Jericoacoara, Brazil

Just arriving in Jericoacoara is an adventure in itself. The entire town is surrounded by a national protected area that is completely covered in sand dunes. The only way in or out is whizzing through the multihued dunes on the back of specially designed buggies. As the sun is setting over the Atlantic, you are treated to a dazzling display as the light changes the colour of the dunes from gold to deep red and all the way to a resplendent purple. Before even arriving, you know that you are going somewhere extremely special.

Beginning its life as a small fishing village, Jeri as it is affectionately known has become somewhat popular due to the incredible windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions that grace this slice of paradise from July to December. Thanks to the surrounding national park, there has been very little development in the town and this has ensured that it is never too crowded.

To the left of the main beach is a giant sand dune and at sunset, you can see the entire town making their way to the top. The apex is the perfect vantage point to watch the sun sink into the Atlantic. Some industrious person usually lugs a portable bar to the top for a few classic sundowners. There is usually someone playing the guitar, which makes the perfect accompaniment to watch the dying sun. Perhaps the most spectacular part of the process is when there is a particularly dazzling display and the whole crowd erupts in spontaneous applause.

The descent from the hill can be done in one of two ways; you could either return the same way you summitted or you could launch yourself off of the side of the sand dune and roll the entire way down to the beach in soft sand. Go on. Unleash your inner child. You know you want to. Covered in sand and laughing your way back to the main street for dinner, you will often pass circles of people practising capoeira. It is quite the amazing site to see and is always accompanied by the eerie sound of the berimbau.

Every restaurant that dots the main street serves up mouth watering cuisine that is the perfect accompaniment to either a long day of adventure or relaxing. Music is an integral part of Brazilian culture and you will hear it everywhere. Each restaurant has its own live music to be enjoyed and savoured during your meal and I assure you, it will keep you there far longer than you could have thought.

Zipping through the dunes surrounding the town on the back of a dune buggy is a most exhilarating way to spend the day. Dotted throughout the vast preserve are small freshwater lakes, which are a refreshing way to wash the sand off of you. Hidden all around are absolutely amazing sights to take in, like the pedra furada, a beautiful rock archway on the coast, a tree that has been gnarled by thousands of years of wind, but still manages to grow albeit sideways and much more. It will take weeks to wipe the smile off of your face.

A dash of adventure, a whole lot of natural beauty, a pinch of the remote and a few ice cold caipirinhas make Jeri one of the most magical places on earth.

Written by Joseph Ramsey for The Essential Destination

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