Ceará in Brazil

Ceará calls itself the 'Terra da Luz' (Land of Light) and much of its 573-km coastline and bone-dry interior is baked under permanent sunshine. It could just as well be called the land of wind: kitesurfers and windsurfers are quickly discovering that there is nowhere better in the world for their sports. Locations such as Cumbuco and Jericoacoara are blown by strong winds almost 365 days a year, and the Atlantic Ocean offers varied conditions from glassy flat through to rolling surf. Ceará boasts some beautiful beaches, too - though poor when compared to the rest of Brazil perhaps - with long, broad stretches of sand backed by ochre cliffs or towering dunes. Sadly they are increasingly populated by ex-pat and profiteering Europeans. Many of the little fishing villages that lay undiscovered for decades are losing their character to ugly condos and concrete hotels. In places like Canoa Quebrada, Jericoacoara and Cumbuco, Italian and German are spoken as much as Portuguese. Even the state capital Fortaleza has been affected. Plane-loads of foreign tourists have turned its once-lively nightlife increasingly tawdry; and while the state authorities are cracking down hard on the exploitation it can be hard to meet locals who aren't cynical about foreigners or soliciting work.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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