Macapa

One of the best flat water spots far and wide

Kitesurfing in Macapa

Macapa is first and foremost a brilliant flat water spot. But at high tide there are some places with a pretty decent wave. However, Macapa cannot be called a wave spot therefore. The lagoon is ideal for beginners and is still suitable for kitesurfing even at low tide.

The spot changes noticeably from year to year. The size as well as the position of the lagoon is slightly different every year. Also the beach in front of the lagoon is slowly but surely changing. This is due to the fact that the river Camurupim carries sand into the sea, which the current and wind carries in a south-west direction. Thanks to the numerous sandbanks of different sizes, the spot characteristic changes considerably depending on the tide.

Macapa kitesurf lagoon
Macapa kite lagoon at low tide

You can kitesurf all along the beach, the so-called Praia de Macapá and the neighboring Praia de Maramar. However, the north-eastern end of Macapa has established itself as the primary kite spot. From there you can start directly in the lagoon or in the sea behind it. If you want to drive to the beach by car, you should know what you are doing, as the sand is quite deep. Restaurants are within walking distance on the beach.

Spot and wind conditions

Macapa is a kite spot which is also suitable for absolute beginners. The lagoon is not huge now, but you almost always find free space in the low season. If you need more space, simply go into the open sea. Two hours before and after low tide you have shallow water and endless free space. For beginners it is important to watch out in the river with strong inflow and outflow of water. Then the current is very strong and a lost board is out of reach in no time.

The wind comes no later than 11:00 a.m. and blows constantly and without gusts side-onshore from the right. As everywhere in northeastern Brazil, the best wind time is from late July to mid-January. However, the wind blows most strongly from October to December.

Macapa Kite spot
At low tide, sandbanks several hundred meters long are formed in Macapa.

Tide

In Macapa the tides have a very big influence on the spot characteristics. The tidal range reaches an impressive 2,4 meters at full or new moon. At low tide you can walk hundreds of meters over sandbanks and the sea beyond is smooth as glass. As the tide rises, new playgrounds are constantly being created. At the peak of the tide, waves reach a height of over 1,5 meters in some places. If you don’t mind to tacking upwind a bit, you will find a perfect flat water spot less than 2 km east. Here you have to share the spot with kitesurfers from the neighboring Barra Grande, but there is certainly no lack of free space. However, this shallow flat water spot only works for +/- 90 minutes at high tide.

Dangers zones

There are no dangers directly at the kitespot. There you will find only the finest sand beach as far as the eye can see. But in the lagoon you have to be careful near the anchored boats. Part of the anchor protrudes from the sand and poses a considerable risk of injury. At high tide you should watch out for the anchor lines. Just keep enough distance to the few boats and everything is safe.

If you tack upwind from Macapa to Barra Grande, you will meet a shipwreck halfway. However, much of it is no longer left after more than 50 years in salt water.

Shipwreck in Macapa
A shipwreck near Macapa, over 50 years old

Be careful if you want to do a downwinder from Macapa towards Luis Correia to Praia do Arrombado! At the end of Praia de Maramar there are numerous reefs over a distance of 3 km (1.9 mi) near the beach. Here you should not kitesurf near the beach but further out in the sea where it is deeper but safe.

Kitesurf Downwinder

Macapa is not exactly a hotspot for kitesurf downwinders. Most of the downwinders towards Atins start in neighboring Barra Grande Nevertheless, local kite schools offer downwind trips to Praia Pedra do Sal, 22 miles away. That should be enough for a day trip if you take it easy.

Downwinder from / to Macapa resp. Barra Grande

Spot overview

Macapa location description

Macapa is still a small, sleepy place. The first Brazilian kitesurfers came from Barra Grande in 2010 to have lunch in the fishing village. International kite enthusiasts have also come to Macapa since 2012. Although year after year more and more kitesurfers come here, the place has been spared from mass tourism until today. There are a handful of stores where you can buy only the most necessary things. Until today there is still no pharmacy.

Directions

The journey by car from Fortaleza takes six hours and covers 450 km (280 mi) on asphalt roads. From Sao Luis it takes a good seven hours and the route is slightly longer. Coming from Teresina, capital of the Brazilian state of Piaui, it is five hours drive with a distance of 375 km (233 mi). This means that Macapa is not really in the immediate vicinity of an airport.
Even if the drive in the car seems quite long and arduous, you should definitely visit Macapa sooner or later. Especially lovers of flat water as well beginners will find perfect conditions here.

Accommodation and restaurants

A few pousadas and bungalows for rent are now available in Macapa. The accommodations are mostly clean and neat, but if you are looking for luxury, you won’t find it here. As soon as the sun goes down, not much happens here. After dinner, it’s time to chill. Anyone who wants to go out and party will have a hard time here. For families with small children the Carnaubinha Praia Resort located 6 km to the west is ideal.

Carnaubinha Praia Resort
The Carnaubinha Praia Resort is ideal if you are travelling with children

When it comes to restaurants there is not much of a choice. There are pizza and some typical Brazilian restaurants, but gourmets won’t get their money’s worth here. In the neighboring village of Barra Grande you have a much better choice of eateries. Although Barra Grande is only 4 km as the crow flies, it takes a good 40 minutes by car. This is because you have to bypass the river delta generously inland.

Additional Activities

The lake Lagoa do Sobradinho, located 13 km inland, is an ideal excursion destination in the vicinity. This is also where the journey of the grains of sand ends, which the wind constantly blows inland from Macapa’s beach. In this original little place far away from tourists you can eat and drink cheaply directly at the lake. A special delicacy here is the Galinha Caipira (farmer’s chicken).

Lagoa do Sobradinho
Lagoa do Sobradinho near Macapa

If you are already in Macapa and you can live one day without kitesurfing, a special adventure awaits you: a boat trip through the third largest river delta in the world, the Delta do Parnaíba.
This trip starts in Tatusport which is only 50 km (31 mi) away from Macapa. In the mangrove jungle you can admire numerous wild animals like iguanas, monkeys, caimans, capybaras and red ibis (scarlet ibis) up close from the boat.

The highlight of the tour is a daily natural spectacle. Every evening just before sunset, the entire population of red ibises living there gather on a small island. Within half an hour the treetops turn from green to bright red. Thousands and thousands of scarlet ibis spend the night together here, protected from their enemies. With the disappearance of the last sun-rays, each centimeter of the tree is finally occupied by the striking red birds.

In the dark of the night the boat goes back to the harbor. On the way there, numerous eyes on the shore reflect the light of the flashlight, because at nightfall the numerous caimans become active.

Kite spot Macapa
Summary
One of the best flat water spots. Thanks to the lagoon and large shallow spots in the sea, at low tide ideal for beginners. A rather small number of accommodations and even fewer restaurants. Dead boring at night times.
Flat Water
Wave
Accommodations
Restaurants
Family suitability
Nightlife
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
Very good flat water spot
Lagoon
Perfect for beginners
Cons
Not very many accommodations
Even fewer restaurants
Kind of boring after dark
2.8

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Flat Water
Wave
Accommodations
Restaurants
Family suitability
Nightlife
Final Score

Another kite spot
Barra Grande