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Cruisers Report from Jacare, Cabedelo

By Sue Richards last modified Jan 19, 2016 01:21 PM

Published: 2015-07-16 17:45:00
Countries: Brazil

Feedback received 16 July, 2015

We were at Jacare Village Marina, Cabedelo, for almost a month and we had a good relaxing time.

The entrance and channel is well marked but not all beacons are lighted, the river is quite wide but has several shallow areas - unless you know the place well, best is to do a daytime entry or exit. Jacare Village marina have a useful website and waypoints are posted there (

You can independently anchor close by to the marina, tie up to one of their mooring buoys or moor at their dock marina. The inner marina docks are quite shallow and the outer docks have a depth of around 4.5 meters. Power supply is 220 volts (60 hertz), fresh water is on tap (you can drink it but it tastes of chlorine), bottled water is readily available close by, the marina serves food and drinks, there is a small swimming pool, toilet and shower facilities, they provide help and assistance with many things - checking in or out, suppliers, arranging rudimentary repairs and will even call a taxi for you.

Call them on VHF Channel 68 a couple of minutes before arriving and they will help you tie up to the marina docks. The marina management speaks several languages; French, Portuguese and English.

There are a couple of other adjacent boat yards where boats can be hauled out for repairs - mainly self repair. There is also a German sail maker who can repair sails and do odd repairs. Cabedelo have numerous super markets and chain stores and the bigger city of Joao Pessoa is a mere 20 to 30 kilometers away. There are no chandleries and just about all parts will have to be imported.

There is a train service a short distance from the marina and you can ride between Cabedelo and Joao Pessoa for a mere pittance. There is a fresh produce market, open on a daily basis, but is best on a Saturday when all the local producers bring their produce to market. There are numerous restaurants and local eateries around from cheap to expensive. In the afternoon, you can expect a couple of party boats traveling past the marina to watch the local saxophone player playing the "Bolero" at sunset about 500 meters further up the river (see our comment on the Cabedelo page about the local sax player).

The river runs strong and if at anchor, make sure you have adequate ground tackle. During our time there, a dinghy engine was reportedly stolen from a yacht tied up at the moorings. Checking in or out is a breeze and is certainly the quickest we have seen anywhere in Brazil. The quality and prices of beer and Cachaca is good and you will be well advised to stock up on these.

SY Revelations (who spent 5 months in Brazil)

Feedback received 3 September, 2012

We are very happy to stay in this very little marina. It's the Concita y Luciano's house with a pier! that´s a opportunity to stay in a calm place and meet Brazilian people.

Nous y sommes en ce moment et nous apprecions reellement apres nos six+trois annees de navigation.

Cathy and Titou

Feedback received 29 September, 2010

1) Anchoring in Cabedelo is not recommended. Nasty little anchorage in front of the docks, with ferries crossing all the time.

Much better to go up the river, although charts are very imprecise. It's straight forward, the channel is easy, then stay towards the Eastern side of the river up to the large water tanks, look out for the white sticks on port and stay within 100 m of them, then stay in the center of the river. We had 3m at low tide and probably were out of the deepest parts...

2) Jacare Marina Club appears after the turn in the river. Excellent anchorage (free, but you need to pay 80 reals per week if you want to leave the dinghy at the marina and get water), and the marina run by Frenchman Philippe is OK, cost 60 reals/day for a 54 footer, includes water, electricity, Wifi, good security, and a small swimming pool.

3) Formalities: Whereas in Salvador we had to visit the Policia Federal to leave for Cabedelo, when we did the same here, the police (50 reals round trip by taxi) in Cabedelo stated firmly that only upon arrival in the country and departure from the country does one need to visit the police...

So anyway, checking in and out (when coming from another port in Brazil, and going to another port in Brazil) needs only a visit to the Capitenia at the port in Cabedelo (Marina do Brazil building on the docks). You can do both checking in AND out at the same time, as long as you pretend to have arrived less than 3 days ago, and leave within 72 hours of check out. Although the police does seem to patrol Jacare on week-ends, we've met several boats that have been there for weeks AFTER checking out without a problem.

SY Mary Ann

We recently spent 4 weeks in Jacare (July 2010).

The first week at anchor in front of “Jarace-village” and the last 3 weeks at “Ribeira adventure club”. This is a new option in the area. Luciano, a local Brazilian, started this small marina only 4 months ago on the other side of Stuart Island. He sailed the South American East coast extensively in the last 5 years before settling here. Luciano and wife, Concieta, are very friendly and helpful. He speaks Spanish and English.

Ribeira is a very small and tranquil fishing village with no food shops. The marina is still in the early phase of development. At the moment he offers cheap prices, front and back moorings for about 10 boats and anchor space. Water, electricity and internet use is available. One can enjoy cruisers-meeting-drinks and tapas at Luciano’s small bar.

The best is to visit his website: and get the waypoints, as there are sandbanks on the way to Ribeira. We had no problem with a draft of 1.7m .

There are regular water taxis at 2R/S pp from your boat to Jacare. This place is a welcome relief from the all night loud music at Jacare and a very good option for the cruiser on a tight budget.

Jaco and Christelle
S/V Songerie

I spent five weeks here during May and June 2010.

Holding is excellent in soft mud over hard sand. Watch for the small fishing boats which string long nets across the river. Some of these are lit at night but a night entry would be inadvisable.

Entry formalities vary depending on where you came from (i.e. another country, another state within Brazil or from within the same state). All are dealt with in Cabedelo - a 20 minute train ride away (from Jacare).

Jacare Club is no longer a club. You can leave a dinghy at their dock during the week but at weekends many speed boats are launched form there and you should not use it.

Jacare Village Marina has space for about 40 boats stern/bow-to on a crudely made jetty. They have water and 220 volt electricity. There is Wi-fi, a scrubbing dock (R$50 per tide), a plunge pool, the gym consists of two antiquated pieces of equipment, showers just OK, resturaunt has a very limited menu, bar barely stocked (one brand of beer only, no gin, whiskey or rum). There is no fuel dock but they will deliver fuel in cans at a 10% surcharge on top of the price (see Intermares later). Nobody I met used their laundry facilites for a second time.

For a fee of R$80 per week you can anchor off and use the marina facilities (such as they are). If you just want to tie up your dinghy and use no facilities, it is still R$ 80 a week.

Brian Stevens, an English boatbuilder, is a Jacare institution. He can undertake any type of marine repair work to a very high standard at competitive prices. He is an absolute gentleman and a font of all local knowledge. Just beware of his timescales. He no longer has showers or moorings but will put a mooring down for you.

There is an internet cafe in the village beside the bakery and a couple of very basic supermarkets.

Further up river there is a series of bars with jetties. The last one furtherest up river is Bar Bombardo owned by Leonardo. Very helpful, he speaks English. His dinghy dock is in a state of disrepair but he promises to fix it. You can use his dock for no charge. If you have the odd beer in his bar he will give you free water and take your rubbish.

Everywhere in Jacare noise can be a problem with loud music going on until 0500 at weekends. It is difficult to predict where the noise will come from as several establishments open up for private parties.

The village of Intermares is a 20 minute walk away. The Texaco station on the far side of the main road (not the one on the same side of the road as Jacare) is the place to get fuel. They will deliver free of charge to Jacare. This station has ATMs. There are two good supermarkets and a large bakery. But remember that there is a good bakery in Jacare. Intermares is close to a long yellow sand beach.

Anthony Swanston
sv Wild Fox

Related content
offcoaster says:
Jan 09, 2016 11:09 PM

Just be a bit careful with Mr. Luciano Zinn in entrusting your vessel. He is no longer with his wife and operates the place, a so called Ribeira Adveture Club in Jacare, basically a makeshift marina with a mini pier, alone. I had a berthing contract with him which expired end of October 2015. However 8 days before the end of the term he decided to make repairs to his dilapidated pier and asked me to leave prematurely. I asked for a refund, he refused. I then elucidated I would not leave until refund received. What then happened was really shocking: He seriously threatened me to cut my boat lines off!!!!! He stood there with a knife in his hands! Could not believe it. Being in a foreign country, I left. B4 this I observed other irregularities: Believe it or not, but on the other boat berthed there was a hornets nest, a fellow sailor friend got stung twice. There also was a South African Yacht, they originally wanted to stay for a few months but left briefly before I got forced to take off because of the situation there.