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Although Fortaleza may be a relatively isolated coastal city, it is huge and one of the largest in Brazil, being the proud capital of Ceará. As well as being an important economic hub, Fortaleza is also known for its excellent tourism opportunities, boasting numerous splendid beaches, an alluring nightlife and a heaving off-season carnival each July.

Much history is present within the Centro area of Fortaleza, although it is understandably the beaches that serve as the biggest magnet for tourists. The Praia de Iracema is a very lively part of the city, and although the beachfront here is virtually non-existent, the nightlife scene is excellent. Close by, the Praia do Meireles is a very popular beach offering some of the best accommodation available. The port of Mucuripe comes next, followed by the Praia do Futuro (Futuro Beach), which all would agree is the principal beachfront.


How to Reach

By Air

Opened in 1998, Pinto Martins International Airport stands just 6 km / 4 miles to the south of downtown Fortaleza and lies within the Serrinha neighbourhood. This airport handles more than four million passengers each year and serves around 50,000 flights, making it rank just outside of Brazil's top ten busiest airports. Daily flights travel between Miami (TAM Airlines), Milan and Rome (Air Italy) and Lisbon (TAP Portugal), as well as a plethora of Brazilian destinations, such as Belem, Brasilia, Curitiba, Natal, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador da Bahia and Sao Paulo. Urban bus transport (Aeroporto / Benfica) is on hand and connects the city centre and its main bus station. There are also fixed-priced 'Airport Taxis' and regular metered taxis, which provide a convenient way to reach the beach resorts of Futuro, Iracema and Meireles.

By Bus and Coach

The city's main bus station connects all of the most popular beaches and resorts, as well as neighbouring towns and many major cities around Brazil, with the longest journeys often requiring changes. Long-distance bus transport regularly travels to and from destinations such as Belem (28 hours), Canoa Quebrada (three hours), Jericoacoara (seven hours), Juazeiro do Norte (11 hours), Natal (eight hours), Parnaiba (nine hours), Recife (12 hours), Rio de Janeiro (50 hours), Salvador (22 hours), Sao Luis (20 hours), Teresina (ten hours) and Ubajara (six hours).

Circular city buses stop to collect and drop passengers at convenient places around the city. These include bus stops on the Avenida Abolicao, the Avenida Alberto Nepomuceno, the Avenida Almirante Barrosa, the Avenida Beira Mar (Praia do Meireles), the Avenida Dom Manuel, the Praca de Ferreira, the Rua Castro e Silva and the Rua Joao Moreira.

By Taxi

If you are searching for taxi transport in Fortaleza, then you can be confident that you won't have far to look, since the city is home to around 4,000 metered taxi cabs. Available taxis can be hailed from the street, although ranks usually gather close to places of interest. Fares are calculated by combining a fixed start price with a per kilometre rate, although for long distances, such as to Canoa Quebrada or Cumbuco, a more favoured rate can often be negotiated.

Key places to visit
Palacio da Luz, Estoril Centro Cultural, Parque Ecologico do Rio Cocó, Beach Park Fortaleza, Museu do Automovel


Places to Visit

Palacio da Luz

Formerly functioning as the headquarters for the Ceará government, the Palacio da Luz is an attractive building dating back to the latter part of the 18th century. The palace was officially acquired by the state government in 1814 and today plays host to the Academia Cearense de Letras, as well as a research library brimming with more than 15,000 books.

Estoril Centro Cultural

Standing on the Rua dos Tabajaras and close to the Praia de Iracema, Fortaleza's highly regarded Estoril Centro Cultural was constructed in the 1920s, when it was named as the Vila Morena. This mansion has taken on various different functions since being built, becoming a popular casino and then a very upmarket restaurant, and during the Second World War it even became a refuge for important intellectuals. In 1995, the structure was considered to be unsafe and the future of the landmark looked uncertain. Now fully restored, the Estoril functions as a Cultural Centre, regularly staging exhibitions and hosting local events.

 Parque Ecologico do Rio Cocó

Located close to the Iguatemi mall, the Parque Ecologico do Rio Cocó is part of Fortaleza's biggest green space and together with both the Parque Adhail Barreto and the Tancredo Neves, forms an important conservation area covering roughly 2,755 acres / 1,115 hectares in total. Named after the River Coco, which meanders through the grounds and forms a mangrove area, the park was officially founded in 1977. Although there are no lawns as such, there are a number of scenic trails, running alongside the river and through the woodland, where native Brazilian flora and fauna flourishes.

Beach Park Fortaleza

Each year more than one million people visit this popular water park, enjoying its exciting water slides, swimming pools, wave pools, water playgrounds with fountains and extensive leisure facilities. The Beach Park Fortaleza attraction stands no more than a matter of metres from the beachfront of the Praia Porto das Dunas and began its life in 1985, when it had just three water slides and a beach restaurant, and over the years has grown to become Latin America's biggest water park with its own hotel resort complex.

Museu do Automovel

In total there are just over 60 different cars on display at the Museu do Automovel, the majority of which originate from the USA. If you would like to combine your visit with a shopping trip, then bear in mind that the Shopping Iguatemi mall is just seven blocks away, being reached via the Avenida Coronel Miguel Dias.

Right Time to Visit

July - November


June - August -> 30(°C) - Summer
November - January -> 19(°C) - Spring


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