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Natal. Is a city on the Atlantic coast and capital of Rio Grande do Norte.
Nowadays Natal is one of the 8 most visited cities of Brazil. Unlike other large cities of the Northeast of Brazil, like Recife or Salvador, Natal does not have a fascinating Historical Center or a vivid nightlife. In contrast, it is regarded as being significantly calmer and safer than other large cities in the region, and as having a superior quality of life. Many rich Brazilians and foreigners alike have summer houses in the city.
If coming from the airport, cross the pedestrian bridge and take any bus with Ponta Negra in its name (e.g. 43, 56), another R$ 2.20. Buses come very frequently. In Ponta Negra, there are a few helpful stops. You know you are getting close when you see PRAIA SHOPPING, a small modern mall within walking distance of town center. That stop, or one near after, will be close to many of the hotels for tourists.
A taxi to Ponta Negra is approximately R$ 120 using the meter and takes about 45 minutes.
There are currently (June 2014) two companies providing minivan services, for prices as low as R$ 25 per person (R$ 55 for two people) and bring you to your hotel in Ponta Negra.
By taxi or public transport
Taxis: flag at R$ 4,15, per kilometer R$ 2,15 (rate 1) or R$ 3 (rate 2)
Buses: cost R$ 2,65 (nov 2015) and get very crowded at peak hours, schedule and routes very unreliable
Natal's Historic Center is located at the Cidade Alta e Ribeira neighborhoods, including also some buildings of Tirol e Petrópolis. It was declared a national heritage site in 2010. Although the city dates from 1599, most of the historical buildings were constructed in the XIX and beginning of the XX century, in different styles including colonial, neoclassic, art-déco and modern.
Memorial Câmara Cascudo, Praça André de Albuquerque, 30, Cidade Alta. tue-sun 08:30-18. The memorial, built in 1875 in neoclassic styles, is about the life and work of Luis da Câmara Cascudo, Rio Grande do Norte's most famous antropologist and folklorist who lived between 1898-1986. free.
Praia do Meio, Av. Pres. Café Filho. Contiguous with Praia dos Artistas, and sharing similar characteristics with it.
Praia do Forte, Av. Praia do Forte. Contiguous with Praia do Meio, and where Forte dos Reis Magos is located. Also has a view of Ponte de Todos. The beach does not have almost any infrastructure, however, and will usually be almost empty. edit
Redinha, (accessible from Av. Dr. João Medeiros Filho). The only beach in the North region. Mostly frequented by locals, and known for the cheap food. The beach has also a platform that goes to the sea, and by walking to the tip of the platform, you can have a wonderful view of Ponte de Todos and the rest of the city.
What to do
There are opportunities for zip lining, sand boarding, swimming, and sipping from coconuts. Definitely wear a swimsuit and bring a towel to open up activities you can participate in. The ride will take at least half a day or nearly the entire day, depending on how much time you stay at stops. This is a popular and fun activity, catering heavily toward the local tourists. For that reason, many buggy drivers do not speak English, although it is not hard to understand their suggestions regardless of language. Highly recommended throughout.