Ibiraquera is home to the current PWA Wave Champion Kauli Seadi. He loves the place so much he organized a PWA wave event in 2007 here and so suddenly this Brazilian beach was put in the spotlight. Could it become the next Jeri?
|Windy Season||July to November|
- How To Get There
I flew (American Airlines and TAM) from LAX connecting a flight in Miami, Florida to my first destination in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. After spending a week in Cabo Frio in Rio de Janeiro, I flew to Florianopolis, Brazil. We then had a bus arranged to take us on a 2-3 hour bus ride, depending on the traffic, to Ibiraquera. It is a narrow, busy, paved but bumpy road. I advise you to be careful if you rent your own car in Brazil. The driving there is pretty wild, but I come from Maui where it’s really chilled out and simple driving. It was quite a change for me in Brazil! From the airport in Florianopolis its one road (BR 101) that you follow straight down to Ibiraquera. It’s about 50miles/80km.
TAM airlines is, very good with the extra baggage. It cost me a flat rate of $25 a bag. I didn’t have any problems with American Airlines either. It was $80 a bag to fly international. I think it’s pretty reasonable considering the bags were so big and heavy!
- How The Wind Works
The best time to visit for wind & waves is from July to November although you could stretch this to December. The winds come from storm systems off the south of Argentina. About 80% of the time it is port tack with northerly winds and the other 20% is starboard tack with southerly winds. The wind can be light to super windy with over 25 knots.
- Water State
The waves in Ibiraquera are swell driven rather than just from the local wind. The best conditions for wave riding are a northerly wind with a south swell. With these conditions the waves wrap around the little island in front of the beach forming long breaks that peak from the island. The water is a brown colour during the northerly winds. The south winds bring the ‘blue water’ but the starboard tack waves are messy with less force. The winter (June-Aug) is best for waves and during the summer (Dec-March) the wind is better but with less swell. The PWA contest was held in September at the end of the swell season although this choice of date probably had more to do with fitting it into a busy calendar rather than going during the ‘best time’.
For beginners to free riders there are several lagoons close by the beach with very flat water and lighter winds than on the sea.
During the winter months the water is cold and a wetsuit is needed. I went during the end of winter (Aug-Sept) and the water temperature was 18`C. I had a long leg and long arm 3.2 wetsuit. But during their summer (Dec-Mar) you can use your surf shorts or even sail in your bikini! Note: the south winds bring colder sea temperatures than the north winds.
When I was windsurfing my board and sail separated and my board washed to shore while I swam with my sail back in. I felt safe though because I knew I would end up down wind and just have to do the ‘walk of shame’ home. Watch the shorebreak – it’s a kit destructor!
- Instruction And Kit Hire
There are a few pousadas (vacation rentals) that offer windsurf equipment to use in Ibiraquera. The best choice to rent windsurf equipment would be at Open Winds or Windcenter in Florianopolis next to where you first arrive in Florianopolis. They have a ton of equipment to choose from.
Guest houses in Brazil are called Pousadas and offer basic accommodation and breakfast. There are quite a few places to choose from and are fairly close to the beach or the lagoon. The first one listed is the one I stayed at; Pousada Raia 1. It is located right on the lagoon, which you can sail down to get to the beach, walk across the beach and into the ocean! It’s a fun and easy way to get in the water. They also had storage for equipment, which was very convenient too. It is clean, cozy, beautiful and cheap when it’s split between three friends. The price was around $10 a night. The second one listed is a little more expensive but a step above the one I stayed at. I heard it was very reasonably priced. All the other listed are around Ibiraquera too. It’s a small town so everything is close to the beach.
Pousada Raia 1 www.pousadaria1.com.br (55 48 3355-0065)
Pousada Ibiraquera Park www.ibipark.com ( 55 48 9924-8544)
Sefton Natural Parkwww.naturalpark.com.br/reservas/htm (55 48 3355-6488)
Pousada Ibira Wave www.ibirawave.com.br (55 48 3355-0223)
Pousada Ilha Do Batutawww.pousadailhadobatuta.com.br (55 48 3255-5991)
Pousada Lagoa Mar www.pousadalagoamar.com(55 48 3355-0640)
Pousada Toca Da Lagoawww.tocadalagoa.com.br (55 48 33550 154)
There are two main restaurants and a supermarket that we always went to. Tartaruga was my favorite and always fun to go to after a long day sailing. You would never leave there unsatisfied. They also make their own chocolate mousse that is amazing! It is cheap to eat out but it’s cheaper to make your own meals. To go out the average total was $8 including drinks, dessert, fish, rice, beans, french fries, fried banana, salad and more.
Since Ibiraquera is a small quiet town there is no nightlife, just a few beers at Tartarugua.BUT there is a really cool nightclub close by called Mar del Rosa. It’s a huge place with techno music, couple bars and a big dance floor. The party doesn’t start until midnight and ID of 18 years old and older is checked at the door. The local drink that Brazil is famous for is Caparinas. The local beer is Skol.
- Bored Of Windsurfing
If you go during Jan/Feb then just sit back and watch Brazil’s most beautiful and most famous people wander up and down the beaches looking cool. If this doesn’t interest you then the surfing is awesome and the whale watching is even better than Maui if you are there between September and November. We caught a bus to Imbituba where there were some awesome world class waves, hitchhiked to the Mormaii Factory in Garopaba, hiked up and around mountains to Praia Rosa and rode our bikes around the little town of Ibiraquera. There are tons of places to go shopping in the towns outside of Ibiraquera.
Stay in the water as much as possible because if you stand on the beach you get sand blasted. I would come back to the pousada after being at the beach all day and have sand everywhere. Also, when you re sailing by the island don’t go too close to it because the wind gets cut off by the island and you have to swim back to the wind line.
This place is Jeri with bigger waves, less sailors and a lot more style!
Local Beach: Ho’okipa, Maui.