The Return to Canoa Quebrada – Hit and Miss!

Beautiful beach at Canoa Quebrada

Beautiful beach at Canoa Quebrada

If you have done some traveling; I think you will get this post. That is because sadly sometimes your very enjoyment of something will eventually lead to the downfall of the very thing you were enamored with.

For 5 years, I have been visiting Canoa Quebrada in Ceara state in Brazil. Not even just one time a year – several times! Our favorite restaurant is on Main Street and we have enjoyed staying at several fine pousadas.

So what changed it on this trip you ask? Well, let me give you the 411!

Some Background

Stores on Broadway

Stores on Broadway

Canoa has always been a tourist town. So you expect some of the downfalls of a town based upon tourism. However, in the past the climate seemed tolerable. Within the past year or so, the changes have ramped up quickly.

Like any tourist area, there will always be people coming in to cash in on the tourists. This has lead to the expansion of the town itself. Our pousada had a friendly atmosphere but it was far from Broadway and we had to drive into town which we have never done before. The scary thing is that construction could be seen in the distance meaning more and more growth.

Our pousada was at the end of civilization.

Our pousada was at the end of civilization.

Building and building.

Building and building.

Life at the Beach!

To me, you visit the beach to relax. I love sitting at the table, eating some crabs and going for a swim. I am not crazy about telling a vendor every 5 minutes that I do not want a fine painting or some cheap sunglasses. There hardly seems to be a break in the assault and when it does happen, it is because they are assembling a large group to sweep through the tourists like a swarm of bees.

You can also meet another annoying person. He would be the toll collector of a public parking area. Instead of doing something more worthy such as selling an actual product; this local wino spends his day flagging in cars to spots that they can pull into themselves. The man also says that he is watching the cars but any gang of 10 year old kids could quickly over power him.

The Other Side

On my first draft of this post, I basically just spilled out all of the negatives about Canoa Quebrada. I then decided to just really think about the entire aspect of the town from the perspective of someone has not spent 5 years there.

Many privately owned restaurants line the main strip. Great food and atmosphere!

Many privately owned restaurants line the main strip. Great food and atmosphere!

The town still has wonderful restaurants to eat in and a good atmosphere. If you avoid the barracas and find a nice quiet area, I am sure you can enjoy the beach. The beach is beautiful and scenic and the famous sand dunes are still intact amazingly since they are assaulted daily by dune buggies riding tourists around.

This is why one comes to Canoa Quebrada!

This is why one comes to Canoa Quebrada!

Moving onwards!

For my next series of non-surfing related articles, I am going to pass along some new places that we found in Ceara that are worthy of praise.

We found 2 pousadas that are opposites in some respects yet both focus on creating a great experience. These two made a great trip excellent!


About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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