Hello foreign visitor, welcome to Brazil, welcome to Natal!!!
I wrote this post to help some friends in your first visit to Natal and now I share here.
I Hope can be useful to you.
Be very welcome to Natal!
First, please sorry my poor English. I think that I speak better then write.
If (when) you find some grammatical errors, please I kindly ask you to correct me. I will be very thankful and will help further visitors.
This short guide have a purpose to give you some quick informations about the city, the sightseeing points, some restaurants, and some security advice.
Natal (Christmas in English) it is the state capital of Brazil closest to Africa and Europe.
Located at northeast of Brazil, received this name ‘because was founded in December 25, 1599 (99 years after Brazil).
Your first construction was the “Fortaleza dos Reis Magos” (The Three Kings Fort), located at Praia do Forte and opened to visitation.
As of the last census July 2010, the city had a total population of 950,820 (nowadays, over 1 million).
Arriving at Natal
Natal does not have airport. The Airports it’s located in other cities very close Natal (greater Natal). Parnamirim (South zone) and São Gonçalo do Amarante (North zone).
The main air companies have flights nonstop to Natal from the main Brazil’s city, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília (capital of Brasil).
Natal have direct flights from/to Lisbon, by TAP
The main highway of Brazil – BR-101 -start in Natal and connect to main cities, as João Pessoa, Recife, Salvador, São Paulo, Porto Alegre…
Distancies by car
From Natal to:
João Pessoa – 180km ~ 111.85mi
Recife – 290km ~ 182mi
Fortaleza – 590km ~ 366,7mi
Salvador – 1.090km ~ 677,30mi
Rio de Janeiro – 2.600km ~ 1.615,57mi
But, one question: do you want to travel by car in Brazil? Really???
Natal have a harbor and receive cruise lines and small ships
Idiom: BR Portuguese
Electrical Voltage: 220V
Plug Standard: 3 pins
Public transport: Bus and Cabs
Climate: 70ºF ~ 90ºF. 26ºC ~ 32ºC
Attention: The RAIN is coming!
In general, at northeast of Brazil, it’s always summer, always sunny, hot. But may and june is the rainy season.
Does not rain everyday, but may rain.
It’s like this: we wake in the morning, have our breakfast, it’s a sunny day outside. Suddenly, the sun gone and the rain comes. Really quick.
So it’s good to be prepared.
Remember that FIFA does not allow umbrella inside the stadiums.
World Cup Games in Natal
How to go to Arena das Dunas Stadium
The best place to crash in Natal is the Ponta Negra neighborhood.
So, If you are hosted Ponta Negra neighborhood, goes like this:
By Public Transport
Numbers identify the bus in Natal.
From Ponta Negra to stadium by bus
Take one of the following bus:
Number 46, 54 or 73. or the green line. The same to return.
The fare it’s R$ 2,20 (around US$ 1,05) and you pay directly to driver or, if it have, the collector.
Attention: you must pay in Reals.
It is the best option, because it is cheap, fast and you do not need worry about park the car.
If you have a ticket and are going to stadium you can pick one of the following lines, direct to stadium and free of charge: A, B. C or D.
These lines only on day of Cup Games.
By taxi cab
Natal it’s very well served with a lot of taxis companies. Here some cab companies that you can call:
3207-6804, 3208-4851, 3608-0039, 3213-6800, 3208-6239.
You can also use the Easy Taxi app http://www.easytaxi.com/US/ for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone
In all cases demands the use of taximeter
Remember: this is only a suggestion.
By shuttle service
João Maria Tur.
2Do in Natal?
The main attractions of the city it’s, certainly, your beaches.
We have a large shore, with options for scuba diving, paragliding, surf, swim, climb dunes, kite-surf, but also have a nightlife for the families and the singles.
Here some options
Praia de Genipabu – Genipabu Beach
The most famous day trip in Natal it’s the buggy at Genipabu beach dunes. It’s like a natural rollercoaster and you can chose with or without emotion on your trip.
Also you will do ride in Dromedaries, like you were at Sahara desert.
Then you can slide or fly over the dunes. We call it “AeroBunda and SkyBunda”.
If you have only one day off in Natal, I highly recommend this day trips.
Praia de Maracajaú – Maracajau Beach
The best beach to practice scuba dive or free dive. Also have a beach park. The Ma-noa park.
Praia de Pirangi- Pirangi Beach: Home of the world’s largest cashew tree
Home of the world’s largest cashew tree. It’s a very popular beach, with down waves, easy to go by car or public transport.
On the route, make a stop by at “Centro de Lançamento de Foguetes Barreira do Inferno”, part of the Brazilian “NASA”
Next Pirangi beach is Buzios beach. Unless you want to do kite-surf, avoid this beach. It’s an open sea beach, with high waves and water vortex. Keep driving and go to Barra de Tabatinga. That is the best beach to children. The beach have a reef that keep apart the sea, forming natural seawater pools on the beach.
For all these day trips, airport shuttle and other tourist services, I highly recommend João Maria Tur.
You can contact by e-mail: email@example.com or by phone:
+55 (84) 9992-8333 or +55 (84) 8806-4114
Taverna Pub Medieval Bar. The sound: it depends the day. Each day that’s a rhythm. Monday it’s the best day for the singles. Is called the singles night. This week the Wednesday it’s the Samba night. Saturday it’s the 70’s, and so goes onRua Dr. Manoel Augusto Bezerra de Araújo, 500 Ponta Negra
The sound: DJ, Sertanejo… A good place.
Av. Eng. Roberto Freire, 3071, Ponta Negra
Rastapé Casa de Forró
The sound: Forró, Xote, Pé de Serra, northeast rithms.
Rua Aristides Porpino, 2198
What is “Forró”?
“Forró” it’s a typical dance from the northeast and the most popular.
The denomination “Forró” came from the English For All.
That’s because Natal was a American base at WW2 and at night had the ballroom and in the sign says “For All” and the native read Forró. And then born the Forró.
Here’s a video
The main characteristic it’s the use of accordion, bass drum and triangle.
If you want to learn a new dance this is the place. However, if you don’t like physical contact…
Botequim Tá na Hora
The sound: Samba
Rua Francisco Gurgel, 47
Fifa Fan Fest
Fifa Fan Fest in Natal will be at Praia do Forte beach (The Three Kings Fort Beach).
There’s a lot of bands, groups, singers and attractions.
It’s a free event.
From Ponta Negra you pick the blue line bus.
In Natal city you will find a lot of dishes options. Here it’s some suggestions of restaurants.
Restaurante Camarões – Dishes: shrimp and sea food. À la carte restaurant.
Rua Pedro Fonseca Filho, 8887
Ponta Negra – Natal – RN
Tel: (84) 3209-2425
Restaurante Pinga Fogo – Dishes: Japanese and Brazilian food. Self Service restaurant.
Av. Engenheiro Roberto Freire, 8956
Fone: (84) 3236-3507
Restaurante Guaca Mex Y Co – Dishes: Mexican food. À la carte restaurant.
Praia de Ponta Negra, 9068 | Bairro Ponta Negra, Natal, Rio
Restaurante Novo México Brasil – Dishes: Mexican food. À la carte restaurant.
Av. Praia de Ponta Negra, 9041 | Ponta Negra
Billabong Restaurante – Dishes: Australian and American food. À la carte restaurant.
Rua praia de camboinhas,9180, Ponta Negra
Casa de Taipa Tapiocaria – Dishes: quick dinner. À la carte restaurant.
Rua Dr. Manoel A. B. de Araújo, 130 A – Pontal Negra
Restaurante Mangai – Dishes: Simply the best Regional food restaurant in Natal. Self Service restaurant. The meals have description English/ Portuguese.
Av. Amintas Barros, nº 3300 Lagoa Nova (Close by Arena das Dunas stadium)
Sal e Brasa – Dishes: steak house. Restaurant All you can eat.
Phone: +55 (84) 3217.5919
Av. Roberto Freire, 1426 – Capim Macio
Have shuttle service hotel/restaurant/hotel
Tábua de Carne – Dishes: steak house. Restaurant All you can eat and À la carte.
Av. Eng. Roberto Freire, 3241 – Ponta Negra
Have shuttle service hotel/restaurant/hotel
If you are driving, please remind DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. In Brazil it’s a very serious crime, drive with any, ANY quantity of alcohol at blood. In addition, the authorities are made several blitz. So please, remember this.
In general Natal it’s a safe place. However, robbers and pickpockets exists.
Therefore, mind do not carry with yourself expensive watches, gold rings, collars, too much money and passport.
Avoid dark places, corners, dark streets and without peoples.
Do not pick up clandestine cabs (without visual identification).
Do not walk in the beach late at night alone or couple.
I’m not trying to scare you, course not. I just want that your experience be the best possible.
Problems exists in everywhere, and here it’s not different.
However, if something happens, call 190 (Police), 192 (ambulance)
Delegacia do turista (Tourist Police Station)
Praia Shopping – Ponta Negra
Av. Engenheiro Roberto Freire, 8790 – Ponta Negra
Fone: (84) 3232.7402, 3232.7404
Dial 190 for emergencies
USA Embassy – Recife – PE (The Closer by Natal)
Address: R. Gonçalves Maia, 163 – Boa Vista
Cidade: Recife – Pernambuco
(081) 3416-3050 Fax: (081) 3231-1906
UK Embassy – Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Address: Praia do Flamengo, 284 – 2° andar
Cidade: Rio de Janeiro – Rio de Janeiro
Telefone: (021) 2555-9600 Fax: (021) 2555-9672 http://www.gra-bretanha.org.br/
Embajada del Mexico – Recife – PE
Address: R.Aquidabã, 20 – ap. 1401 – Boa Viagem
Recife – Pernambuco
Telefone: (81) 3083-1760 (11) 3576-5400 http://www.consulmexrio.com.br
Embajada del Uruguay en Brasil
Endereço: Avenida das Nações, Qd. 803 Lote 14 – Setor de Embaixadas Sul (SES)
Telefones: (00 55 61) 3322 – 1200
Telefone do Guarda: (00 55 61) 9178 – 1547 http://www.emburuguai.org.br/
That’s all for today, folks!
I hope this be useful but please, if have any questions feel free to ask me.
Thanks by your visit, sorry my grammar errors.
In God we trust!
Post escrito ao som de Sereníssima e outros sucessos da Legião Urbana, acompanhado de um bom copo d’água (ainda estou com sinusite).