Cumbuco: A Great Place to Have a Beach Home in Brazil

West of Fortaleza on Brazil’s northeast coast, wide white-sand beaches stretch to the horizon. You can drive for hours along these beaches. Charming fishing villages with cobbled streets and well-maintained town centers sit just off the sand.

Standing on one of these beaches at Cumbuco…where I have seen baby turtles take their first staggering steps toward the water…if you look to your right, you can see Fortaleza’s glimmering skyline. The international airport is 35 minutes away. Fortaleza is a booming state and regional capital with a population of more than three million. It has every First World comfort and luxury you could imagine.

Yet here in Cumbuco the pace of life is slow…but funky, active and energetic. The streets are lined with little fishermen’s homes. Blooming flowers spill over freshly painted exteriors. For a playground, the kids have miles of beach and a soccer ball. The beach is also where mum and dad repair fishing nets and touch up the paint on their fishing boats.

For neighbors, the fishermen’s homes have Italian restaurants, a German grill, a trendy kite surfing shop and beach bars where bronzed adventurers come to enjoy caipirinhas at sunset to the soft melodies of chill out tracks.

If you are looking for a second home on the beach, this is a place that should be on your shortlist.

This is the type of beach town I’d expect to find way off the beaten track. Like the ones I saw in Thailand over a decade ago. A place beautiful enough to draw an eclectic mix of residents and visitors from far afield. But usually places like this are too secret, or too far off the beaten track to grab the attention of the mainstream.

But in this little beach town we are only 30 minutes from downtown Fortaleza with her shiny boardwalk. Fortaleza plays host to more domestic beach holiday makers than anywhere in Brazil….and tourist numbers are growing strongly.

This would be a great place to have a beach home. You can still find opportunities like this one…

On the western edge of the village of Cumbuco, you’ll find a charming little gated beach community. Here, you are five minutes by beach buggy (that’s the easiest way to get around) from the center of the village. You are also close to a new five-star resort, where you could pay over $400 a night for a room.

Large, luxury houses are complete or under construction in this community. The landscaping is top-class. Amenities include a pool, tennis courts, soccer field and clubhouse. The community sits alongside the beach so you have direct beach access.

The infrastructure and amenities are already in. Lots here start at $40,000. (I’ll share more details about this…and my other Brazilian picks…at IL’s Ultimate Event in February.)

Each time I have visited Cumbuco since my first visit (just over three and a half years ago) I am greeted by new parks, trendy beachfront bars, kite surfing shops and posadas. But Cumbuco is still a charming little town with a laid-back feel. Development within the village is tightly controlled: There will be no intrusive high-rises.

Little Cumbuco will stay special.

Editor’s Note: Ronan McMahon is a director of Pathfinder, IL’s preferred real estate advertiser.

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