Natal Brazil is the capital of Rio Grande do Norte, and is is the closest capital city to Europe. Discover why it is such a popular place to visit!
Natal boasts an airline with some international flights as well as flights to other Brazil cities. It has a tropical climate and over 3,000 hours of sunlight that give it the nickname, City of the Sun.
Natal was inhabited by a local Indian tribe, the Potiguars. European explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, first visited in 1501. However, no settlements were made until many years later.
In 1598, a fort was established when the Europeans rid the area of French pirates. The village outside of the fort was named Natal, meaning Christmas in Portuguese. The area was not suitable to raise sugarcane; instead cattle became the means of survival for early settlers.
During the nineteenth century while Natal was still a small village, it was divided into two regions: the upper city and the lower city. The lower city had the commerce area, while the upper city had the government and the church.
Americans set up a post during World War II and their influences can be seen along with the Portuguese and African influence. It is interesting to know that Natal was the first city to have chewing gum because of the Americans.
Rio Grande do Norte was the first state to abolish slavery, ten years before the other parts of Brazil. The first woman to hold office in Brazil was elected mayor in a small town close to Natal.
The religion of Natal Brazil today is three-fourths Catholic, which holds true in much of the country. This influences many of the celebrations and daily living for a large number of residents.
Growth has been steady in Natal, which has resulted in smooth operating transit systems, low crime rates, and well-distributed public services. There are over seven hundred thousand residents in the city today.
The most important industry in Natal is tourism. It is becoming the largest tourist city in Brazil, not only for foreigners but for Brazilians in other regions. With plans to build the largest airport in Brazil in process, it is expected that the tourism industry will continue to grow and boost the economy in Natal.
Natal Brazil is also a large producer of oil and tropical fruit. It has a strong fishing industry and provides shark cartilage to Japan. A fascinating fact to note is that there is a famous cashew trees located in Pirangi which as reknowned as the largest in the world . Pirangi is a neighborhood in Natal. The tree is about seventy times larger than your normal cashew trees.
Natal has established itself as the safest capital city in Brazil. There are fewer crimes and those that do occur are more likely to be random rather than well-planned. You will see more police out patrolling the area. While it doesnt mean that you can be too carefree, you can feel secure in taking your family to visit Natal Brazil.
The poverty situation that is prevalent in much of Brazil can be seen in Natal, but it is not as dire as in other regions. The cost of living is cheaper than in the south and many people receive help from their families. A person can live on very little and the climate is warm enough for them to survive even if they live outdoors.
Carnival is not as popular in Natal as in many other Brazil cities, but Carnatal is well-celebrated. It is the off-season version of Carnival. Many cities have their own celebrations during November and December rather than a big Carnival event.
Carnatal is one of the biggest off-season events in Brazil. A big truck carries a band along the blocks and people follow along singing and dancing. Each block can charge its own price and it can get quite expensive.
Parques das Dunas is a must-see if you enjoy nature. It is a part of the Atlantic Forest located in Natal Brazil with guided treks to take you around the dunes.
The beaches are one of the main attractions in Brazil and Natal has plenty to choose from. If you are looking for a quiet spot to relax, Praia da Pipa is an excellent choice. Its a small village on the outskirts of one of the smaller rainforests where you can enjoy swimming and watch the dolphins, and its a great place to take children.
There are many other choices of sites that children will enjoy, including the Natal Aquarium and the Forte dos Reis Magos. The Forte is a 17th century fortress that has been well-kept throughout the centuries.
Sao Miguel do Gostoso is a weekend spot for the local residents with quiet restaurants and beaches if you want to get away from the tourist area. It is around an hours trip from Natal, which is why you will see fewer tourists and more locals if you take the time to visit.
Visiting the famous cashew tree is one stop many people dont want to miss. Admission is free and you can pick the cashews in season. The tree was planted in 1888 and produces more than 80,000 nuts each year.
If you want to do something different, take a buggy ride. If you are adventurous, you can enjoy such trips as the Wall of Death. You can even travel all the way to Fortaleza, which is a five-day buggy ride. It will give you a unique sightseeing trip along the coastline.
Natal Brazil is a beautiful place to visit. With 300 sunny days each year, you will find plenty to enjoy about the City of the Sun. It is a place that families and singles alike can enjoy and where they can feel safe while enjoying the culture and friendliness that is Brazil. Even though it is a major tourist attraction, you will find many chances to get to know the locals and immerse yourself in Brazilian tradition.