NATAL

Rio Grande do Norte State População: 2.558.660

FROM/TO NATAL

Fortaleza
560Km
João Pessoa
120Km
Recife
270Km
Maceió
572Km
Brasilia
2.507Km
Rio de Janeiro
2.625Km
Tibau do Sul
80Km
Praia do Madeiro
81Km
Praia da Pipa
85Km
B. de Cunhaú
86Km
Baía Formosa
97Km
Sagi
98 Km
Natal Weather by yahoo:

www.natal.de
is under construction
in deutsch portuguese & english but remains mostly thumbnail fotos

 
Be careful about the sun on the beach. The nice breeze off the coast the can fool into thinking you don't need extra sun protection.

Natal was founded by the Portuguese navigators in the Christmas Day of 1599 ("Natal" means Christimas Day)

Guide to Natal Beaches

South of Natal:
Ponta Negra
Pirangi
Nisia Floresta
Pipa
Barra do Cunhau
Baía Formosa



North of Natal:
Genipabu
Jacumã
Maracajaú
Barra do Rio Punaú
Perobas
São Miguel do Gostoso
Galinhos
Macau

 

Airport & Transit || Places to Stay || Travel Guides || Food || Nightlife || Carnaval || Attractions || Sports & Tours || Shopping || || Pipa || Maps & Photos

Guide to Natal Beaches

In Aforum:  [F] Carnaval ||
 [F] Places To Stay: Natal ||  [F] Traveler's Tales & Tips ||  [F] 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.

Official Information:
There are tourist information posts at the airport (Mon-Fri 7am-11pm; tel 084/743-1811) and the Rodoviária (daily 7am-11pm; tel 084/205-4372); both have good free maps of the city and can organize accommodation for you.
The main headquarters of the state's tourism secretariat is inconveniently located at the Centro de Conven??es, on the Via Costeira on the way to Ponta Negra. You're better off trying the Centro de Turismo (Mon-Fri 7am-11pm; tel 084/211-6149) in the old prison, perched on top of a hill at Rua Aderbal de Figueiredo 980 in Petr?polis, where there are beautiful views of the beaches and city. There is also an information booth (Mon-Sat 8am-6pm; tel 084/202-5652) on Avenida Presidente Caf? Filho, at Praia dos Artistas, though it's not always functioning. Alternatively, you can ring the tourist hotline (tel 084/219-4226) where you may find someone who speaks English. For information on events and films, your best bet is the Fim de Semana section of Friday's Tribuna do Norte newspaper.

TRAVEL GUIDES
Natal || Attractions || Fast Facts || Planning a Trip || ||Accommodations

Natal by Travelnow
Northeast > Rio Grande do Norte > 
Overview

" Natal today is a sprawling, modern place, a city of little history and less culture. What it does have is endless sunshine, lots of beaches for surfing and tanning, and dunes--glorious dunes, hundreds of feet high and spilling down to within inches of the seashore."

 
DUNE BUGGY: the symbol of Natal
"All drivers offer two tour options; with or without emotion. Being a founder member of the cowards club I have always opted for 'without', which is normally scary enough for me. With emotion involves hurtling down 90 degree dunes at mach 2 and some other improbable buggy driving skills.
Natal's top 10 attractions in Natal & Philip Blazdel's encounter with tourist  authorities at .bootsnall.com/
"The preferred method of transport in these regions is by dune buggy." Would you like that with Emotion?
Beach Buggies by Rough Guides "Buggies have become a way of life in Natal"

 

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.

LOCAL FOOD SPECIALTIES:
peixe ao molho de tapioca: a specialty is fresh fish fried and served in tapioca with coconut sauce
Caranguejada: crabs cooked with coconut and other spices
Paçoca: It is made of carne de sol meat cut to threads, mixed up with manioc flour and onions

NIGHTLIFE
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  

Nightlife by virtualtourist.com

CARNAVAL
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 takes place sometime in early November. It happens in the streets around Machadao Stadium
 

Downloadcarnatal.com.br

Carnatal by natal-brazil.com
Carnatal is the off-season carnival (micareta )of Natal

 PLACES TO STAY

 

 
ATTRACTIONS

Forte dos Reis Magos (daily 8am-4.45pm), dominates the river entrance. Download Like most of Brazil's colonial forts it looks very vulnerable, directly overlooked by the hill behind it and with thick, surprisingly low walls.
Praia Sete de Setembro
is dominated by the governor's palace, built in tropical Victorian style in 1873, and the town hall.
In the neighbouring Praia Albuquerque you'll find the Catedral (daily 4.30-6pm), built in 1862 but rather unexceptional. Smaller, and rather more interesting, is the nearby Igreja de Santo Antonio (Mon-Fri 8-11.30am & 2-5.30pm, Sat 8-11.30am), also known as the Igreja do Galo, after the eighteenth-century bronze cock crowing on top of its Moorish tower.
Museu Cafe Filho
(Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 8-10am), dedicated to the only Rio Grandense to become president of Brazil  Just off Praia Sete de Setembro, it is the City's most interesting museum
Museu Camara Casudo
, at Av. Hermes da Fonseca 1398, in Tirol (Tues-Fri 8-11am & 2-5pm; $1), which is dedicated to local ecology, history and geology.
Museum of natural science and anthology, maintained by the Federal University, Aquario Natal is on the road to Genipabu in Santa Rita. Redinha Nova - Lotoral Norte

spanaturalis.com.br

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 sports.

Aerobunda Jacumã --  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 084/228-2402.
Camel Riding
-- A troop of a dozen camels at Genipabu beach takes tourists on 20-minute rides. At the south end of Genipabu beach; call 084/225-2053 for info
Jangada
Riding
-- A jangada is a narrow raft made of balsa wood augmented with styrofoam and equipped with just one triangular sail. Find them along Genipabu beach.
Sandboarding --  look for the entrepreneurs at the south end of Genipabu beach.
Learn Surfing -- at Ponta Negra
Marcelo Alves of Sem Limites surf school is a great instructor (tel. 084/9418-4030 cellphone).
Adventure Tourswww.aventuraturismo.com.br
Aventura Expedições,
Rua Mipibu 758, Petropolis, Natal (tel. 084/206-4949); 4-day adventure trip from Natal 500km (310 miles) up the coast to Fortaleza. On the way you'll visit 85 beaches, countless dunes, pocket deserts, and salt mines. 
Marina Badaue; (tel. 084/238-2065
Tropical Tur (tel. 084/219-6377)
Eco-Tours
--www.manary.com.br Manary Ecourismo tel. 084/219-2900,
based at the Manary Hotel in Ponta Negra eco-tourism to the unexplored interior. Trips include visits to beautiful rock formations, some with petroglyphs made by Brazil's early inhabitants.
La Palma Spedizione (tel 084/231-6616 or 982-9944)
runs tours up and down the litoral, and into the sertão
 

 
Shopping
  •  Praia Shopping Centre, Av. Eng. Roberto Freire 8790, near Ponta Negra, smaller mall just off the Via Costaria and within walking distance from Ponta Negra beach with lots of buffet eating options
  •  Natal Shopping, at Av. Sen. Salgado Filho 2234 in the Candel?ria district. multi-floor mall with everything you'd expect a mall to have - lots of shops, food court, movie theatre, etc. On the Main road outisde Natal, you'll pass this mall on the way in fron the airport
     

Shopping by virtualtourist.com

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.

http://www.pipatour.com.br/ EVENTS

During
carnaval or new year's it will be packed to bursting with fun-loving locals, which makes it hard to congratulate yourself for believing that you have found an undiscovered gem.
Bloco Yahoo falls on Ash Wednesday, the last day of the Carnival holiday. There's no good Christian who doesn't tap his feet and join in the fun dished out by Bloco Yahoo pipa.com.br ||english || espanol 

GETTING THERE: By Car
Take the BR101 as far as Goianinha, then follow the signs to Pipa.

Alternatively, if you're coming from João Pessoa leave the BR101 at Canguaretama RN (a distance of approx. 100km) and then head for Barra do Cunhau (8km), where you should cross by ferry to Sibauma (10 mins). From there it's just 6km to Pipa along the clifftops with a magnificent view.

If you happen to be travelling by buggy or a 4 wheel drive vehicle you can drive along the coast to Pipa from Ponta Negra in Natal via the Rota do Sol (the Sun Route coast road). This route takes you via Barra de Tabatinga and across the ferry (10 mins) at Tibau do Sul. Check the tide tables before setting off as this routs must be done at low tide as part of the way is along the beach itself.

 

Natal Beaches || Airport & Transit || Maps & Photos || Natal in Aforum || Coconut Coast