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
Light, casual clothes throughout
the year are all you need in this region.
International Airport Augusto
Severo, 15 km out of town.
Downtown from 9am-7pm. Most shops
near tourist atractions are usually open from 10am -10pm,
but this can vary according to the season.
Ask the hotel reception to call
for a taxi if necessary.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.