The Beaches of Natal, Brazil

Natal is all about its beaches. From the calm waters of Praia do Forte to the beautiful sands of lively Ponta Negra, Brazil expert Michael Sommers guides you to the area’s best beaches and related sights.

Best Beach Barracas in Fortaleza, Brazil

Throughout the Northeast, beach-going would be unimaginable without the ever-present seaside restaurant-bars where friends and family settle in for a long day of chatting, drinking beer, and nibbling on portions of fried fish and seafood.

Beaches North of Natal

Heading north from Natal—by bus or buggy—the beaches get increasingly wild and the dunes more impressive. The most famous draws are Genipabu, with its shifting dunes and dromedaries, and Pitangui and Jacumã, with their alluring freshwater lagoons.

São Luís, the Island Capital of Maranhão

Maranhão’s island capital is bursting with cultural riches and has a flavor quite unlike any other of Brazil’s northeastern cities. São Luís is a seafood lover’s paradise with a colonial center recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read on for accommodations, nightlife, and everything else you need to plan a visit.

Alcântara, Brazil: A Hauntingly Beautiful Colonial Town

Most people visit Alcântara as a day trip. Approaching Alcântara by boat is an experience in itself as you view its church domes, red tile roofs, and lithe imperial palms slowly emerge from a swathe of emerald jungle. Read more about visiting this colonial town in northeastern Brazil.

What to See in Natal

With a trio of modest museums and a historic district, there are a few sights worth the time when visiting Natal. The most impressive of the all-too-few vestiges of the past is the star-shaped Forte dos Reis Magos.