Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise

Tripoto
29th Nov 2013

Genipabu-Natal credits Gerardo Valente

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Joaomachado

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Aeroporto Augusto Severo credits Rodrigo Césa

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Carnatal

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Cavalo_Marinho_no_Aquário_Natal credits dpadu

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Dunas Park

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Escola-de-Música-UFRN credits Patrick

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Forte_reis_magos credits edsonaoki

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Natal skyline

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

JaceguaiNatal credits Brazillian Navy

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Maior_cajueiro_do_mundo credits Wolfhardt

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Maracajaú credits Farreri

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Morro_do_Careca_Natal_Brasil credits Ricαrdo

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Natal_RN_Brasil credits Pedro Murta

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Natal-Catedral credits Patrick

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Newton Navarro bridge credits Mário Monte

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Norte_Shopping credits Luan David

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Parque_da_Cidade do_Natal credit Humberto Dió

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Porto_de_Natal_RN Credits Mário Monte

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Praia_de_Pipa Credits irene.nobrega

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Prefeitura-Natal credits Patrick-br

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Rampa-Natal credits Patrick

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

Rio_Potengi credits Fábio Pinheiro.

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

TeatroAlbertoMaranhao

Photo of Natal, Brazil : A Coastal Paradise by Luis Santos

I always wanted to travel to Brazil and when I finally managed to take some time out from my hectic schedule to travel, I chose to explore the city that would be hosting few of the matches in Fifa 2014 football world cup. Everyone knows the love of football that Brazil has. So it is obvious that in few months the whole country and especially the cities hosting the world cup matches would bring with it festive atmosphere. I am sure that as I travelled before the world cup, I saved some bucks but then visiting it during the football fever that grips the world during the world cup is always worth spending few extra bucks .

As a local Brazilian told me , Natal is known as the city of sun and sand. The waters are crystal blue in the sea. Amazing is an adjective used too casually but places like Natal deserve to be called amazing. Who doesn't know the multifaceted folklorist Luis da Camara Cascudo? Yes, he was from Natal only ! People are generous and eager to help and they welcome everyone with open arms. The hospitality makes all the difference. I'm sure that there is much more to see , explore and to do than what I did in 10 days during my stay in the city but in my opinion if you enjoy your stay , you should enjoy it fully. 
 

I hired a local guide for few days and then explored the city and beaches on my own. As usual, the guide took me to the most sought after spots like Forte dos Reis Magos,Ponte Newton Navarro,Parque das Dunas,Teatro Alberto Maranhão - Praça Augusto Severo etc. and told me tales such as the history behind the construction of the Three Wise Men fort ( Forte dos Reis Magos ) . But I was surprised to hear that the place is not as safe as it used to be in the past. Increasing cases of robberies are coming to light. Thankfully, I didn't face any such scenario. 

The  short stay of 10 days included many moments and memories that I would cherish for a long time. Some of the places that I was recommended but did not visit include Baía Formosa, at the border with Paraíba, Extremoz and Nísia Floresta. Baia Formosa is the most unspoiled and preserved paradise of Rio Grande do Norte's South Coast while Extremoz is a good place for trekking,Dromedary rides, and for playing nautical sports in the lake. Nisia Floresta on the other hand contains  22 transparent lakes and beaches, Praia de Búzios being the most popular. The rest of the places are there for you to see in the pictures  above and the itinerary below.

This is the oldest and most important historical fortress of Natal. It is more than 400 years old.It was initially made to protect Natal coast from the French pirates. It is located in the water, accessible using a pedestrian path from Praia do Forte. It is named after the biblical 'Three Wise Men'. The entry fee is nominal.
Photo of Forte dos Reis Magos, Natal - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
It is an impressive bridge over the Potengi river. The sites are breathtaking and awe inspiring. It can be observed from Forte or Redinha beaches.
Photo of Ponte Newton Navarro, Igapó, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
It is the second largest urban park in Brazil. It is closed on Monday and open on all the other days of the week. Home to several vegetable and animal species, it preserves the legacy of the Atlantic Forest.
Photo of Parque das Dunas, Tirol, Natal - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
It is the biggest theatre in teh city. It is also the oldest as it was built in 1898.
Photo of Teatro Alberto Maranhão - Praça Augusto Severo, Ribeira, Natal - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
The memorial was built in 1875. It is a fine example of neoclassic style of architecture. It is about the life and work of Luis da Câmara Cascudo who was Rio Grande do Norte's most famous anthropologist and folklorist.
Photo of Memorial Câmara Cascudo, Cidade Alta, Natal - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
It is a hotspot for tourists and rich local people. The water quality of the beach is excellent and there are plenty of restaurants and utility shops in the front of the beach. Morro do Careca, the tallest sand dune of Natal can be found here , one of the city's most famous landmarks.
Photo of Ponta Negra, Parnamirim - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
It is nearby Praia do Meio where Forte dos Reis Magos is located. Ponte de Todos can be viewed from here. The beachis bereft of infrastructure. It is solitary beach with little crowds.
Photo of Praia do Forte, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Luis Santos
It is a huge mall with plenty of shops , over 250 , to choose things from. There are , 7 cinema rooms, 4 gourmet restaurants and one theatre inside the mall. Plenty of ATM's too for the convenience of the shoppers.
Photo of Midway Mall, Natal - Avenida Bernardo Vieira, Tirol, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
One of the best restaurants in the town, it has plenty of options to choose from. It is situated on the coast of Ponta Negra.
Photo of Restaurante Abade - Via Costeira, Ponta Negra, Natal - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
Loctaed just right in front of the Ponta Negra beach, it offers food at reasonable prices. It does not serve breakfast though, only lunch and dinner.
Photo of O Boiadeiro, Ponta Negra, Natal - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
It was inaugurated 42 years ago in 1972 and will host world cup matches for Fifa 2014 football world cup.
Photo of Estádio João Cláudio Vasconcelos Machado, Natal - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
A pretty cheap place to stay.
Photo of Hotel Pousada Ponta Negra - Rua Luiz Estevam, Natal - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
Another decent place to stay and not too heavy on pocket. It also offers private rooms.
Photo of Albergue da Costa Hostel - Avenida Praia de Ponta Negra, Ponta Negra, Natal - Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Luis Santos
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