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03/01/2012 // VOUCONTIGO - Blog de Turismo

Pousada Castelinho Canoa Quebrada

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20/09/2012 //

Travel advisory : Canoa Quebrada, Brazil a cliff hangout

For Rita Staskowski, relocating from her tiny native land of Luxembourg in Europe to Canoa Quebrada on the vast northeast coast of Brazil was not difficult. “I love adventures,” she beamed. “I wanted to invest in an emerging country, and the northeast of Brazil seemed like a good place to start: lovely landscapes, excellent climate all year round, warm and welcoming people…” To be more specific, what captured her fancy was a haunting expanse of sun-drenched sandy terrain, converging with lagoons nestled between towering dunes, and then merging into wind swept ruddy-hued cliffs dropping onto a beach overlooking splashes of spectacular turquoise waves. Providing services for the romantic backdrop is a town combining old laid back flavor with a more upscale main street for tourist appeal.        
 
Rita built, rented and sold properties in Luxembourg for 30 years. “I had enough of the never ending work hours in Europe, just to pay taxes. Although it was a bit stressful during the first property construction I did in Canoa, life is so much easier and quieter here. That is the biggest and most positive change since moving. I'm quite an extroverted person and love to communicate with people so here I have more time to be with people.”
 
This piece of Brazil’s considerable coastline was discovered by accident in the late 1600 s, when Portuguese sailors ran aground due to their sinking boat. The name Canoa Quebrada translates from Portuguese to English as “broken canoe.” It was little more than a sleepy fishing village until the late ‘60s when it became a hippie haven for world wanderers. Many of them stayed to build small businesses and families. Notoriety came to the area when it was presented worldwide by French and Brazilian moviemakers from Rio de Janeiro in the film, “Le Gabruges,” shot in 1968. It resulted in a wave of European visitors, some of whom came and never left. Racial intermixing took place between new residents and locals, bringing a diverse international vibe to Canoa Quebrada as tourism continued to grow and attract more people.
 
“Culture is a slowly evolving part of the life in Canoa,” noted Rita. “Every December there is an international short films festival called ‘Curta Canoa’. We have the Canoa Blues music festival in November, a lovely local parade at Carnival time and some shows of renown with national bands and artists pass through. A couple of bars organize shows with local talented MPB, Samba and Reggae bands. At our Pousada Castelinho we organize such shows. There is also a Circus School and some Capoeira groups.”

Once you step off the main street-turned-pedestrian-only promenade (unfortunately named Broadway) with its tidy boutiques and somewhat overpriced restaurants, the rest of Canoa looks like a quaint time frozen village of narrow cobblestone ruas (streets), becos (slender pedestrian passageways between buildings), casinhas (modest sized but colorful stucco homes), and residents exuding much small town charm and chattiness.
 
Nightlife is mostly on Broadway, where the neon lights are replaced by faux gas lights, and though confined to dining and drinks during the week, there is more action on weekends starting around 10 p.m., lasting until the wee hours, as is expected in Brazil. Strains of Reggae music, rhythms of regional favorite known as Forró, folksy Chorinho and Pagode styles, along with Rock and Hip-Hop are heard in the bars and clubs, and there is an all-night reggae party at the Freedom Bar on the beach.
 
   

Daytime tourist activities focus on the outdoors, mainly excursions in dune buggies, with options for horseback riding, sailing in a 'jangada' boat, mountain biking, sand boarding, or sailing in a 'jangada' boat. The trade winds blow briskly for seven months of the year, making Canoa a global hot spot for paragliding, wind surfing and kite surfing freaks. Souvenir hunting grounds are on the beach or Broadway. Landscape paintings, colored sand in bottles, and jewelry made by local artists are readily available for purchase, along with “The Labyrinth,” a typical weaving of geometric designs carried on from generation to generation by women from the state of Ceara.
 
In the last several years, Canoa has seen much property development. “Some think it has been a bit much in recent years, but the beach and the natural beauty of the area is still intact and breathtaking,” asserts Rita.    “Efforts are made by national institute SEMACE to preserve the unique red cliffs, the dunes and semi-deserted areas. The central Broadway pedestrian street is a great place to have fun and the unique mixture of cultures and people still manage to retain the old village flavor of Canoa Quebrada. Now investing seems to be a good idea too. The land and property value is going up every year and we expect it to increase even higher after the soccer World Cup in 2014.”
 
Picking the time of year to visit is almost a moot point – the sun shines virtually all year long in this semi-arid tropical zone, with a minimal rainy season from late March-early May.  
 
 
GETTING THERE
Canoa Quebrada is 105 miles or roughly 3 hours east of the big city of Fortaleza. Most come by bus ($40 R/T) or shuttle van. The local airport near Canoa just expanded and air travelers can fly direct from Sao Paulo, the hub of air traffic coming into the country.
 


03/09/2012 // Projeto Pedalar é Precisio

Canoa Quebrada

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