Ceará (CE)Situation and CharacteristicsThe state of Ceará lies on the north-eastern coast of Brazil. The interior of the state, like that of the neighboring states of Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte, consists of the arid tropical terrain of the sertão, largely desertic in character, which provided a refuge for the cangaceiros, the bandits who are now often given a romantic aura. Such meteorological extremes as periods of severe drought at one end of the scale and violent floods at the other limit the possibilities of agricultural development - for the most part cotton-growing and cattle-rearing.
CamocimSituation and CharacteristicsThe town of Camocim, in the far north-west of Ceará state, is 360km/225mi north-west of Fortaleza and 128km/80mi east of Parnaíba (Piauí). Its development originally was due to cattle-farming and to the production and export of charque (dried meat) and animal skins. All these activities were later also established in Parnaíba, the port of Piauí. The trade in dried meat from Ceará flourished into the 18th century, when a three-year-long drought destroyed most of the cattle. Thereafter the state of Rio Grande do Sul, far in the south of Brazil, became the main center of the trade. Camocim is now a good center from which to visit some of the finest coastal areas in north-western Ceará.Bus stationPraça da Saudade
BeachesThe Praias das Barreiras and do Farol are respectively 2km/1.3mi and 4km/2.5mi from the town center. The finest beaches (Bitupitá, Imburana, Tatajuba, Mangue Seco, Guriú, Preá, Formosa, etc.) are some 70km/43mi from Camocim and difficult of access by road. The best known of them, claimed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is Jericoacoara (72km/45mi).
JericoacoaraThe Praia de Jericoacoara (now a nature reserve), to the east of Camocim, is a 23km/14mi long beach of golden sand with white, golden yellow and pink-coloured dunes over 30m/100ft high. The landmark of this beach, which can be reached only on horseback or in an all-terrains vehicle, is the Ponte de Jericoacoara, a crag which has been hollowed out by the surf. Cruz, the next place on the coast, is 55km/34mi away.