Kitesurfing in Ilha do Guajiru
Ilha do Guajiru is not to be confused with Guajiru or the similar sounding Guriu, which is a flat water spot near Jericoacoara. After the expansion of the main road CE-085, more and more kite surfers have been coming to this spot since 2008.
The 3.1 miles long and up to 440 yards wide upwind sandbank reliably protects the flat water spot from any waves. Kiteboarding takes place mainly in the northwest area of the lagoon. This is because the further upwind you are, the mangrove trees offer some cover from the wind. The protected trees grow on the sandbank and get bigger and bigger every year.
Spot and wind conditions
Most of the freestylers are located directly in front of the accommodations, at the main spot, so to speak. If you prefer to kitesurf in the sea, you now have two options. You kite downwind a bit and then after the mouth of the river into the open sea. Or you cross over to a narrow part of the sandbank and cover the remaining distance to the sea on foot.
In the sea you can expect choppy water or small to medium waves, depending on wind strength and tides.
In order to have more free space, beginners usually start more downwind. Kitesurfing in Ilha do Guajiru is quite safe. At the right tide you will find mostly knee to waist-deep water. The offshore peninsula combined with the onshore wind ensure that neither you nor your gear gets lost. All of this makes this kite spot suitable for beginners.
This kite spot is also known for its high wind probability far beyond its borders. In November, however, the wind can get very strong, especially for lightweights.
Since the huge basin inside the lagoon consists more or less of brackish water, the clothes may smell a bit unpleasant after drying.
Since the size of the lagoon is strongly subject to the tides, it gets quite packed at low tide even in the off-season. At high tide, nonetheless, a huge lagoon is available. In the high season it can happen that you count 80 kites and more in the sky.
On the other hand, outside the sea changes much less. The waves are a little lower at low tide and the shore break is smaller. No big changes there.
Make sure it is high tide when you start your kitesurf downwinder from Almofala. Otherwise there won’t be enough water in the river to kite in. At low tide there is more mud than water.
At low tide you have to wade through deep mud in some places to get to the water or to get back to land. Since shells are often hidden in the mud, it can happen that you get small cuts on your feet. You should look for a way on as solid ground as possible and be careful.
If you looking for a Kitesurf Downwinder, you will find a special highlight here. From Almofala, which is located upwind to the east, it’s 7.5 miles back to Ilha do Guajiru. That’s not very much, but the best part of this downwinder is, that you cover 2.5 miles in a river at high tide. That means finest flat-water without any waves! At the end of this river the “Secret Spot” is waiting for you. The place is no longer as secret as it used to be, but it’s still fun to kite there.
Alternatively, downwinders are also started from the Ilha. Past the wind turbines and on to the northwest. Often up to Praia de Arpoeiras, which is a good 12.4 miles away. In both cases you need a transfer there or back. However, this should not be a problem, as almost every accommodation there offers a transfer. However, vehicles cannot accompany you on the beach in this area.
Ilha do Guajiru location description
Ilha do Guajiru has grown rapidly due to the emergence of kite tourism since 2008 and has changed a lot. Almost every year new accommodation or another restaurant is built. Or the owner as well as the name of an already existing accommodation changes.
The accommodations are located directly on the waterfront or at least in the immediate vicinity. From bed to kiteboard is reality here. If you want to provide yourself with food or need cash, this can be done in the nearby town of Itaema. The town has a population of about 40,000 and offers everything you need. Several stores, a real supermarket, banks to withdraw cash, several pharmacies and a small hospital in case of emergency. If you are traveling by car and you dont wont to stay overnight directly at the kite spot, you will find very cheap accommodation and dining options here.
In the past, it took almost half a day to get from the airport in Fortaleza to Ilha do Guajiru. Nowadays you can do this in just 3 hours. It is made possible by the well-developed main road CE-085.
There is only one road from Itarema to the kite spot. This connecting road runs right through the middle of huge freshwater lagoons, which arise during the rainy season. Sometimes the water reaches up even to the road.
Accommodation and restaurants
There are now numerous pousadas and some restaurants. The selection extends up to the upper middle class. Though, one should not expect too much luxury. But, kitesurfers are among themselves here. Non-kiting guests are usually not to be found here.
The accommodations are fine. In the main season it can get louder in the evening in the center due to parties. If you are not the party-all-night kind of people and prefer peace and quiet at night, you should consider this when choosing your accommodation. The further upwind you spend the night, the quieter it becomes. On the other hand, if you don’t want to miss a party, you’re in good hands right in the center.
Most of the accommodations also offer food and drinks in the evening to foreign guests. Even if the selection is limited, there is no shortage of other dining options thanks to the local restaurants. For even more choice you can go to Itarema if necessary.
Apart from kitesurfing, there isn’t much to do here. Yet, this fact will only bother very few guests, as this place is generally only visited by kitesurfers. This spot is not necessarily suitable for families with small children. If the youngsters are already familiar with kitesurfing, you can consider visiting Ilha do Guajiru with your offspring.