A moderate break beckons beneath red sandstone cliffs at Canoa Quebrada. The former hippie commune has some tourist infrastructure so is also good as a base for surfaris to the south. Main roads serve Ceara’s largest estuary at Fortim and the mangrove-lined rivermouth of Paracuru whose landscape makes it one of the region’s most beautiful flat water spots. Miles from civilization there’s 2km² of butter, knee-deep at most around low tide. Further up the coast, the non-tidal Lagoa Uruau – one of the region’s largest lagoons – nestles amidst a spectacular dune landscape about 1km inland. Wind turbulence in the shadow of the dunes assures the western end of the lagoon is best. There’s by far less space in the estuary of Barra Nova, suitable for 5-20 kiters depending on tide, although there are never that many out at this charming spot in front of the little village anyway. A little channel straight onto the ocean offers a bit of variety, even if the beach-break on the outside is a bit chaotic. A balsa ferry commutes across the channel, and 10 real secure a buggy or 4WD trip along the beach. On the journey north, the small estuary of Aguas Belas and lagoon of Prainha are tempting for a flat water session. This is the last chance to rejoin the road if you want to check Fortaleza out, but feel free to skip the city beaches as they’re too crowded and the water quality’s appalling. 25km further north it’s a different world again as the wide, palm-lined, sandy beach of Cumbuco extends for over 5km. The gently shelving seabed ensures conditions are always easy-going despite the chop and shorebreak that often develops towards high tide. North of the village the waves build up to head-high, offering a shred-fest downwinder until your legs give way. At the far end of the beach-break, the lagoon of Cauipe is just across the sand. It’s standing-depth and can handle about 30 kites, unfortunately there can be 40+ by noon as both beginners and freestyle pros practise here. Just around the corner, Pecem is one of the region’s few point-breaks – but sadly, since the construction of the enormous cargo pier, it doesn’t work as often as it used to. An alternative to Cauipe is Lagoa Taiba, it’s a bit smaller but much less busy further from Cumbuco. Just be careful of the few rocks lurking just beneath the surface near the far bank! Paracuru is a highlight for wave hunters with a nice strip of reef – which holds a shallow pool at low tide that’s great for practising tricks. The launch is a little way out of town, but an excellent 'barraca’ on the beach offers great food and drink. To get around the estuary (that works just like a lagoon), you’ll need to follow the highway to Lagoinha even with a beach-buggy or 4x4. Over to the right out in front of the village a clean right-hand point breaks beneath steep cliffs, which can create nasty turbulence. To the left is another sandy beach for endless downwinders until the majestic setting sun melts into the red sandstone rocks. The region around Flexeiras is perfect for a few days’ getaway, framed by breathtaking dunes and huge palm groves. From the break at the sandspit of Guajiru the wide beach is driveable – even without a 4x4 – for 25km downwind tours, passing Fleixeiras with its pousadas and restaurants, then Embuaca where a pretty clean waves breaks on another sandspit, all the way to Mundau. The wind blows perfectly cross-shore over the reef on the edge of town, while freestylers find spectacular flat water conditions in the river Delta. Both spots work best from mid to high tide.
Kite and Windsurfing Guide