1 - What are the requirements and how many people are on each trip?
You can check the levels for each route on the website. You need to be comfortable practicing the sport and handling the equipment for long periods of time. You can form your own group and booking dates to kite with your friends. The minimum is 4 people and maximum 10 people. Check availability by email.
2 - What are the 2018 dates?
Click the link for “The Dates” on the menu bar.
3 - I have been kiting for a year and a half, I am a beginner, and I would like to know if there is a route for this level?
It all depends on how many times per year you’ve been kiting and what you’ve learned. For the beginner, we do not recommend long trips, because they can be quite rigorous. There are various sections along the Brazilian coast that are very long, and required a certain level of skill and fitness. We can highly recommend our Light Jeri route for beginners and those who want to practice for the longer routes. It’s shorter and you travel less kilometers per day.
4 - What is the “Test Day” before the downwind?
This gives our staff the opportunity to see and analyze your kiting abilities, making sure you are capable of completing the route.
5 - Do you have any tips for those who just started kiting?
Check out our E-group hotel partners, who are conveniently located in awesome, smaller downwind locations. There you can practice and prepare for longer Surfin Sem Fim routes. Learn more on their website: www.egroup.net.br
6 - How do I get to the hotels in Cumbuco and Jeri? / How do I get back from the Delta Routes that end in Maranhão?
The transfer prices are not included in our package. The transfer from the airport to Taiba takes about 45 minutes, and costs around R$250.00.
It takes about 4 hours to get from Fortaleza to Preá, and costs about R$650.00, which can be divided by up to 4 people. Closer to the date of your arrival, we can organize all the transfers for you and help to find ways to divide the costs with other clients.
Another option is Fretcar: www.fretcar.com.br. They have busses from the Fortaleza airport to Cumbuco, Preá, and Jeri at lower costs.
On the routes that end in Maranhão (Atins), we recommend taking a flight from São Luis for your return. The transfer from Atins to São Luis takes about 5 hours and costs around R$850.00. This includes 1.5hr of boat transfer along the Rio Preguica river, which is amazing. Then you take a car transfer from Barreirinha to the airport, which takes about 3.5hrs and can be divided by up to 6 people. It’s worth extending your adventure a few days in Atins, where you can discover one of the worlds wonders: The Lençóis Maranhenses. But, remember that the water in the lagoons can only be admired in between the months of June to October.
7 - How does luggage travel from hotel to hotel?
This a 4×4 vehicle that accompanies each route, and transports our luggage. It follows each group along the beach, with food and drinks throughout the whole journey. In some areas the car will not be able to follow the group because of landscape conditions.
8 - What hotels will we be staying at? Can I leave or arrive at any point during the journey?
We stay at beachfront hotels that are chosen for their comfort and good service. We always anticipate double rooms, but there are times when the hotels are full and you will then be divided between groups of three people.
Here is a list of hotels here we will be staying:
Cumbuco – Windtown/ Taiba – Vila Marola/ Guajirú – Vila Vagalume/ Icaraízinho – Villa Mango/ Arpoeiras – pousada Canoas/ Preá & Jeri Rancho do Peixe & Vila Kalango/ Camocim – Bangalô São José/ Barra Grande – BGK/ Coqueiros – Vila Itaqui/ Ilha dos Poldros – Delta/ Tutóia – Jagatá/ Atins – Oceano Atins.
Please feel free to look them up and have an idea of where we will be staying. If there is availability, you can enjoy the hotels before or after our trip. For those enrolled in the SSF, we can offer extra days with a 10 % discount for stays at the charming hotels of Rancho do Peixe and Vila Kalango.
9 - Who are the Captains, Co-pilotos, and athletes?
The Captain is responsible for the group as a whole (outside of and inside the water). He is the reference point and decides on the days of the program, coordinates the briefings, kites in front of group, and has the final say on necessary decisions. He makes the Kiting related decisions in general.
The Co- Pilot is our native guide that kites behind the group, and who will be monitoring safety and taking care of the group.
The professional athlete is chosen to be a supportive guide, and will in addition coach the participants who will evolve throughout the downwind.
10 - What kites are normally used and which ones should I take?
We recommend kite sizes in between: 7-10 (this is according to the weight of the sailor and the wind intensity). Ideally bring 2 different sized kites and 2 boards.
Downwind with surfboard with Strap is always the better option, but twin tip will be a lot of fun too. You can also bring: replacement fins, bars, and lines which are warmly welcome. Camelback backpack is extremely important as well.
It’s good to bring 1 suitcase for clothes, 02 kites, 02 boards (twin -tip and surfboard). Also sunscreen, long sleeve lycra, cap, sunglasses, and your GoPro
11 - How do you guarantee safety?
Our captain and co-pilot, are connoisseurs of the prepared route, in terms of safety and first aid. Together they decide if a person is capable of following the stretches of the beach where the car is not able to follow the group. We are thoughtful about everything and have a safety system that includes:
12 - Is the food included?
Yes, we include:
Welcome drinks upon arrival at each hotel.
Breakfast and dinner at each hotel. Soft drinks, capirinha and beer.
A lunch of sandwiches, fruits, water, and Gatorade during the route.
Other drink options at the hotels are extra costs.
13 - What is suggested for the people accompanying me?
For those not sailing we suggest to relax and enjoy the hotels. If the person is interested in going in the car, watching and enjoying the scenery, it is possible to offer a discount of 15% in the package, as he/she will be with us all the way. Send an e-mail to check the conditions and availability.
14 - Are the hotel rooms double rooms? Can I have a single room?
Our package provides hotels with Double rooms, except for: Delta Route at Ilha dos Poldros at Delta do Parnaíba, where you may be required to share a room with one more.
For single room options we will have to check the availability in the hotels, as it is a period of high season. If there is availability, there will likely be an increase in price.
To reserve a single room can be difficult because it is high season and the hotels are beachfront. We can’t ensure single room availability but will do everything to satisfy the needs.
During the Classic Route, we have a night in Arpoeiras at Canoas pousada, which is a simple guesthouse on the beach.
15 - How can I take a companion who wants to learn how to kite?
The best place for someone learning to kite is at the Rancho do Kite school at Preá beach. This is the arrival of the Classic Route and the departure point for the Delta routes. It’s great for those who want to learn or develop their kiting. You will be very well taken care of by staff who can help you improve your kiting skills.
16 - How many Kilometers do we kite per day? Do we have any rest stops?
The car is equipped with drinks and food, and we stop at strategic points to eat and rest. If you need to get out of the water, we will be there to help you.
17 - Which is more difficult, the Jeri to Delta routes or the Cumbuco to Jeri route? What are the prerequisites to do Surfin Sem Fim?
Both routes require physical preparation and stamina. Please review the route levels on our website, or contact us by email to learn more about route difficulty.
18 - How can I pay?
Payments can be done with credit or debit cards, as well as direct deposits into our account.
19 - If I have dietary requirements, what should I do?
Tell us in advance so what we have time to inform the hotels.
Who wrote this FAQ?
This FAQ was written primarily by Bowen Dwelle, a kitesurfer from San Francisco who has visited Brazil several times, starting in 2008. Bowen is a brand ambassador and on-the-water guide for Surfin Sem Fim.
Come and see why Brazil is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world! When you think of “tropical”, what comes to mind? Here you will find that the warm waters and white sand beaches are a spectacle to see, and will leave you wanting to return. The tropical climate has also created a lush rainforest throughout the majority of the country, where you can find beautiful animals and hidden paradises.
Brazilians are known to be some of the ‘warmest’ people and have so much to offer— forget the stereotypes! Get to know the welcoming, laid-back lifestyle of the locals, where the good times don’t end. You’ll always feel safe and secure, especially with the kitesurfing scene along the coast!
Don’t forget to eat more than you should.. The food in Brazil in amazing! Fresh fruit and vegetables are a daily privilege, and are products of the rich agricultural environments found in Brazil. Here you will find fruits that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and we can assure you that the açaí will leave you with “saudades”. Enjoy a juicy steak, or some fresh fish— Brazil has it all!
There are various locations in Brazil to kitesurf, but some of the best kiting conditions in the world are found along Brazil’s northeastern coast. This region offers incredible conditions, perfect for kiters who:
- Want to practice long distance kiting and test their endurance
- Are interested in progression and improving their kiting abilities
- Are looking for a new adventure and practice the sport of kiteboarding
- Most importantly, conditions that are perfect for kiters of all levels
From Cumbuco to Atins you will find good wind, warm water, clear skies for 7 months throughout the year. This region supports Brazil’s high average wind statistic. The kiting locations are in the middle of paradise, and are unlike anywhere else in world! Come see for yourself.
What are some of the best things about traveling to Brazil for kitesurfing?
- It blows every day in Wind Land!
- Incredibly beautiful tropical coastline with miles and miles of sandy beaches
- Warm, friendly, welcoming, diverse culture
- Warm climate (boardshorts!)
- Kitesurfing is a known sport, and people love it!
What are Brazil and the people of Brazil like, in general?
Brazil is a very large, incredibly diverse and vibrant country. It’s just about as large as the United States, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, and has a population of more than 200 million. You can find all types of landscapes in Brazil, and the population has history in indigenous people as well as immigrants from Africa, Europe, and Asia, resulting in a very very diverse and cosmopolitan culture. In my experience, Brazilian people are friendly, open, helpful, well educated, well traveled, and interested in meeting and interacting with visitors to their country.
For more information, check out the wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil
What is the weather like in Brazil?
Overall, the weather is great! In the north of Brazil, the weather is very consistent and is generally about 75-85°F with no rain and mostly sunny, windy days. While it is the tropics, northern Brazil is breezy and not overly humid, and you are often on the water during the warmest parts of the day.
What about the language — do I need to speak Portuguese?
You may have heard that ‘Portuguese is hard’ — and it does tend to be trickier than Spanish, for example. That said, you do not need to speak Portuguese to travel in Brazil. In the north you will meet people from all over the world, and the standard language for all travelers is… English! Surfin Sem Fim also operates primarily in English, so our captains, guides, drivers and staff all speak English. Of course, please do take the opportunity to learn a little Portuguese; languages are fun!
How safe is it to travel in Brazil?
Kiters who visit Brazil with Surfin Sem Fim generally find Brazil to be a very safe country (more so than some other kite destinations such as Hawaii and Mexico, for example).
It is important to understand that Brazil is a very large country, and it is always important to know where you are and where you are going. There are some remote areas, in the Amazon for example, where it is better to travel with a guide or a local that can help you get around without any problems. You do not need such a guide in the areas where we travel for kitesurfing.
The larger cities of Brazil can be compared to cities of any other country in the world: it’s always a good idea to be careful. Pay attention to where you are going and your surroundings. Try to avoid bad neighborhoods at night, and respect the culture of the country that you’re visiting. With these tips you can safely and easily travel through Brazil without any problems.
How do Brazilian people feel about foreigners? How about Americans?
Brazilians are known to be a warm and welcoming people. If you are respectful of their culture they will likely embrace you like family and help you with anything you need. In most cases, Brazilians are very fond of Americans, as the two countries share several cultural similarities — including a love of music, shopping, the outdoors, food, political turmoil, and sports.
How crowded are the kite spots?
Some of the most popular spots like Cumbuco and Paracuru and the various freestyle lagoons can be quite busy, but the places that we go on our long distance trips are pretty empty. We often see other kiters when we pass a known spot like Jeri, Tatajuba, and Barra Grande, but we see very few people in between.
How popular is kitesurfing in Brazil?
Brazilians love kiting!! Kiting is probably much more popular in general in Brazil than in the U.S., and people have a very positive attitude about kiting. In the states, I often get a bit of a question mark when I talk about kitesurfing with strangers; in Brazil it is a known sport, and widely considered as a variety of sailing, and something that most people who live on or near the coast are familiar with.
Who will I meet on my trip?
Brazil is a popular place to travel to, especially for Europeans. In general, you are likely to meet other kiters from Europe: Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Poland — and also from South America, especially Argentina. You will also meet a lot of locals — Brazilians, that is, from local fishermen to buggy drivers, shop and restaurant owners, city people from Rio and São Paolo, and local kiters!
How do I get to Brazil?
The main gateway to NE Brazil is Pinto Martins International Airport in Fortaleza (FOR), although there are some alternate routes. There are only a few direct flights from the U.S. to Fortaleza, so travelers from the U.S. most often fly through Rio or São Paulo and then back to Fortaleza, which is not ideal but not as bad as it might sound.
As of 2018, there are some direct flights from Miami to Fortaleza; if you can use those in your routing you will save some time. Currently, there is a flight that goes MIA-FOR on Tuesdays at 10:40pm (Latam 8133) and FOR-MIA on Mondays at 9:45pm (Latam 8132). Latam is a Oneworld member, which also includes American Airlines. Otherwise, the most common way to get to a Surfin Sem Fim trip is via São Paulo or Rio → Fortaleza → ground transfer. You can also look for alternate routings through Panama, and also to JJD (for example: SFO-FLL-VCP-JJD).
If your kite destination is Prea or Jericoacoara, there is a new airport to consider: the recently-opened airport in Cruz/Jericoacoara (JJD). For example, if you are flying through São Paulo you might be able to connect directly to JJD instead of going to FOR and then 4 hours by road to Prea. There is a nonstop flight from São Paulo/Viracopos (VCP) to JJD on Saturdays on Azul.
At the western end of Surfin Sem Fim Wind Land is the city of Sao Luis, which has an international airport (SLZ). You can get direct flights from SLZ back to FOR or down to Rio or São Paulo. Since we generally travel from east to west on our kite trips, Surfin Sem Fim kiters often fly into FOR and out of SLZ. There is also a small airport in Parnaiba (PHB) that might be useful in certain cases.
Wherever you fly into, we will arrange ground transfers to the start of your Surfin Sem Fim trip.
FLIGHT SEARCH TOOLS: These days Google Flights works best and is the easiest to use.
WINTER TRAVEL: Since most travelers from the U.S. are going to Brazil during the northern winter, avoid routing through cities that can be easily affected by winter storms and snow and consider adding an extra day onto the front end of your trip just in case you have flight problems. No problems? Then you arrive in Brazil a day early: no problem! Avoid flying through Atlanta in particular.
Is Brazil a long way away / does it take a long time to get to Brazil?
It’s farther, but the way we look at it, travel is part of the fun! If often does take ~24 hours to get to Prea from, for example, San Francisco. Given the travel time, consider making your trip to Brazil a bit longer: spend two weeks exploring in the north, or stop in Rio for a long weekend.
What about jet lag?
Since Brazil is more south from the U.S. than east or west, the time difference is much less than if you go to Europe or the Pacific. There is a 2-3 hour difference from the east coast and a 4-6 hour difference from the west coast, but it’s usually not an issue. My philosophy on jet lag is: ignore it. Some people love to talk about jet lag, I like to get outside, have a run and then get in the water and go kiting!
Do I need a visa?
Who are your guides and what sort of training do they have?
Our groups typically travel with two or three guides: a captain and one or two co-captains. Each guide is a highly experienced kitesurfer, capable of guiding and assisting our clients in any given situation along the route. We often also have pro rider with the group and/or a local, native kitesurfer that is very familiar with the area. Their job is to make you feel safe, secure, and ensure an incredible experience!
How should I select my equipment for a trip like this?
Choose equipment that is in very good condition, not more than three years old, and that you are very familiar with. If you have old gear, it’s time to upgrade, but not right before you leave for Brazil! Take the opportunity to get familiar with any new equipment well before your trip so that you’re not sorting out new gear in a new country. Similarly, take the time to do any maintenance or replacement well before your trip. Bring spare parts too — an extra bar, at least one spare kite valve, some line, that sort of thing. Since you are going to a new place and likely kiting farther and longer than you will have in the past, you want your gear to be 100% dependable!
What if I have a problem on the water (like an equipment failure), and need to be rescued?
Keep in mind that when traveling in a group, your safety is everyone else’s safety — essentially, your equipment is everyone else’s safety and vice versa. If you have an equipment failure, it affects everyone in the group, and may put not only you but others at risk. So: first of all, see above, and select your gear for your trip so that you have minimal chance of equipment failure.
Even though we do have guides on the water to assist you, on any adventure you should assume at all times that your safety is ultimately your own responsibility — and so you must be prepared to do a deep-water packdown and self-rescue if necessary. Some of our routes take you 1-2km offshore in places. Be prepared, choose a route appropriate to your skill level, and don’t get in over your head.
If you do have a problem on the water and need assistance, one of the guides will help you get to shore. They are equipped and trained to perform this kind of deep-water rescue, usually by swapping a kite or by towing you to shore. You should be prepared to abandon gear without hesitation in such an emergency.
I took up open-water swimming in a minor way a few years ago. Being able to swim 2km in open water certainly makes me much more confident doing open-water crossings by kite.
What sort of physical condition do I need to be in?
It always helps to be in good physical condition, and I have found that moderate strength and cardiovascular training has improved my kiting and my level of comfort on long distance kite trips considerably. I would consider the following rough equivalents
|SSF trip difficulty||Time on the water||Equivalent jogging||Equivalent cycling|
|Easy||1 hour||½ hour||1 hour|
|Beginner||2 hours||1 hour||2 hours|
|Intermediate||3 hours||1 ½ hours||3 hours|
|Difficult||4-5 hours||2+ hours (half marathon)||4+ hours|
|“Golden”||5+ hours||3+ hours (marathon)||5+ hours|
Are there any risks from tropical diseases like malaria, Zika, etc?
It’s always a good idea to check the recent news and certain conditions before you arrive. Brazil is known to have had certain mosquito-related outbreaks. This typically occurs in remote areas, near the Amazon or Pantanal. The risk is there, but do your research and pack the necessary protection (bug spray and protective clothing), and you should have nothing to worry about!
What about sun exposure?
We get a lot of sun in the north of Brazil. On our long distance trips the best way to manage sun exposure and prevent over-exposure is to cover up! Most of us wear a long-sleeved SPF 50 rash guard and many people wear long tights as well, and of course a hat and perhaps a face/neck guard.
What is the coastline like? Sandy beaches? Rocks? Reef?
One of the most remarkable aspects of the northern coast of Brazil from Natal to Sāo Luís is that is almost entirely low-angle sandy beach and sand & mangrove river mouths with relatively few rocks and reefs. There are some rocks and one place in particular that I know of with a nasty bit of sharp reef (at the point in Barra Grande), but overall it’s a very friendly coast from a geographic point of view. What you will see on any given day depends a lot on the tide, since there is a 2-4m tidal range.
Will I get sick from “gringa” aka Montezuma’s revenge, bad food or water?
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.
How likely am I to get injured, and what if I do?
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.
What is the food in Brazil like?
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.
What are the hotels like?
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.
How expensive is it to travel in Brazil?
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.
What are some of the things that I might be surprised to learn about Brazil?
- 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
I’ve been to Maui before, how does that compare to Brazil?
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…
Is Brazil like Mexico?
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.
What are some of the disadvantages of going to Brazil for kitesurfing?
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.