Natal, Brazil: Travel/Tourist Guide

Natal, Brazil: BeachNatal, Brazil: Camel at Genipabu BeachNatal, Brazil: Red sunset at Genipabu BeachNatal, Brazil: Natal International AirportNatal, Brazil: Historic CenterNatal, Brazil: Newton-Navarro BridgeNatal, Brazil: Parque das DunasNatal, Brazil: Beach resort

Natal is the largest and capital city of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte. Its name means "Christmas" in Portuguese because it was founded on December 25, 1599. The city is popular among tourists because of its sand dunes, beaches and historical buildings.

Getting There

The Greater Natal International Airport, also known as the Governador Aluízio Alves International Airport, in São Gonçalo do Amarante is located just 16 miles from downtown Natal. There are international flights from Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands. There are also domestic flights from other major Brazilian cities including Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Salvador.

From the airport, there are buses that could take visitors to the city center for R$2.60. Other options are minivans and taxis.

Climate and Geography

The city has a tropical wet and dry climate. Natal is known as the "City of the Sun" because it lies six degrees south of the equator. The warmest month is February with an average temperature of 31 degrees Celsius. 

Attractions

Parque das Dunas along the coast forms the border between the East and South areas of the city. Visitors can take interest in the sand dunes and Bosque dos Namorados, a facility for recreation and exploration of the park. 

Ponta Negra is the city's most popular beach. It is great for swimming, and has restaurants and shops. The highest sand dune Morro do Careca is also found here.

The historic center is in the Cidade Alta e Ribeira neighborhoods. The national heritage site was founded in the 16th century with buildings built in the 19th and 20th century, which gives it an interesting mix of colonial, neoclassical, art deco and modern architecture.