“I was born on the street and brought up looking at the Potengi River, the hills, the beaches, the mangrove. I wanted to know the history of all things. I have never abandoned the path that leads to enchantment.”
Luis da Câmara Cascudo
Natal, the Potiguar capital, has already conquered the world. It is the Americas’ entrance spot, the closest one to Europe and Africa, a modern and joyful city, born between its rivers and the sea, adorned by dunes and lots of green trees. A land of colors and flavors where one can find pleasure and adventure. It is summer here all year long, on a littoral of wonderful beaches, lagoons, semi-arid backland, cuisine, rides, art and culture that was never seen before, all allied to its people’s natural hospitality.
Natal is one of the world’s most wanted tourist destinies, the “Sun City”, also remembered as the “World’s Buggy’s Capital” and “Shrimp Land”, land where Forró was born. It has around 800 thousand inhabitants and receives more than 2 million tourists per year among Brazilians and foreigners. The visitors are delighted by the more than 400km of Atlantic Coast, surrounded by beautiful beaches, many of which are visited through radical Buggy rides around the Sea, Dunes and Lagoons, with various attractions along with them. Also, there are many good places for Diving, and the constant winds make Windsurf and Kitesurf available
Besides its natural attractions, the city has a high-leveled hotel chain with more than 25 thousand beds.
In March 2005, Natal was considered to be Brazil’s calmest capital, according to a survey done by IPEA - Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas Aplicadas. It also received the title on having America’s purest air (NASA-USA) in 1994.
Come visit Natal and its charms.
The “Sun City” starts its history with the construction of the “Reis Magos Fortress” by the Portuguese in January 6th, 1598 (Reis Magos’ Day). Thirty three years later, in 1633, the fortress was taken by the Dutch, and the city is renamed to New Amsterdam, name that remained up to 1654, when the Portuguese took it back.
The Dutch also founded another colony, with the same name, in North America, but they were expelled in 1664 by the English, who named the colony New York.
During the XVII century, pioneering expeditions left from the fortress to found villages that later originated the states of Ceará, Maranhão and Pará.
From World War II to tourism
Due to its privileged geographical position, Natal is the closest place to get to Europe. During the World War II it was a military base for the Americans, gaining then, international attention and totally changing Natal. The city started to be known by millions of citizens around the world.
In the years that followed the post war, the city would still continue growing with its population, but only years later that picture would definitely change. In the beginning of the 80’s, with the construction of Via Costeira: more than 10km of beaches with an excellent chain of hotels settled between the Dunes and the Sea.
HISTORICAL AND CURRENT CURIOSITIES
- You arrive from Europe faster in Natal. You can save around 45 minutes by plane and from 2, 7 days by ship.
- City located between the river and the sea, the Potiguar Littoral (RN) has more than 400km of wonderful beaches, delightful lagoons that are next to the sea and more than 20om of river in the urban area.
- Those who stand in front of the beach, looking at the see in Natal, are closer to Africa than to São Paulo and closer to Europe than to Argentina. Here is the “continent’s corner”.
- Natal is told to have been, during the World War II, a stop to the French writer Saint-Exupéry, aviator during this war. He cited the city’s sunset on his book “South Atlantic” and the Baobab, African tree that has three specimen in Rio Grande do Norte State, in his most famous novel, “The Little Prince”. The author must have gotten surprised with the fact that in order to hold this tree’s trunk, 15 men would be necessary.
- Tourists: Natal receives around 2 million tourists a year, and that increases 25% a year. Around 30% of the total of foreign tourists that visit the city are from Portugal (30%), in second place are the Dutch (17%), then the Spanish (9,7%) and Argentineans (7,22%).
- About the National tourists, São Paulo is the winner in sending the city visitors with 23,95%. In second place is Pernambuco with 16%, Ceará 10% and Rio de Janeiro 8,5%.
- “The Sun City” has more than 300 sunny days a year.
- “The World’s Buggy Capital” with wonderful Buggy rides along dunes, beaches and lagoons. A major tourist attraction.
-“The Shrimps Land”. Enjoy its great and rich gastronomic variety. Natal is the country’s second biggest producer and exporter of shrimps.
BEACH AND ADVENTURE GUIDES
The state of Rio Grande do Norte is divided in its littoral by the capital – Natal. The beaches from the North Littoral – Genipabu. And the beaches from the South Littoral – Pipa.
Natal’s dunes in Rio Grande do Norte are considered the most beautiful views of the Northeast; its downhill, done inside Buggies, became the tourists’ favorite program. There are rides for both North and South Littoral, and all who enjoy them end up taking the traditional sea bath, or lagoon bath. Some of these lagoons have wet bar and restaurants, not to mention the facilities for the practice of extreme sports like Aerobunda (aerial falls towards the lagoons) and the Skibunda (you sit on boards to ski down the dunes inside the lagoon).
- NATAL BEACHES
Ponta Negra Beach
Location: South Littoral, 14km from downtown.
Visits: There you can see the Morro do Careca, one of the city’s most beautiful postcards, with excellent infrastructure of hotels, inns and restaurants. It is the place for a lot of night fun. The shore is used by visitors who want to go jogging, have some rest or only chat to friends.
Morro do Careca - Ponta Negra Beach
Located in the urban area of Natal, Ponta Negra beach has a downhill of sand that is surrounded by bushes: the Morro do Careca. It is 120m high with white moving sand, and it is contemplated by unique vegetation and enriched by a small bay, known as the city’s main postcard. It is the first beach on the South Littoral and the first one beginning on Rota do Sol – South Littoral.
Location: North Littoral. Two ways of accessin it: By the road (RN 302), in a short 15km distance, or by the balsa, crossing the Potengi River, 7km.
Visits: from where the famous buggy rides go from towards North Littoral beaches and dunes.
- Beaches Genipabu, in the city of Extremoz – Natal. It takes an area of 1.881 hectares. It is the state’s biggest postcard and on them one can have extreme Buggy rides. In the end of these rides, the visitor can enjoy the wonderful view from Genipabu Lagoon, with wonderful vegetation and blue waters.
- Beaches Jacumã, in Ceará Mirim – Natal. It is part of a complex of dunes from the coast of the State and it is characterized by its shallow vegetation. In its center there is a lagoon where visitors can bath and also fall in the water from an aerial cable.
- Pipa the city’s most agitated beach, considered one of Brazil’s most beautiful 10 beaches. Pipa Beach is actually a complex of beaches (Cacimbinhas, Do Amor Beach, Baia dos Golfinhos etc.). It has a Fishermen Village, Ecologic Hiking around Sea Hills, where there is an ecologic sanctuary, and boat ride.
SOUTH LITTORAL- PIRANGI REEFS
800 meters away from the coast, the natural pools are coral formations on the reefs that go visible during the low tide, with waters at 28ºC and depth of 80 cm.; an invitation to a wonderful sea bath in waters full of nature and beauty.
NORTH LITTORAL - MARACAJAÚ REEFS
It is known as the Brazilian Caribbean, 7km from the coast. It has a coral formation that during the low tide appears on the surface, forming natural pools of warm and crystalline waters, whose depth varies from 0,5 to 3,0 meters.
The Maracajaú Reefs represent a very famous destiny among tourists from many different regions of Brazil and abroad. The ecosystem is totally preserved, and go swimming around the most varied species of the fauna and sea flora is an unforgettable program.
Many boats perform rides towards these reefs.
- PARQUE DAS DUNAS
The Parque Estadual Dunas do Natal is the first Unit of Environmental Preservation implemented in Rio Grande do Norte. It was created in 1977, and it is situated in Natal. It occupies and area of about 1.172 hectares between Mãe Luiza and Capim Macio/Ponta Negra neighborhoods, going along the Via Costeira.
One of the last dense areas of Mata Atlântica preserved in the State, the Parque das Dunas is considered to be Brazil’s second biggest urban park. The first one is the Floresta da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro.
Its dunes’ ecosystem is varied, covering a fauna and flora of great bioecological value, which includes many species in process of extinction. That is why it is so important: due to its scientific and paisagistic potential, with facilities for researches, environmental education, leisure and ecological tourism, besides its geologic-geomorphic importance.
From 1993 on, it was considered by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientifical and Cultural Organization) part of the Brazilian Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve, a Humanity Environmental Patrimony.
Location: Parque Estadual Dunas de Natal - Bosque dos Namorados - Alexandrino de Alencar Ave. - Tirol – Natal - RN – Zip Code: 59015-350
Tel.: +55(84)3201-3985 / 3201-4440
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – WebSite: www.parquedasdunas.rn.gov.br
Visits: From Tuesday to Sunday and Holidays, from 8am to 6pm.
Jogging: From Monday to Sunday and Holidays, from 4:30am to 9pm and from 3pm to 6pm.
Ecological Hike: From Tuesday to Sunday and Holidays at 8am, 8:30am, 9am, 2pm and 2:30pm.
- THE WORLD’S BIGGEST CASHEW TREE
The world’s biggest cashew tree is located in the district of Pirangi do Norte, in Parmamirim – Natal. A secular tree whose crown measures 8.400m2 , unique specimen. The cashew tree was planted in 1888 by a fisherman named Luiz Inácio de Oliveira, who died at the age of 93 under the shadows of the tree. The tree’s growth is explained firstly by saying its branches grew to the sides instead of upwards; with their own weight, the branches tend to reach the ground, touch the soil and create roots, and then, start growing again, as if they were the branches of another tree. This process’ repetition gives the impression there are many cashew trees there, but actually it is the same one: a single tree.
The visit to it is directed by guides who explain the tree’s characteristics (there are bilingual guides, speaking both English and Spanish). Inside the park there is a gazebo about 6 meters high and from where one can see the tree’s crown and the beaches around. During the harvest period, the cashew tree produces around eighty thousand fruits, which can be collected by visitors.
- ROCKET LAUNCHING BASE – SOUTH LITTORAL
Natal is also known as “Brazil’s Spatial Capital” because it shelters the first base for rocket launchings installed in South America, the Barreira do Inferno (South Littoral).
Location: 19km from Natal – Rota do Sol, Parnamirim.
Telephone: +55(84) 3216-1270 / 1400, ext. 205.
Mondays and Wednesdays from 1pm to 4pm. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 11am and from 1pm to 5pm. On Fridays it goes from 8:30am to 11am.
Lunes y miércoles, de 13 a 16hrs. Martes y jueves de 9 a 11hrs y de 13 a 17hrs y Viernes de 8:30 a 11hrs.
RELIGIOUS AND HISTORICAL GUIDES
MUSEUMS AND HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL PATRIMONIES
Reis Magos Fortress
Description: “The Reis Magos Fortress was the Portuguese landmark, their extreme barrier in the north of Brazil” (Cascudo: 1955, p. 25). To definitely officialize their conquering Natal, the Portuguese had to face the presence of the French in Potiguar lands. They were inserted in a game of military and economical interests since these lands had, geographically, a great strategical value.
Military Fortress, one of the country’s most important one, it was born along with the city of Natal, in 1598. It was occupied by the Dutch. It has the classic form of a maritime fortress, in the shape of a starred polygon. With sixty four meters wide and a perimeter of two hundred and forty meters. A National Historical and Artistic Patrimony, it is one of the main tourist attractions in the State. It is Rio Grande do Norte’s most important historical monument.
Location: Presidente Café Filho Ave., Do Forte Beach
Telephone: +55 (84) 3202-2006 / 3211-4959
Open daily from 8am to 4pm – Tickets at R$3,00
Câmara Cascudo Memorial
Life and work of Luís da Câmara Cascudo, the worldly known Natalense folk writer, are pictured on an exhibition that fills five rooms of the building, as well as the researcher’s own private library. The library counts on rich and vast collection on the historian and his work. The exposition is divided in areas such the Photo biography, Bill Study, Folkloric Aspects, Popular Art and Magic Room, and has a collection of about 10.000 volumes. The bill mentioned is one of 50.000 Cruzeiros, released by Banco Central in 1990 with Câmara Cascudo’s effigy. The building, built in 1875, has a neoclassic style and has been this library since 1987. Câmara Cascudo died in 1986.
Address: 30 André de Albuquerque Square – Cidade Alta.
Telephone: +55 (84) 3211 8404
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:30am to 6pm – Free entrance
Alberto Maranhão Theater
The Alberto Maranhão Theater is a monument considered to be an artistic patrimony by Rio Grande do Norte’s Historical and Artistic Patrimony office. It has traces and elements of the French architecture from the end of last century, besides having its entrance and audience room covered by Belgian ceramics. Its construction started in 1898 following the ideas of the engineer José de Berredo.
Access: Access ramps from the street to the square, theater square, bathroom facilities.
Acclimatization: air conditioning on the audience room, administration rooms and noble room.
Recovery of the mosaic floor.
Coffee Shop and Store.
Location: Augusto Severo Square – Ribeira – Zip Code: 59.012-380
Tel: +55 (84) 3222-3669 / 3232-9704 – FAX +55 (84) 3232-9702
Câmara Cascudo Museum
The Museum was opened in 1969 and has a very varied collection about the state. It was recreated there a fishing environment with pre-historical animal fossils from São Rafael, the Sambaquis. There are also constant expositions of sedimentology, speleology, malcology, anatomy, the leather and sugar plant cycles, sacred and popular art, archeology and Afro-Brazilian cult.
Location: 1398 Hermes da Fonseca Ave. - Tirol.
Telephone:+55 (084) 3211 8312/ 3211 8313
Open from Tuesday to Friday from 8am to 10:30am and from 2pm to 4:30pm – Ticket: R$2,00 (students R$1,00)
Santo Antônio Church
With a rooster on the top of its tower, the Santo Antônio Church is also known as the Rooster’s Church. It was constructed under baroque style and it was concluded around 1776. Attached to the church there is the Sacred Art Museum.
Location: 683 Santo Antônio St. – Cidade Alta.
Telephone: +55 (84) 3211 4236
From Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 5pm.
GET TO KNOW ABOUT THE GASTRONOMY
Natal offers its tourist a great variety of typical dishes and its diversified culinary. It is the leader in the production of Shrimps, crustacean that is present in many dishes of the local cuisine.
Carne de Sol (Dried Meat): in the past, before the fridge was invented, people from the Northeast developed a technique to salt the meat so it would be easier to conserve it. This process originated the “Carne de Sol” (Dried Meat). All pieces of the cow can go under this salting process; at the best restaurants they serve the noble parts of the cow, making the meat softer. The Carne de Sol comes, in general, in big portions for three or four people, and they come with rice, green beans, manioc and manioc flour or Paçoca. It is probably the most served dish at typical food restaurants in Natal.
Paçoca: In Natal, it is not the peanut candy known in the South of the country. Paçoca is a flour dish composed of granted dried meat and manioc flour (more condiments, onion, garlic, etc.).
TOURIST INFORMATION CENTERS
SECRETARIA MUNICIPAL DE TURISMO E DESENVOLVIMENTO ECONOMICO - – Natal’s Tourist Office
746 Presidente Café Filho Ave, Praia do Meio – Zip Code: 59010-000 – Tel.: 55(84)3232-9073- 3232.3542
E-mail: email@example.com – Open from 9am to 9pm.
Everyday from Monday to Saturdays – Sunday up to 5pm.
– TRANSPORT SYSTEM
AUGUSTO SEVERO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
INFRAERO – Brazilian Airports
BR-101, 15 km - Parnamirim – RN Zip Code: 59150-000
TEL: +55(84)3644-1000 FAX: +55(84)3644-1222
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - WebSite: www.infraero.gov.br
1237 Capitão-Mor Gouveia Ave, Cidade da Esperança Neighborhood. Tel.+55(84)3232-7310
Road Tourism: www.vtn.com.br/busca/onibus_de_turismo_natal
Consular (Honorary Consulates)
Consul: AXEL GEPPERT
04 Esplanada Silva Jardim Street – Ribeira – Natal/RN –
Consul: DIÓGENES DA CUNHA LIMA
2555 Jaguarari Street – Lagoa Nova – ZIP CODE 59064 – 500 – Natal/RN
Consul: ÁLVARO DARPONTE
2624 Engenheiro Roberto Freire Ave –Granada Flat Building – Room 5 – Zip Code: 59090-000 – Natal/RN. Tel.: +55(84)3219-0132
Consul: SYLVIE GRADEL
681 Afonso Magalhães Street – Ponta Negra – ZIP CODE: 5909-200 – Natal/RN.
Tel.: +55(84) 3221-3890 e 3222-1558
Consul: RINO BORDOGNA
275 Auta de Sousa St. – Cidade Alta – Natal/RN
Consul: GUTEMBERG NATAL TINOCO
707 Açu Stree – Tirol – ZIP CODE: 59020-110
Consul: MONIQUE DEGENS
4233 Via Costeira Avenue – Parque das Dunas
OCEAN PALACE HOTEL
AV. SENADOR DINARTE MARIZ, K/M 11, PARQUE DAS DUNAS
TEL. +55 (84) 3219-4144
SERHS NATAL GRAND HOTEL
AV. SENADOR DINARTE MARIZ, PARQUE DAS DUNAS
FONE: +55 (84) 4005-2020
SHOPPING MALLS / SHOPPING CENTERS
PRAIA SHOPPING MALL
8790 Eng°. Roberto Freire Ave. Ponta Negra - Natal
Tel:+55 (84) 4008 0800 - E-mail: email@example.com
The Food Court is open everyday from 11am to 10pm.
Mondays to Saturdays: Stores: from 10am to 10pm. Sundays: Stores: from 3pm to 9pm.
NATAL SHOPPING MALL
Address: 2234 senador Salgado Filho Ave.- Candelária Natal
Tel. +55(084) 3209 -8199
Open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm.
Sunday: from 3pm to 9pm (stores) and from Noon to 10pm (food court)
VIA DIRETA SHOPPING MALL
2233 Senador Salgado Filho Ave. - Lagoa Nova - Natal
Tel/ fax.: 84 3234 5252
Open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm.
Sundays from Noon to 10pm (food court)
SHOPPING MIDWAY MALL
Address 3775 Bernardo Vieira Ave. – Tirol – Natal
Tel.: +55(84) 3646-3424 - Fax:+55(84) 3646-3549
Open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm
Sundays from 1pm to 9pm (stores) and from 11am to 9pm (food court)
PEIXADA DA COMADRE
AV. PRAIA DE PONTA NEGRA, 9048, PONTA NEGRA
FONE: +55(84) 3219-3016
NATAL SHOPPING, BR 101, CANDELÁRIA
FONE: +55(84) 3235-8137
- POLICE FORCE
FEDERAL TRAFFIC POLICE
15th Regional/RN Supervision
3656 Bernardo Vieira Ave -Lagoa Seca – Natal – RN – Zip Code: 59051-005
Tel:+55 (84) 3203-1550 – EMERGENCY: +55 (84) 3203-1555
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Site: www.dprf.gov.br
DEATUR / DEPREMA
Police Office for issues involving Tourists and the Environment
Praia Shopping Mall - 8790 Eng. Roberto Freire Ave - P.Negra – Tel.+55(84)3232-7402 / 3232-7404
Police Office for issues involving Children and Adolescents
1465 Ângelo Varela - Tirol – Zip Code - 59.075-090 – Tel.+55(84)3232-1536 / 3232-6184
- HOSPITAL AND FIRST-AID CLINIC
WALFREDO GURGEL HOSPITAL
Senador Salgado Filho Ave –Tirol
Tel.+55(84)3232-7500/7599/7595 - Site: www.walfredogurgel.rn.gov.br
- POST OFFICE
- PONTA NEGRA
PRAIA SHOPPING MALL - ARCH H - 2 - PONTA NEGRA - Zip Code: 59090-970 Telephone:+55 (84) 3232-6521 - Fax: 3232-6520
- CIDADE ALTA
538 RIO BRANCO Ave - Cidade Alta – Zip Code: 59025-970
Telephone:+55(84) 3232-6491 / 3232-6493 - Fax: 3232-6492
- CENTRAL DE NATAL
221 ENG. HILDEBRANDO DE GOIS Ave. –RIBEIRA – Zip Code: 59010-970
Telephone: +55(84) 3220-2493 / 3220-2593 - Fax: 3232-6490
- AGENCIAS DE CORREIOS
- PONTA NEGRA
PRAIA SHOPPING - ARCO H - 2 - PONTA NEGRA - CEP: 59090-970 Teléfono:+55 (84) 3232-6521 - Fax: 3232-6520
- CIDADE ALTA
AV. RIO BRANCO, 538 ALTA CEP: 59025-970
Teléfono:+55(84) 3232-6491 / 3232-6493 - Fax: 3232-6492
- CENTRAL DE NATAL
AV ING. HILDEBRANDO DE GOIS, 221-RIBEIRA-CEP: 59010-970
Teléfono: +55(84) 3220-2493 / 3220-2593 - Fax: 3232-6490
- 21 de Novembro Festa da Padroeira de Natal
- 01 de Dezembro Carnatal
- 26 a 30 de dezembro Grande Desfile de Natal