Brazil’s Atlantic coast is a mecca for kitesurfers. It’s home to some of the world’s best kitesurfing spots – most of them catering to beginners and experienced kitesurfers alike. Sandy beaches, warm water, flat kiteboarding lagoons and plenty of wave fun are just some of the highlights this beautiful holiday destination has to offer. With more than six months of reliable strong winds pretty much every day all day it is perfect for kitesurfers in search of adventure or simply a relaxing holiday.
Here is some of the Top Kiting spots
On top of a well-deserved reputation as a top kiting resort, Cumbuco also has convenience in its favour. A mere 30 minutes from Fortaleza, you can hop off an international flight and be on the beach in no time at all. The infrastructure around is well developed and its a social place so expect plenty of fellow kiters, kit shops, course and schools, as well as permanently blowing wind and idyllic sea lagoons.
You can leave the big kites at home – at Cumbuco at most times the lighter ladies will be fine with a 7 and you’ll see the guys sporting a 9. The further west you go, the smaller the kites usually get as the massive dunes heat up and create additional thermic effects. Also, be assured that you won’t need a wetsuit. Weather and water are warm and inviting so you can enjoy your kite sessions wearing only shorts and a lycra to protect you from the sun as you’ll quite likely be out all day.
Small lagoons and river deltas can be found all along Ceara’s coast and make for great flat water kiteboarding conditions. Some of the largest flat water areas can be found in Ilha do Guajiru and Barra Grande which hardly ever get crowded. Of course, there are also some nice lagoons closer to popular spots like Cauipe right next to Cumbuco. If your passion is more in the waves there are plenty to play with as well. Taiba is known for a nice swell. Almost as varied as the riding conditions is the offered accommodation. While you will find nice hotels and kite villages of all sizes and standards along the shore a lot of kitesurfers opt for a stay in a pousada, a typical Brazilian guest house which often offers local cuisine as well.
Kite and windsurfers have had a hand in putting Jericoacoara on the map and helping it become the tourist hub it is today – until the 1980s it was a undisturbed fishing hamlet. These days backpackers and honeymooners, as well as surfers and boarders arrive year-round. The kiting on Jeri’s own beach has its limitations and can be busy with others on the water. Preá, however is just 15km (9.3 miles) down the coast. The beach there offers some of the country’s best kitesurfing, as well a large school.
Barra Grande in Piauí (not Bahia) is an emerging kiting destination. As it is 250km (155 miles) west of Jericoacoara (which is challenging enough to get to in its own right), reaching this sleepy town takes time and effort. For serious kiters, however, it is worth it. The conditions – a constant wind of 18-28 knots, soft sand beaches and seawater lagoons – give good kiting for beginners as well as enough to entertain the pros too.
BARRA DA TIJUCA
Most of Brazil’s best kitesurfing beaches are in the country’s north-east, but visitors to Rio de Janeiro can take to the waves too. Barra da Tijuca, a 17 km (10.6 mile) stretch of sand in the city’s west zone, has a cloud of kites fluttering out at sea on weekends and holidays. It is easily reached by taxi from Ipanema or Copacabana – when you arrive, a couple of barracas, like K07 and Kite Point Rio, along the beach rent kit and give instruction if you need it.
SAO MIGUEL DO GOSTOSO
From November to January, the water off São Miguel do Gostoso in Rio Grande do Norte is thick with kitesurfers. The laid-back little town is rustic though well-connected and has four main beaches that all offer something different. The main bay is flat and sandy, with clear shallows at low tide. Others have plenty of wave-riding and jump opportunities in the peak season.
Icaraizinho (‘little Icaraí do Amontada’)’s six kilometres (3.7 miles) of beach receive almost perfect kiting conditions that, coupled with the peace and emptiness of the area, attract riders who want to get out on the waves by day and take it truly easy in the evenings. The wind blows up to 30 knots, getting stronger and more blustery in the afternoons. There are flat areas to the south and plenty of bumps and jumps heading north, as well as lesser-known beaches to be discovered.
For the wave junkies, Taiba is the place to go. It is another small fishing village on the coast north of Fortaleza with waves that reach up to two metres (6.6 feet) high. Serious boarders flock to the bay to practice their tricks, while flat-water riders head to the lagoon. It is less well known than other spots so tends to be less crowded as well as postcard perfect.
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
If you’re up for even less crowded flatwater spots with more moderate winds, then you may want to head south from Fortaleza. Here you’ll find your very own paradise visiting places like Barra Nova, Parajuru, Macau, Galinhos, Sao Miguel do Gostoso or Tibau do Sul. Just keep in mind, that the further south you go, the more the likeliness of an occasional day without wind will increase. That being said, during the main season the wind statistics still remain on par with many other top spots in the world.
Even the very south of Brazil between Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre has its share of awesome spots for kitesurfing (e.g. Ilhabela, Ibiraquera, Campeche) but the wind stats can’t match the kite heaven in the north. Still, if you happen to be passing through it’s definitely worth a trip to the beach.
A kiteboarding trip to Brazil ain’t complete without a downwinder experience. Given the steady sideshore winds, it’s the natural thing to do and there is a wide variety of trips on offer if you want to go further than just a day trip to the next village. If you have enough time and feel confident in your fitness and riding skills you can start as low as Barra Nova and have a guide take you all the way up past Cumbuco and Jericoacoara to Atkins which covers a distance of more than 600 km. It’s a nature experience you’ll never forget, feeling one with the ocean and its steady movements even though you’ve long touched shore.
DEFIANTLY A TRIP TO REMEMBER!