Natal is the result of the efforts of Portuguese colonisers against French pirates and Indigenous people from the region. The name of the city - which between 1633 and 1654 was called New Amsterdam by the Dutch invaders - has two origins: one refers to when the Portuguese fleet first arrived at the Potengi River, on the 25th of December 1597; the other refers to the outline of the city’s primitive place, made by Jerônimo de Albuquerque on the 25th of December 1599.

The fact that it is close to Europe and Africa, makes Natal one of the most convenient ways in for tourists from these areas.  With a little over 800 thousand inhabitants and a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.788, the city is in Brazil’s extreme northeast and attracts tourists as a result of the beauty of its beaches and dunes, average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius and historical sites dating back to the 16th Century.

In 2010, Natal had over 2 million visitors, number that could reach 3 million in the year of the World Cup. In order to adapt to the increase of tourist flow, the government and the private initiative intend on investing on improving the roadway system, increasing the size of the airport and the number of hotels, to around 26 thousand rooms.

The coastline of the state of Rio Grande do Norte is one of the most famous and sought after by Brazilians and an ever increasing number of foreign tourists. The state is right at the top of Brazil and offers breathtaking landscape and views to its visitors, bathed by clear and warm water, where during the low tide period, one may relax in a natural pool in the sea.

The state’s coastline extends over a length of more than 400 km. The state capital Natal is known for its natural beauty, beautiful beaches, dunes and rich culture.

Photo: World Cup Portal#

Main tourist attractions

Our Lady of Presentation Church
Old Cathedral
Address: Praça André de Albuquerque – Cidade Alta – Centro Antigo

Rosário Nossa Senhora dos Pretos Church
In the City Centre (Corredor Cultural)
Address: Largo do Rosário s/n

Galo Church
Houses Saint Anthony’s Convent and the Museum of Religious Art
Address: Rua Santo Antônio, 683 – Cidade Alta

Dunas Park
Second biggest urban park in Brazil
Located at Alexandrino de Alencar Avenue – Morro Branco

Tourist Centre
Handcraft centre. On Thursdays, they have Forró for tourists.
Located in the Petrópolis area
Phone: +55 (84) 3202-3381

Fortaleza dos Reis Magos (Fortress of the Three Wise Men)
Located at Forte beach
Hours of operation: Daily from 08:00am to 04:00pm R$ 3.00 entrance fee per person
For further information: www.parquedasdunas.rn.gov.br

Beaches In Natal

Ponta Negra
Fourteen kilometres from the City Centre, Ponta Negra is considered one of the most beautiful beaches of the Brazilian northeast.

Morro do Careca (Careca Mountain)
It is a 120 metres tall dune, surrounded by vegetation in the extreme south side of Ponta Negra beach.

Areia Preta (Black Sand)
Located past Artistas beach, it is named after its dark coloured cliffs.

Praia do Meio
It is located between Forte beach and Artistas beach. It is the spot where annually on New Year’s Eve the traditional Iemanjá party is held.

Forte Beach
Located near where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Potengi River, the area is surrounded by reefs with natural pools. The Reis Magos (Three Wise Men) Fortress was built in 1598 there.

Redinha Beach
The last beach to the north of Natal, it is an old fishing village. At the Redinha Market, one may taste traditional local food.

Fact sheet

Population: 803,739 people
Altitude: 45 metres
Area: 167,160 km²
Area code: (84)
Voltage: 220 V
Climate: Humid tropical
Temperature: average of 28 C
Vegetation: Mangrove, humid forests and coastal tablelands

For further information

Natal City Hall
www.natal.rn.gov.br
+ 55 84 8826-6582

Extraordinary Secretariat for 2014 World Cup Related Matters - SECOPA
www.secopa.rn.gov.br
+ 55 84 3235-5141

Government of the State of Rio Grande do Norte
www.rn.gov.br/conheca-o-rn/turismo

Municipal Trade and Tourism Secretariat
turismo.natal.rn.gov.br
+55 (84) 3232-9061 / 9063

Tourist Information Office
+55 (84) 3232-2519

Open Media Centre – Natal

Address: UFRN - Laboratório de Comunicação Social e Superintendência de Comunicação
10 May - 26 June, from 8:00 to 22:00
+55 84 3215-3564 // presspoint@comunica.ufrn.br // www.presspoint.ufrn.br