Instead of writing from a Jeri.com, Brazilian local or travel agency point of view, our blog this week features a personal experience of what safety is like in Jericoacoara, from a British persons point of view. Words are from Ollie Acton, who worked with Jeri.com and lived in Jeri from October 2017 until April 2018.
With regards to safety for travelers, I did a fair amount of research of what life was like in Brazil and Jericoacoara before I left England. Here in the UK we often get travel warnings for Brazil and that we should 'exercise a high degree of caution'. However, from what my friends told me of Jeri, I should have no concerns at all.
Sure enough, after the long journey from England, Jericoacoara straight away felt like home. Everyone I met in the first few weeks was extremely helpful and friendly, and that continued every day. In 6 months there was not one time where I felt threatened or worried about my safety. There were never any issues going for drinks with friends or eating out at restaurants. Even walking back home from Samba in the early hours of the morning felt very safe. The vibe in Jeri is very laid back with a surfer type culture, so as you'd expect everyone was there just for a good time and nothing more.
The local police would always be driving around the town and on the beach making their presence known. I don't think I actually saw them do anything apart from drive and talk to some locals, but if anything it made you feel even safer.
In my experience, Jericoacoara is not any more dangerous than any other place I've been to in the world, but there are some obvious things some travelers seem to forget. These things you wouldn't do in London or any other place in the world, especially if you are not extremely familiar with the area. For example, you wouldn't just leave your mobile or wallet on a table and expect it to be there once you return, neither, would you go explore unknown parts of the area by yourself late at night, these things go without saying for anywhere in the world.
Bugs, insects and other creepy crawlies
As for local safety concerns, I read a lot about the Chigoe flea, a parasite that can do some nasty work whilst it reproduces in your body. Stories go that you must never be barefoot in Jeri, especially if you are on the sand dune or walking around town. Now, once I was in Jeri I completely forget about this and would spend days and often weeks at a time not wearing anything on my feet and I had no issues with these insects, a nether did anyone else. It's probably a good idea to wear flip flops anyway around town, but unless you are extremely unlucky, the Chigoe flea is not something to worry about.
Other common bugs include cockroaches (no different to any other hot country) and during February and March, we saw a fair few Tarantulas. However, apart from being larger and scarier than any other spider in England, they are pretty much harmless and that fear soon faded.
Jericoacoara is a stunningly beautiful and a safe place to visit, and from hearing stories from Brazilians who live in Rio and Sao Paulo, it is probably one of the safest places to visit in all of Brazil. Just use your common sense and I'm very sure you'll have no problems at all. Enjoy Jericoacoara!