I travel monthly for work, on the worse and dangerous places; so, the following recension it is reliable. You could arrive to Jericoacoara from two locations. I have reached it through Prea, driving on the beach. From the main road, you will turn into a dirty road, and meet on the junction a group young locals.
Do not STOP even if they shout. Once in Prea, you will arrive at T corner next to the beach, where there will be locals that will strongly try to stop you. They want money for any information, drive your car, or carry you to Jari by buggy or mototaxi. The prices are absolutely high. From Prea you can only driving on the beach with a 4x4.
Even if the locals wants to drive your car, disregard the offer, because it is not only sand, but mostly very bumpy road with sand. If you slow down you will get stuck, but if you drive fast, will destroy the car, and it is a busy way. There are plenty of public busses and lorry for tourists 5 Reals one way. Nobody will give you any information, but instead that, will direct you to ask to the locals at the T corner.
It is forbidden to anybody to give informations, by the local mafia. Everyboy are very scare of the boys. They hold the transportation market, and will never give you infos how to catch a bus or lorry. To catch the bus or lorry if it is empty , just stop it by the road, showing the right open hand. Jari is an open sky mall, crowded of people, where there are only pousadas It is a place for the night life that offers you, cocktails, drug, prostitutes.
The sandy roads supposed to be free to walk, but in effect are a path where buggys, motorbikes, and taxis runs. However the restaurants are beautiful, and the atmosfere of the one in the beach, beautiful as well.
On the beaches there are plenty of horses and donkeys for tourists, dogs as well. The smell of their pee, is everywhere. There are plenty of activities on the desert, riding animals, ATVs Quad , buggys, motorbikes.
It is a noisy and crowdy desert. If you want the real Sahara desert, just go to Paracuru, Km south. It is quiet too.
During the late night the atmosphere could easily turn for the worse, especially on the weekends. Too many people drunks and drug. Especially the locals, are looking for brawl.
There is no police around, and during bad situations nobody defends tourists. Same game of the transportation, on the way back. No infos allowed, but be carefull, locals will try to make you lose the public transportations, using the worse tricks. For any small reason, if you got an issue with someone, your vacation will be over, because the locals will persecute you non stop.
I strongly suggest to take just a daily tour.