Aracati and Canoa have a well documented History

Origin of the name «Canoa Quebrada»

The odd name, Canoa Quebrada, dates from 1650 when a Portuguese ship commanded by Francisco Soares da Cunha, broke the rocks of Ponta Grossa and in an attempt to look for a repair in the nearby village of Aracati, where he lived the Master Simão was pushed to our beach.

When Master Simão and native helpers arrived to inspect the boat cried a "Broken Canoe!" There was registered this name to this beach.

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Church of Saint Peter (1981)
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Chico Eliziario
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Hut of the fisherman on the "Esteves"

The first families of natives living on the beach near what is now known as "Esteves", where currently live fishermen and is a protected area.

The natives, in addition to fishing, dedicated to various forms of crafts like mazes, embroidery, paintings and sculptures.

We remember “Chico Craftsman” that captured the love and the spell of the natives by an astronomical phenomenon that is the combination of "Moon and Star" (planet Venus). This phenomenon was materialized by Chico in earrings, pendants and bracelets. Today became the symbol of Canoa Quebrada.

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Famous symbol of canoa on the cliff side

In the decade 1960/70 our beach was discovered by backpackers in search of adventure and tranquillity; since the French movie-makers years later came other types of tourists not only from Brazil but also from abroad.

«Nouvelle Vague» was a name used by french critic Francois Giroud in 1958 in the magazine "l’Express", as a reference to a group of new film makers, that started to make films that broke with the traditional narrative of the cinema, names like Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Alain Resnais, Jaques Rivette, Claude Chabrel, Eric Rohmer and Agnes Varda were representatives of the movement.

In the 1960’s they chose Canoa Quebrada to film "Le Grabuges", a film that is still well known in Brazil as "Operação Tumulta". The story goes that one of the film crew was a moroccan muslim who asked "Allah" to forgive the never ending parties between the artists and the locals and for this he contracted a local artist to carve into the red sandstone cliffs a half moon and star, the symbol of his religion and this became the great symbol of Canoa Quebrada to this day.

Since the year 2000, Canoa Quebrada is in full swing getting to be a tourist destination known internationally.

Canoa Quebrada has today about 4000 inhabitants between natives, other Brazilians a sizeable colony of foreigners.

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Canoa Quebrada Beach in summer

Our History in a museum

The resort has now a history that has been illustrated in a museum that you can visit in the city of ARACATI.

Instituto do Museu Jaguaribano
Rua Coronel Alexanzito, 743 – Centro,
Aracati – CE
62800-000, Brazil
History Museum of Aracati