Sunny, surprising Natal (pop. 659,000) is South America’s easternmost major city. Immense, distinctly Sahara-like sand dunes tower over a series of spectacularly beautiful, palm fringed beaches lining the coast both north and south of the city. A popular beach in town is Miami, so named by U.S. Airmen stationed here in World War II. Natal’s rich history is best preserved in star-shaped Reis Magos Fortress dating to 1598, and is a city tour highlight. Natal’s unique sightseeing excursions feature exciting dune buggy rides to isolated fishing villages and secluded beaches while traversing steep, golden sand dunes. Natal is fast becoming a major tourism destination with scores of new beachfront hotels, and non-stop nightlife in Ponta Negra. Naturally colored sand paintings are a most popular visitor souvenir.
Three to seven nights.
When to go
As the rest of the Northeast Brazil, Natal is a year round destination where the sun shines perennially and rainy days are extremely rare. The region is sunny with prevailing sea winds and average year temperatures in the 80s with few variations between seasons.
• Beachcombing: Enjoy some of the world’s best and most beautiful beaches.
• Dune Buggy Rides: Feel the exhilaration of driving across Natal’s gigantic dunes
• World War II Museum: Commemorates the airmen who ferried aircraft to Europe.