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NATAL

Hotels in Natal

Discount Airfares 4 the World

Hotel /Air Packages 4 Brazil

The City

Night Life in Natal

Photos

 

Natal's coastal region is very much sought after by visitors, who enjoy the beauty of its enormous dunes of sand, the embrace of its beaches and the nice warmth and unique colours of the water. Drives in buggies are very popular.

 


General Info

TELEPHONE AREA CODE
084/

CLIMATE
The average temperature is from 23o to 28o centigrade and is stable most of the year. Although the North-east is as hot as Rio in the summer, it enjoys a tropical breeze and less humidity, which makes it a lot more agreeable during the months of January and February.

CLOTHING
Light, casual clothes throughout the year are all you need in this region.

ELECTRICITY
220 volts

AIRPORT
International Airport Augusto Severo, 15 km out of town.

BUSINESS HOURS
Downtown from 9am-7pm. Most shops near tourist atractions are usually open from 10am -10pm, but this can vary according to the season.

TAXIS
Ask the hotel reception to call for a taxi if necessary.


History

The occupation of Rio Grande do Norte by the Portuguese took place as from the end of the XVIth century, with the expulsion of French settlers which had occupied the region since 1535. Ensuing the Portuguese victory against the French, a fortress was built in 1598, called The Magus Kings' Fortress, giving birth to the city of Natal, which became the northernmost defence of the Portuguese State in the region which later on became Brazil. The growth of the population, however, took a slow pace until 1633, when the region was conquered by the Dutch which occupied it for 20 years, finding powerful allies in the native Indians. The Dutch developed the exploitation of salt, the sugar cane culture and cattle raising. In 1654 the Portuguese finally managed to expel them, but had shortly after to face strong rebellion of Indian tribes - the Confederation of Cariris - against the regime of slavery to which they were submitted. This war lasted until the end of the XVIIth century. As from 1701, the captainship of Rio Grande do Norte6 became subordinate to that of Pernambuco, which highly hindered its development. It was only in 1824 that it received the status of province, becoming a State upon the proclamation of the republic, in 1889.
Due to its strategic geographic situation (it has the coastline closest to Europe in the route through Africa), Rio Grande do Norte was many times chosen as the site for pioneer experiences of transatlantic aviation, or as a base for fuel supply and logistic support for military operations. During World War II the Americans built, on the plateau of Parnamirim, a huge air base, creating the "Bridge of the Atlantic to Africa", of paramount importance in the effort to crush nazi power and bring victory to the allies in the War. During that period, the city of Natal gained traits of cosmopolitan metropolis, where foreigners of all origins mingled. While the deposits of tungsten fed the arsenals of war, poverty in the region was diminished.



 

The City

Situated on the Atlantic coast, the city of Natal, capital of the State of Rio Grande do Norte, is 2.507 Km away from Brasilia, the capital of the Country. The origin of the name Natal goes back to the date of the foundation of the city: December 25th, 1599. The local economy is based upon clothing manufacture, the industry of ceramics, trade and tourism.
Natal's coastal region is very much sought after by visitors basically from Brazil, who enjoy the beauty of its enormous dunes of sand, the embrace of its beaches and the nice warmth and unique colours of the water. Drives in buggies are very popular and they may be taken over the dunes of sand or about the surroundings of the region.


Restaurants

Great food, especially seafood and dried meat with very regional taste. Choose one of the restaurants in Ponta Negra or anywhere near the beach in the evening and enjoy eating with fingers on the beach during the sunny day.




Night Life


Most of Natal's nocturnal action takes place on or around the beaches rather than in the centre. One good spot to head for is Praia dos Artistas, the stretch of beach about halfway between the fort and the headland, where Avenida 25 de Dezembro runs parallel to the seafront.

As most of the tourists are Brazilian, Natal is a good place for music, and several places along the seafront have fine music and dancing. On weekend nights you can dance to regional music - forro a speciality, until the early hours of the morning.



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