Genipabu: a completely unique spectacle
You can visit as often as you like but it will never be the same experience…because the dunes of this oasis change every day with the wind. Another reason to return!
Allow us to set the scene. Here we are: in Brazil, the land of the Caipirinha, the carnival and tiny bikinis and although there is no lack of sand on its beaches, here, we’re talking about vast amounts of sand. On the north coast you can find the Dunes Ecological Tourism Park in Genipabu. Although it doesn’t sound especially attractive, we can guarantee you that it’s the closest thing you’ll find to a roller coaster made of sand. Or rather several roller coasters made of sand, because the dunes move and the wind shapes them as it wishes so that you never get bored on your journey.
Genipabu or Jenipabu
According to The Brazilian Academy of Letters, it should be spelt with a “j”, because it comes from “jenipa-bu”, an indigenous word that means “eat genipapo”. However, locals and the media use “Genipabu”, which was the founding name of the city.
Among the enormous dunes of white lies a lagoon surrounded by lush vegetation. The truth is that a desert is not a desert unless there is an oasis. The Genipabu Lagoon is the perfect place to take a break between buggy jumps and have a dip. In the past, this experience used to include ‘ski-bunda’, which consisted of using a wooden board as a sledge to descend down to the lagoon, but this was prohibited for the preservation of the site. However, as adrenaline junkies, let’s continue our journey by buggy. Buggy is not the only way to enjoy the moving dunes. Although not as fast or as lively, a camel ride does bring with it the authentic stamp of the desert, in the classic style of Lawrence of Arabia.
Lots of tours also include other stops, such as Jacuma Lagoon, where you can be initiated into the practice of ‘aero-bunda’, (where you sit in a chair hanging from a steel cable and descend, finally falling into the water) and Pitangui Lagoon, which is perfect for eating in the open air because the tables in the bars are right on the shore and you’ll be sitting with your feet in the water.