The Dunes in Jericoacoara
If there was a beach resort on the moon, it might look something like Jericoacoara. This coast of soaring sand dunes and pounding surf has completely transformed over the past two decades from housing a small fishing village with no electricity to boasting the northeast's premier retreat. Jeri, as the locals call it, pairs an end-of-the-world vibe with designer hotels and fancy restaurants, all of which line either sandy streets or the town's long gray beach. The main activity here, other than kitesurfing, is hopping aboard a souped-up dune buggy for a harrowing drive out into the wilds of the national park. Most visitors call in at Blue and Paradise lagoons, where water hammocks offer a welcome respite from the howling winds and rollicking ride.
What you need to know: Several bus companies connect Fortaleza with Jericoacoara throughout the day. The journey begins with a four-hour ride to Jijoca de Jericoacoara in an air-con bus, followed by a 1.5-hour transfer to Jeri in a 4WD truck along sand roads.