Jericoacoara is a virgin beach hidden behind the dunes of the west coast of Jijoca de Jericoacoara, Ceará, Brazil. Selected by the The Washington Post as one of the Top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, nicknamed Jeri, consists of blue lagoons, calm seas and huge dunes.
The name "Jericoaquara" comes from the tupi language and means "lair of the turtles" (îurukûá means "sea turtle", kûara means "lair, hole").
In 1984, the area around Jericoacoara was declared an Environmental Protection Area. It became a national park in 2002. As a result, many restrictions for building and tourism were introduced to help preserve the area. The distance to bigger cities and limited road access also helped keeping the beach and the village isolated. Fairly recently, Jeri was just a fishing village with little contact with modern life. Electricity was generated by diesel engines and street lights was provided only by the moon and the stars. After the Washington Post selection was published, tourism grew rapidly and the beach village became a popular destination. Electricity arrived in the village in 1998 and today a hot shower and air conditioning are no longer luxuries. However, since the illumination of the streets is forbidden by local law, street lights are still provided by the moon and the stars.
Getting to Jeri can still be challenging. The road from Fortaleza to Jericoacoara presents beaches and rustic villages. The last 45 minutes of the journey takes place off-road, "on-sand", among dunes and along a beach.
The village has streets covered in sand from the dunes by the sea. Jericoacoara is a popular spot for windsurfing and sailing.
Jericoacoara is one of several places in Brazil from where you can see the sun sink into the ocean. This show is often viewed by many, both visitors and locals, from the tall "Sunset dune" just next to the village.