Until about 20 years ago, Jericoacoara was still a secluded and simple fishing village. There were no roads, no electricity, no phones, no TV's, no newspapers, and money was rarely used. Most commerce was made by the trading of goods such as fish for rice, and so forth.


In 1984 federal law declared Jericoacoara an "Environment Protection Area". It then became more widely known amongst backpackers and more adventurous travelers seeking unknown and unusual locations.

In 1994, the "Washington Post Magazine" named Jericoacoara as one
of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world.

Since then, the small fishing village has been slowly growing. However, thanks to building limitations enforced by IBAMA, the environment protection agency, you will not find massive buildings or hotels.


There are several versions on the origin of "Jericoacoara". The most probable one is that the name is a combination of several indigenous words, from the Tupi-Guarani language. Yuruco 'hole' + cuara 'turtle', meaning "hole of the turtles", referring to the fact that Jeri was and still is a place where sea turtles come to dig holes and lay their eggs. However, some fisherman say that the name is inspired by the serrote, the hill which stands next to the village where the lighthouse is situated. When seen from sea, the resembles an alligator, which is called a Jacarequara in the native language. One can see how over the years the word for alligator could have evolved into Jericoacoara. Take your pick, since they may both be true.


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