Places To Stay: Natal || Traveler's Tales & Tips || Fernando de Noronha
Discover a magnificent landscape of white sand and long beaches; gigantic
sand dunes with sweetwater lakes and striking coconut groves.
NATAL is a medium-sized city of about 600,000 people, built on the banks of the Rio Potengi. It is a popular beach destination for Brazilian holiday-makers. The city itself is mostly modern and has gone though a period of intense development which does not wear well in relation to its neighbors, particularly if you seek the colonial elegance of a town founded by the French & built up by the Dutch many centuries before. Today the Europeans have returned, but they are no longer interested in growing crops and cattle. Rather, they seek sun and surf and the adventurous spirit the natives enjoy sharing.
Natal is at the heart of one of the most spectacular strings of beaches in the Northeast: in fact, given that you could rent a beach buggy in Genipabu, just north of Natal, and drive along 250km of dunes uninterrupted until Areia Branca, practically on the border with Cear, Natal is at one end of what amounts to a single enormous beach.
|RESTAURANTS & FOOD|
Many Brazilian tourists see eating Northeastern food as an
important part of their holiday. The pressure of meeting their expectations
provides generally good to very good options for all visitors.
Canto do Mangue, in the bairro of Ribeira, on the banks of the Rio Potengi: Municipal fish market where Rua Coronel Flaminio runs into Rua São João. It's also one of the best places to eat fish in the city: This is not a tourist neighborhood, especially at night, so so it's best to take a taxi there and back.
Praia dos Artistas, the stretch of beach about
halfway between the fort and the headland, hosts plenty of live music at
night, especially on weekends.
Nightlife by Frommers
Natal should have one of Brazil's
better Carnavals, but its reputation is minimal. Primarily consists of
bandas who parade annually and special events by restaurants and clubs.
A younger, more packed Carnaval can be found 80km down the coast at Pipa
Carnival by natal-brazil.com
"Natal is famous for NOT having carnival. "
Carnatal by natal-brazil.com
PLACES TO STAY
Forte dos Reis Magos
(daily 8am-4.45pm), dominates the river entrance.
Like most of Brazil's
colonial forts it looks very vulnerable, directly overlooked by the hill
behind it and with thick, surprisingly low walls.
|SPORTS & TOURS|
|Across the river to the north of the city, the dunes pile up so high
locals have begun to make use of them in a wide variety of silly but fun
-- At Lagoa Jacumã, Litoral Norte, Km 35, there's a dune about 60m
(200 ft.) high. At its foot is a big lake. For more information call
|PIPA 80kms south from Natal||
|Pipa is known for its famous beaches like Praia do Amor.
This is a magnet for the international jet-setters and wanna-bes trying
to get away from it all, so it takes some attitude adjustment if
you don't do casual cool naturally.
|Natal Beaches || Airport & Transit || Maps & Photos || Natal in Aforum || Coconut Coast|