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Canoa Quebrada

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South America : Brazil : Northeast : Ceará : Canoa Quebrada
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Canoa Quebrada is a beach village in Ceará.

160 km southeast of Fortaleza, in the municipality of Aracati, Canoa, as it is mostly referred to, is a village installed on red sandstone cliffs.

Understand[edit]

Canoa is still holding on to its fame as a hippie paradise, although it is slowly growing into another resort destination. Despite all, many locals still work as traditional jangada fishermen. The climate is dry and sunny most of the year, with average daytime temperatures around 30 C. Some daytime rain between March and May, although substantially less than in Fortaleza.

Get in[edit]

  • Buses to(6, 9:30, 11 AM, 12:30, 2:30, 5:30 PM)and from (6, 8:30 11 AM, 1:30 4:30 5:30 PM) Fortaleza 6 times daily by São Benedito tel +55 85 3444 9999, about 3,5 hours, R$ 18,50. An alternative is to jump off any bus that passes Aracati, and switch to frequent minibuses for the last bit to Canoa.
  • Take one of the minibuses with daytrippers from Fortaleza, but they will charge you return price, R$ 40. Departure Fortaleza 7:30 AM, Canoa (bus station) 4 PM. 2,5 hours.
  • A range of agencies set up 3-4 days packages from Fortaleza. Quite convenient, with hotel pick-up and all, but mostly works out a bit more expensive.
  • For other destinations you need to change in Aracati or Fortaleza, but many of these tickets can still be bought at the bus station in Canoa Quebrada

Get around[edit]

All walkable

See[edit][add listing]

  • The sunset from the dunes backing the town. The time to go is when the beach gets shady.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Walk along the beach in either direction. Note that certain stretches become partly flooded on high tide. Your knees will get wet.
  • Dune-buggy along the coast. Standard 2,5 hour trip for up to 4 people with a driver/guide is R$ 200.
  • Jangada (traditional fishing rafts with sail). R$ 10 per person for about 30 minutes.
  • Kitesurfing: Canoa Quebrada offers optimal conditions for kitesurfing. With these extensive beaches, hot water and strong winds blows during the whole year, Canoa has become a world-renowned kite spot. The wind speed is between 15 and 30 Knos. The best season is from July to February. All courses are taught on a lagoon called barra do rio jaguaribe located at 10km from Canoa Quebrada.From 150R$ to 750R$ for 4 days of lessons.
  • Tandem paragliding on the cliff top. R$ 50 for 15-20 minutes.
  • A cruise on the river Jaguaribe with a buggy tour before and after and lunch (not included) in Fortim sets you back R$ 80. Departure 10 AM, return 4 PM.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Due to its small size, many goods are scarce and/or overpriced. Aracati has what you need!

  • Get any souvenir with Canoa's trademark: The star embraced by the crescent moon.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Food from the beach shacks is mostly inferior to that from the village restaurants. Many Broadway restaurants have special offers for lunch.

  • Biroska Brasil, Broadway. lunch and dinner. Set meals at R$ 7-8, extensive a la carte.  edit
  • Panela Cearense, Broadway (Next to Caverna). Lunch and dinner. Set meals from R$ 8.  edit
  • Costa Brava, Broadway. Good steaks and sauces Mains around R$ 30.  edit
  • Café Havana, Broadway. Top quality meats and attentive service. Mains around R$ 25.  edit
  • El Argentino, (Lower end of Broadway). Mostly grilled meats, the buffet is a bit sparse. Mains around R$ 25, all-you-can-eat at R$ 29-39.  edit

Most people working in resturants and bars in Canoa works for minimum wages and often without a proper contracts. In a lot of cases the menu states that the resturant adds 10% tip. This is a tip for the owner, the workers never see this money. You can give tips directly to the waiter in her/his hand. Even a few R$ will be welcomed.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Weekdays are rather dead, apart from January. Fridays and Saturdays have people pouring in from the whole eastern part of the state, and also some crowds from Rio Grande do Norte. Broadway turns into one big party. If there is something big on in Aracati the crowds might never arrive.

  • Caverna, Broadway. Live music on Thursdays. Shoulder rubbing on the street benches. Pool tables. Large beer R$ 4.  edit
  • Todo Mundo, Broadway. Slightly loud rock hits Shots from R$ 1! Large beer R$ 4.  edit

Daytime drinking is on the beach:

  • Jegue's Bar, On the beach (Sit down and wait till he comes along). Probably the only donkey-driven bar around.  edit
  • Freedom Bar, On the beach, Follow the crowd from the lower end of Broadway. Midnight-dawn, a couple of days a week.. Reggea in a dozen languages, bonfire in the sand. Lack of toilets and ilumination takes its toll. As of January 2010 several muggings have been reported. DO NOT WALK HOME ALONE! Beer can R$ 3.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under R$50
Mid-range R$ 50-100
Splurge Over R$100

Dozens and dozens of small inns, the cheapest of which often have no telephone for reservations. Also many private rooms for rent, from 20 reais and up.

Budget[edit]

  • Casas Flor de Lys, (From the lower end of Broadway, follow signs 200 metres towards the dunes), [1]. 4 free-standing units with small kitchens and a double and a single bed. Some have sea view. No breakfast. Bungalows from R$ 40.  edit
  • Pousada Europa, Rua Nataniel Pereira (One block above Vila Canoa), +55 88 3421 7004. Pool and rooms with their own stairs, sea view balconies and hammock spaces. Hotel got Lonely Planet plug, but it's clearly seen better days and needs a serious cleaning. Single R$ 30, double R$ 40.  edit
  • Pousada Castelo, Rua Nataniel Pereira, +55 88 8823 4976 / +55 88 88093054. Single R$ 30.  edit
  • Posada da Didi (Dona Dina), Broadway (Across the street from Ibiza, entrance where it says Caldo), No phone!!. Very basic, but prime location for party-goers. No breakfast Singles R$ 20.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Vila Canoa, Caminho do Mar (From the upper end of Broadway straight down towards the beach.), 88 34217183, [2]. Basic rooms with fan and minibar. Virtually on the beach. Breakfast in the sand. Singles R$ 50, doubles R$ 65.  edit
  • Pousada Mundial, Rua Beira Mar 93 (Past Vila Canoa (above) and left), 88 8804 5825 (). Totally refurbished 2011. Comfy beds, fridge, parking space, air con Singles 60 reais.  edit
  • Pousada do Toby, +55 88 3421 7094, [3]. Breakfast served until 4 PM!!! Nice views from rooftop terrace with pool. Single R$ 90.  edit
  • Pousada Iguana, +55 88 6272 7289, [4]. American owned. Single R$ 70.  edit

Splurge[edit]

Contact[edit]

  • Area code 88
  • Cyber cafés are now plentiful, although still somewhat slower than the cities. R$ 3 / hours is fair.
  • The cell phone networks could jam at peak hours of high season.

Learn[edit]

Elias came from Sao Paulo to Canoa Quebrada in 1979 after some time in London and Goa. He teaches English to the locals and Portuguese to the foreigners. Telephones: 88 9916 2160 / 88 8835 6694

Stay Safe[edit]

Canoa used to be famous for its lack of crime and dangers. While still not comparable to any large Brazilian city, muggings are ever more frequent, particularly targeting lone party-goers on their way home from the beach in the wee hours.

Get out[edit]

The trips to Fortaleza and Natal can be done by beach buggy. Ask at travel agencies.


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