Surrounded by pink sand dunes, sandstone cliffs, and a winding river, Canoa Quebrada is a laid-back beach town blessed with a stunning natural environment. While the town has grown with the times, it hasn’t lost that mystical feel that earned its reputation as a ‘hippie town’ in the 1970s.
Travelers visit Canoa Quebrada for its natural beauty and simple pleasures—swimming in the aquamarine waters, strolling miles of soft white sand, tucking into fresh seafood at a beachside restaurant, and dancing the night away at local nightclub. Canoa Quebrada is a popular day trip from Fortaleza, but unless you’re pushed for time, it’s worth spending a night or two.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Parasols are available to rent at the barracas (beach bars) along the beach.
- Temperatures can reach over 85°F (30°C) in Canoa Quebrada at any time of the year, so be sure to pack sunscreen and a hat.
- The waves here can be powerful, so swim only in the designated areas and stick to shallow waters if you’re not a strong swimmer.
How to Get There
Canoa Quebrada is 97 miles (156 kilometers) east of Fortaleza, about a 2.5-hour drive. To get there, take the CE-040 east to Aracati, then follow the signs for Canoa Quebrada. There are several daily buses from Fortaleza to Aracati, 5.5 miles (9 kilometers) from Canoa. From there, it is possible to take a local bus or taxi to Canoa.
When to Get There
Swimming and sunbathing are possible all year at Canoa Quebrada, but the most popular time to visit is during the dry season (June to January). Though Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest times to hit the beach, it’s worth braving the crowds to soak up the atmosphere, particularly at night. July to February is the best time for kitesurfing and other water sports.
Outdoor Activities in Canoa Quebrada
There are many ways to explore the sand dunes, cliffs, and rainwater lagoons around Canoa Quebrada. Popular activities include dune buggy tours, horseback rides along the beach, and paragliding from the sea cliffs. Plenty of water sports options are available, but kite surfing is the most popular, both on the beach and at the nearby Barra do Rio Jaguaribe lagoon. Alternatively, jangada (traditional fishing raft) cruises are a romantic way to watch the sunset.