In 1984 federal law declared Jericoacoara an "Environment Protection Area" (APA), and in 2002 the area reached the top Brazilian status of environment protection becoming a National Park.
In 1984, the "Washington Post Magazine" named Jericoacoara as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. Since then, the small fishing village has been slowly growing. However, thanks to building limitations, you will not find massive buildings or hotels.
It became popular amongst backpackers and more adventurous travelers seeking unknown and unusual locations.
Since 1984, the area around Jericoacoara was declared Environmental Protection Area (APA) and became a National Park in 2002. This brought many building restrictions and tourism controls, what helps to preserve the area. Electricity arrived in the village and today, hot showers and air conditioner are no longer luxury articles. However, street lighting is forbidden by local law.
There are several versions on the origin of "Jericoacoara". The most probable is that it is a combination of words from the indigenous Tupi-Guarani language. Yuruco (hole) + cuara (turtle), meaning "hole of the turtles", which refers to the fact that Jericoacoara was and is where sea turtles come to dig holes where they can lay their eggs. However, some fishermen say that the name is inspired by the "serrote" hill that stands next to the village (where the lighthouse is situated). When seen from out at sea, the hill resembles an alligator, which is called a "Jacarequara". One can see how over the years the word for alligator could have evolved into Jericoacoara. Take your pick, either is understandable.