Easy You have some experience riding along small waves You’ve taken part on at least one small downwinder You can ride for around 2h a day Intermediate You have experience riding along formed waves and/or want to improve on wave riding You have experience with small downwinders and want to challenge yourself and work on your skills You can ride for around 3h a day You can ride toe-side You know the technique and you’re able to ride downwind on a straight line Difficult You’re confident riding along waves You have solid downwind experiences You can ride for 3/4h a day You can safely ride on toe-side You’re confident with advanced downwind techniques (like kite loop)
In the north, it is hard to find really good long peeling waves. The best waves are at river mouths and sandy points. There are a few spots but in general you should not come to the north of Brazil with the expectation of riding tons of perfect waves. That said, if there is some swell in the water, certain spots at river mouths, sandbars and points can produce some fun stuff! And, there are incredible wave spots in other parts of Brazil like Natal, Rio, Floripa — so consider those too.
Lots of American kiters are familiar with Mexico and may have not ever been to South America or to Brazil. Don’t assume that Brazil is anything like Mexico — because Brazil is not much like Mexico at all! Mexico pros: closer to the U.S., more Americans know a little Spanish vs Portuguese Mexico cons: not as friendly, much less interaction with locals, more likely to get cheated / have to deal with corruption first-hand, less territory accessible, infrastructure not as good Brazil pros: much more friendly and much more interaction with Brazilians, much bigger country, better infrastructure for kiters, more international visitors, warmer, more reliable wind, better hotels, more cosmopolitan/diverse culture Brazil cons: farther from the U.S.
Maui pros: within the U.S., waves, compact geography, groovy yoga scene, good coffee, fresh veg Maui cons: automobile break-ins/crime, few spots, crowded spots, sharks, reef, some may notice an exclusionary island vibe, can be expensive Brazil pros: Brazil is bigger and offers more variety. The Brazilians aren’t as territorial and you can kitesurf anywhere without any problems. No “island vibe”. Cheaper. Brazil cons: farther from the U.S., foreign language…
It’s a huge country – almost as large as the United States! Portuguêse is the language spoken in Brazil (not Spanish) It is common to exchange kisses on the cheek when saying hello and goodbye Rice and beans are served with many dishes Brazilians refer to anyone from outside of Brazil as “gringo” Singing, dancing, and drinking are a common sighting
Traveling within Brazil is relatively inexpensive. There are always options, and a range of prices depending on your style of traveling. A few examples below: Transportation: You can take a private transfer from Fortaleza to Jericoacoara for about R$450.00 ($150) — or, you can take the bus for around R$40.00 ($13.00). Most of our guests choose a private transfer, usually shared with other guests. Dining: You can eat at an upscale restaurant and pay R$100-150 ($30-50) — or, you can eat at a local restaurant and pay around R$20.00 ($7.00) — and everything in between! As you can imagine, when you are in more touristic areas, you will see higher prices. Also, it is always a good idea to have hard cash with you, because sometimes it can be difficult to pay with credit/debit cards or find ATMs.
I have been blown away by the quality and charm of the small hotels in northern Brazil. Most of the places we stay have 6-10 rooms and a unique local vibe that is welcoming, comfortable, colorful, and unpretentious. Some of the places are more ‘deluxe’ than others. My bet is that you will be surprised and delighted with how nice the accommodations are.
In the north, the food is simple, clean and healthy; a normal dinner consists of fresh fish and perhaps some chicken, rice, beans, farofa, and a simple salad. Fresh fruit is excellent breakfast usually includes a lot of fruit, as well as eggs, toast, and “tapioca”, which are crepes made from manioc flour. Any negatives? There does tend to be a lack of green fresh veg is the north, especially compared to California. That said, the food is fresh and delicious (just not that green :) If you stop in Rio or São Paulo you will find a very highly evolved Brazilian cuisine with all sorts of world-class restaurants, as well as many international offerings.
When I travel overseas doing stuff like kitesurfing & paragliding I carry trip-specific medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. It’s trip-specific and usually costs me $100-$200 per trip, which for me is certainly worth the expense. My experience visiting local clinics in Brazil for minor injuries has been that they were clean and very professional. The insurance comes into play for anything life-threatening. I usually get my travel insurance from Seven Corners.
I have not experienced this, and have always had good digestive health in Brazil. I generally drink bottled there, and I eat whatever looks good.