasted and filled pumpkin (moranga) with a creamy mixture of shrimp, tomatoes, onions, cream, and cheese.
  3. Baião de Dois: A traditional and comforting dish that combines rice and beans cooked together, mixed with dried meat, bacon, sausage, and spices, creating a burst of flavors in every bite.
  4. Peixe frito com pirão: A simple yet delicious dish consisting of fried fresh fish accompanied by pirão, a thick puree-like preparation made with fish broth and manioc flour.
  5. Tapiocas: A popular option for breakfast or snacks, tapiocas are tortillas made from manioc starch and filled with a variety of ingredients such as cheese, coconut, jam, or sun-dried meat.
  6. Cocada: A traditional sweet made with grated coconut caramelized with sugar, often flavored with cinnamon or vanilla. It’s the perfect dessert to sweeten your gastronomic experience.

What to See and Do Near Jericoacoara National Park

Jeri Village: Crafts, Culture, and Gastronomy

Jeri is a cheerful and welcoming village that welcomes visitors with open arms, and those who visit fall in love with its charm. With a population of approximately 16,000 people, most of the inhabitants live in rural areas, giving it an authentic and nature-centered atmosphere.
Cultural traditions are an important part of community life. Local craftsmanship is appreciated and valued, with skilled artisans creating beautiful handmade pieces that reflect the rich culture and creativity of the place. Additionally, forró, a typical dance from northeastern Brazil, is a musical and dance expression enjoyed and celebrated on various occasions.

June festivities are a lively and colorful tradition that celebrates the festivities of San Juan and other religious holidays. During these festivals, the community comes together to dance, sing, and enjoy typical foods and drinks, creating a festive and joyful atmosphere.

Artisanal fishing is also a deeply rooted activity in the local culture. Fishermen head out to sea to catch fresh fish and seafood, which are then used in the region’s delicious cuisine.

Jeri’s typical cuisine is tasty and diverse, reflecting the abundance of fresh seafood and local produce. Local dishes include a wide variety of fish and seafood prepared in various ways, as well as specialties like chapada, free-range chicken, baião de dois (a delicious dish of rice with beans and white cheese), fried ray turnovers, sweet and savory tapiocas (made with manioc starch and gum), cocadas (grated coconut with caramel and cinnamon), banana pie, papaya jam, and much more. Each bite offers a unique and authentic culinary experience

Jijoca de Jericoacoara

It is the closest municipality to the park and serves as a starting point for many visitors. Here, you’ll find amenities such as accommodations, restaurants, and shops. Additionally, you can visit the iconic Jericoacoara lighthouse, from which you can enjoy panoramic views of the region.


Located about 17 km east of Jericoacoara, Preá is another charming fishing village that is also popular among kitesurfing enthusiasts due to its favorable winds. Here, you can enjoy pristine beaches and the tranquility of local life.


A village that was buried by the dunes and later rebuilt in a new location nearby. This small village offers a unique experience by showcasing how nature can shape and transform the landscape. Additionally, you can take thrilling buggy rides through the nearby dunes.


A charming coastal town that marks the western boundary of Jericoacoara National Park. Here, you can enjoy tranquil beaches and beautiful mangrove landscapes. It’s also a good starting point for boat excursions through the estuaries and wildlife watching.


A larger city located north of Jericoacoara. Here, you’ll find a lively local life and a variety of services, such as restaurants, markets, and accommodations. Camocim is also known for its beautiful beaches and serves as a starting point for visiting the famous Tatajuba Island.

Cultural Diversity

Cultural diversity is reflected in the works of its talented craftsmen and visual artists. Using various materials such as metals, gourds, coconuts, shells, and more, they create authentic artistic expressions that enrich the local environment. Photographers, musicians, and street artists also contribute to the rich multicultural atmosphere of the place. The Craft Center offers clothing, accessories, and decoration products made with traditional techniques such as crochet and cipó. Social projects, such as the "Associação de Crocheteiras Mundo Jeri," promote local culture and empower the community’s artisans.

Tips for Visitors

Best Time to Visit

From January to May (rainy season), Jericoacoara experiences a higher amount of rainfall. If you enjoy the lush greenery of nature and lush landscapes, this season may be appealing to you. However, keep in mind that some outdoor activities may be limited due to frequent rains.
From June to December (dry season), there are mostly sunny days and warm weather. If you prefer clear days and outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, and water sports, this time is ideal for your visit. These months are generally recommended for visiting Jericoacoara National Park as the weather is better than during the rest of the year.

What to Bring

Make sure to pack sunscreen, swimwear, comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, and a hat. It’s also advisable to bring insect repellent and a reusable water bottle.

Getting Around the Park

The best way to get around Jericoacoara is on foot or by buggy. To reach more remote places, transportation services are available, but it’s important to remember that some areas are only accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Regulations and Conservation Recommendations

Visitor Policies

To preserve the natural environment of Jericoacoara, visitors must follow park rules, such as not littering, not feeding animals, and not disturbing wildlife.

Importance of Conservation

Being a protected area due to its significant biodiversity and natural beauty, we all have a responsibility to ensure its conservation for future generations.

Accommodation and Stay Options

Hotels and Inns in Jericoacoara

There is a wide range of accommodations available in and around Jericoacoara to meet all needs and budgets. From local inns to luxury resorts, visitors will find a great selection of places to stay.

  • Posada Vila Kalango: Located just steps from the beach, Posada Vila Kalango offers a rustic and cozy experience. Its charming rooms with thatched roofs and local-style decor immerse you in the atmosphere of Jericoacoara. It features an outdoor pool and a restaurant serving delicious regional dishes.
  • Hotel Essenza: It is a luxury option with a privileged location facing Jericoacoara Beach. Its spacious rooms offer stunning sea views, and the hotel has top-notch facilities, including an infinity pool, spa, gym, and gourmet restaurant.
  • Pousada Capitão Thomaz: Cozy and tranquil, it is located in the heart of Jericoacoara and offers comfortable and well-equipped rooms. It has a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for those seeking a peaceful rest after a day of exploration. It also has a rooftop pool and bar with panoramic views of the city.
  • My Blue Hotel: Located on Jericoacoara Beach, My Blue Hotel offers stylish rooms with sea views. This boutique hotel combines comfort and sophistication, and its facilities include a pool, a beach bar, and a restaurant serving international and local dishes.
  • Pousada Jeribá: Ideally located near the beach and sand dunes, Pousada Jeribá offers cozy rooms and charming decoration. It features a tropical garden and an outdoor pool, providing a relaxing environment for guests.

Camping in the Park

For those seeking a closer-to-nature experience, camping is an option in some areas of the park. However, it’s essential to remember that camping is only allowed in designated areas to protect the environment.

How to Get to Jericoacoara National Park

By Vehicle: Car or Private Car

Take CE-085 from Fortaleza (city or airport) to São Gonçalo and then BR-402 to Jijoca. The final 20 km to Jericoacoara consist of a sandy road and dunes, so it’s recommended to use 4×4 vehicles. The best way to reach Jericoacoara is by taking the route from Preá Beach and then driving along the beach. According to local regulations, driving within the city is not allowed, so all tourist vehicles must stay parked at the entrance of Jericoacoara (a fee will be charged for parking).

For regular cars, it’s recommended to park in Jijoca’s parking area and then rent a 4×4 car to get to Jericoacoara.

By Bus and Public Transportation

There is only one bus company that operates from Fortaleza to Jericoacoara and vice versa, called FRETCAR. The journey can start either from the airport or from Fortaleza’s bus station and takes approximately 6 hours to reach Jijoca by bus, plus an additional hour to Jericoacoara in a 4×4 vehicle (vehicle change managed by the company and included in the ticket).

4×4 Vehicle

Many agencies offer private transfers in 4×4 cars (Hilux, SW4, or similar). The journey takes approximately 4.5 hours from Fortaleza airport or the city center and can be booked through one of the agencies or by directly contacting the inn.

From Jericoacoara Airport

The airport is located 35 km away from Jericoacoara, in the city of Cruz. 4×4 car transfers can be booked through agencies or by directly contacting the inn. The journey takes approximately 1 hour.

It’s also possible to reach Jericoacoara by helicopter, landing on the main beach, 400 meters from Pousada Naquela.

Location Map for Directions