South America Travel Tips

From Peru to Brazil: beach, sun and caipirinha here I come…

I couldn’t believe 5 months had already gone – shocking how time flew!

My original plan was to continue my travels towards the North of South America (Ecuador, then Colombia), but “plans” are in fact just “plans”…

I realised I was pretty tired of changing place every 3 days. I was happy with all the amazing things I had seen. I now needed to “relax” a little.

Therefore, Brazil it was!

Lima (Peru) to Fortaleza (Brazil)

My plan for Brazil was pretty simple: 4 weeks, 4 beaches. I did some research online for “Best beaches of Brazil”, took a look at plane tickets (no more buses please!) and organised all the logistics.

First stop: Jericoacoara, an unpronounceable beach resort on the North-East coast of Brazil.

I got a good deal for a long flight, so I spent one short day in Lima, Peru, slept in a random hostel and took a Uber to the airport. Then, a short stopover in Bogotá, Colombia with final destination Fortaleza, Brazil.

I knew Fortaleza wasn’t worth a visit, so as soon as I landed in Brazil I immediately bought a transfer to Jeri (this is how they call Jericoacoara, thankfully). Unfortunately I missed the first bus by a few minutes, so I had to wait 8 hours (until 2.30pm) for my 6hrs transfer to Jeri. Tough, but I really didn’t want to stay in Fortaleza any longer…

In fact, it was Sunday. I asked for town center and beach directions at the bus terminal. The guy, with an honest yet sad voice, told me: “Don’t go anywhere today – it’s Sunday. Everything is closed and it’s too dangerous to walk around town…”.

Wow, never heard that before!

But he was quite right.

In fact, I got bored after a few hours of waiting in the terminal with no internet, so I went for a walk to see if I could get to the beach. Indeed I felt pretty unsafe for the first time in 5 months. Streets were deserted, just a few people driving by, nobody walking alone. The area around the terminal is pretty poor and I really hope Fortaleza is not all like that 🙂

Thankfully nothing happened and I immediately went back to the terminal. I spent the rest of the time inside the bus ticket office enjoying the air conditioning (it was so hot)! And, surprise surprise, I definitely didn’t take any pictures of Fortaleza…

Fortaleza to Jericoacoara: pretty good!

Then, the long bus trip to Jeri. And finally, the switch to the “4 by 4 bus”, for another hour through the National park.

Jeri is one of the most popular beach resorts of South America. The narrow streets are not paved, therefore the most common method of transport are quad motorbikes and horses.

Jeri is a small town, and in fairness you get the idea this was exclusively built for tourists. Apart from local workers, I don’t believe many live in Jeri.

The town center is basically one street, and the same road takes you to the wonderful white sand beach. The sea is the main “gym” of Jeri; you can walk or ride on the sand dunes, swim, surf, kitesurf, fish, paddle board, etc. Activities for tourists are numerous and if you’ve got the money you can probably enjoy a great week in a perfect tropical resort.

Even in low season, town’s pretty busy and the beach gets crowded during the day. It’s always warm in here!

Overall, I ended up spending 3 days in Jeri. I was pretty much on my own, and finally got some relax at zero altitude. Doing nothing sometimes is just perfect!

Also, I’m delighted I was not with friends as thankfully nobody was watching me while trying to surf. I got motivated and rented a board one afternoon; after my yoga & surf weekend in Ireland in September 2016 I thought surfing would come easier… but I was totally wrong and way overconfident!

I ended up with a few bruises and a “never again!” thought in my head, but hopefully after a few lessons I will change my mind 🙂

The idea of standing on a board while surfing waves is still on my must-do list… wait for a picture some day!

In Jeri I had good food (pricey though) and a good overall stay at the hostel, including decent internet for a couple of hours/day of work with my laptop.

The town was full of bars, late night parties and all, but 3 days were sufficient for me given also the fact my main goal was to relax, sleep well, swim a little and enjoy the warmth!

The beautiful landscapes, the perfect temperature, the clean water – were balanced out by an “everything is super expensive” feeling and the small size of the resort.

Glad I went, glad I stayed for 3 days only – just about right. Still, I enjoyed sunsets and… cocktails like never before 🙂 I forgot I liked caipirinha so much, and when it’s only €3… you can’t say no!

On my third day I took the bus back to Fortaleza (another 6 hours) and got out at the airport. My next beach destination was going to be Salvador de Bahia, which I can tell you already it was awesome.

I will write everything about Salvador very soon – so keep following me for the last few days of travel blogging (yes, have you heard? I will go back to Italy first and then Ireland – for good!).

Talk soon 🙂