Kitesurfing in Cumbuco
The former fishing village of Cumbuco is one of the first kite spots in Brazil. On the one hand, this is due to its close proximity to Fortaleza, the capital of the state of Ceara. On the other hand, at the two neighboring lagoons. The very well known Cauipe Lagoon and the lesser known Tabuba Lagoon.
Of course you can also kitesurf directly on the beach of Cumbuco. However, the conditions in the sea are not particularly good. While at low tide and small wind waves, things are still fairly orderly but it becomes quite choppy at high tide. Wave kitesurfers are hoping to get lucky at the wave spot, which is less than 2.8 miles downwind. Down there in Pico das Almas the conditions are a lot better. It is much more fun to kite here, than directly on the beach of Cumbuco.
Spot and wind conditions
The beach of Cumbuco is quite long. Most of the kitesurfing takes place in the northwest. Because here the beach runs on the leeward side in a slight arch shape. The wind is perfect side-onshore in this area. Which makes the spot safe for kiters of all levels.
The wind blows reliably day after day from the end of July to the beginning of January. The wind probability is well over 90 percent. In the early summer months, it can happen that the wind is offshore in the morning. When the wind gets stronger during the day, the wind direction changes to side-shore.
The wind force is a bit lower than at the kite spots further north such as Ilha do Guajiru or Jericoacoara. A circumstance, which lightweight beginners might welcome. Usually the wind reaches a strength of 4 to 6 Beaufort. The size of the kites usually ranges from 7 to 12 square meters.
Pico das Almas
From Cumbucos western end it is just 1.2 mi to the Pico das Almas wave spot. At high tide, the surf waves are 5 feet high. At full or new moon the waves even reach a height of over 6.6 feet near the beach. The wave spot is definitely also suitable for wave beginners.
4.3 miles downwind from the center of Cumbuco is the famous Cauipe Lagoon. It is separated from the sea by a narrow sandbar. A downwinder there is easy to master for ascending kitesurfers. The size of the freshwater lagoon depends on the amount of precipitation during the rainy season. In some places the lagoon is very shallow. We recommend that you find these spots beforehand and keep an eye on them.
In principle, the lagoon consists of two flat water spots. The smaller southern spot, which is mostly shallow, is reserved exclusively for beginners. In the larger northern lagoon, advanced riders often meet real professionals. The lagoon is not exactly huge, but it is known far beyond its borders. As a result, this flat water spot is mostly crowded. if there is already wind, you have the best chances right in the morning. Or just before sunset. At the weekend, in addition to countless bathing guests, there are also a number of local kite surfers.
On the western shore of the small lake you can find one barraca after the other. Sufficient food in typical Brazilian style is provided. On the eastern bank, the so-called Barra do Cauípe, there are numerous shady spots. Most kitesurfers launch and land their kites on this site, which is mostly free of obstacles.
The Tabuba lagoon is an alternative to the Cauipe lagoon. It is about 2.8 miles upwind from Cumbuco. Their size also depends on the amount of precipitation during the rainy months from January to June. This flat water spot is a bit smaller, but usually not that packed.
On the side facing the sea, there is a large underwater rock near the beach. Other rocks with sharp-edged shells are also located in the middle near the beach. Depending on the water level, caution is advisable.
At low tide, small wind waves form, which reach a height of less than 1.3 feet. There are no flat water spots here in the sea. As the tide comes in, it gets increasingly rough. The higher the tide, the more chop. At high tide, the waves rock up to over a meter (3.3 ft) and you will have a shore break. The two freshwater lagoons are tide-independent.
The beach in Cumbuco consists only of sand and is free of rocks or corals. If you go for a downwinder to the wave spot or the Cauipe Lagoon, you should be careful in the beach area. There you can find rock slabs in the sea in several places.
Apart from a mini-downwinder to the wave spot or Cauipe lagoon, many downwind kite safaris to the north start in Cumbuco. The beach of Pecem is only 10 miles away. On the eastern edge of Pecem there is a large artificial pier, which extends 1.55 miles into the sea. Here we recommend to go ashore first, pass under the two jetties on the beach and then relaunch your kite.
The eastern beach of Taiba can be reached after about 13.7 miles. 5 miles further lies the associated lagoon called Taiba Kite Lagoon.
Kitesurf Downwinder from / to Cumbuco
Cumbuco location description
Cumbuco was one of the first kite spots in Brazil. Kite surfers from all over the world have been coming here since 2003. Still today the former fishing village is one of the most famous kite spots in this region. Over the years Cumbuco has developed into a center for kitesurfing. Accordingly, the place has also changed. There is really no lack of kite schools here.
The place has grown along the beach and is now a good 5 miles long. The proximity to Fortaleza is both a blessing and a curse. Cumbuco is the starting point for many downwinders. For many kitesurfer in Brazil still the first stop in spot hopping. Unfortunately, the crime rate is significantly higher here than in other places. Thefts and car break-ins are not uncommon here. However, crime tends to decrease the further you get from Fortaleza.
Another ‘downer’, is the problem with the pollution. The plastic cups offered by the Barracas are immediately blown away by the wind and nobody seems to care. The Brazilian guests – as well as their hosts – don’t exactly excel here. There hardly seems to be any environmental awareness here. Plastic bags, plastic bottles and cups can be found on the beach as well as in the lee of the lagoons.
There are a number of shops where you can buy cheap groceries. There is almost everything your heart desires. No matter if food, clothes, shoes or cosmetics. In addition, two pharmacies are available in case of emergency.
The 30 km (18.6 mi) from Pinto Martins International Airport in Fortaleza can be done in 45 minutes, if traffic permits. If you come from the north, the drive from Paracuru to Cumbuco takes a good hour and the distance is 66 kilometers. Cumbuco is well signposted and therefore easy to find.
Accommodation and restaurants
Since the place is a tourist hotspot these days, prices are generally higher than anywhere else. The level of accommodation starts from basic, all the way to the upper middle-class. Although there are still cheap accommodations in Cumbuco, but you shouldn’t expect too much there. There are plenty of accommodations and restaurants. Everhything considered, the price/performance ratio in Cumbuco has gone a bit off the rails in recent years.
Since Cumbuco is not only visited by us kitesurfers, some other activities are offered. So you have the opportunity to sail in the sea on a traditional fishing boat, the so-called Jangada. Riding excursions on the beach with a guide can also be booked. Of course, a buggy or quad tour into the dunes should not be missing from such leisure activities. You can also go sandboarding in the dunes, whizz down the water slide or zip line. If there is enough water in the Lagoa Banana, a jet ski is available.