Resembling the planet of Tatooine in the Star Wars saga, Natal, the capital of Rio Grande Do Norte, is a city built on sand. Everywhere you go, north or south, you’re surrounded by it. Founded in 1599 by the Portuguese, Natal became somewhat of a forgotten city for years. It suddenly re-emerged during World War II as a military base and was known as the “Trampoline to Victory” because of its proximity to North Africa. Today, it is simply referred to as the “City of the Sun”, blessed with ten hours of endless sunshine a day which makes planning your flight to Natal a lot easier.
The landscape throughout the city is dominated by beaches, quaint fishing villages and, of course, the omnipresent sand dunes. Most visitors explore these sights by buggy and head south of the city to the popular village of Punta Negra which has a two mile beach and perfect waves for surfing. More adventurous travellers who book flights to Natal should also consider venturing north to Genipabu home of the largest sand dunes in the state. These 50 metre dunes lie between the calm beach and a fresh water lake, and there’s even lazy Dromedary Camels wondering around ready to give anyone a ride.
When booking your Natal flight bear in mind that summer is from December to March which tends to be the busiest times in the coastal cities.
Although the sun shines almost every day of the year, it does rain in June to August, and in January to February.
The most efficient way to get around the city and the beach towns is by bus. But if you’d rather have the freedom of a car then renting one is a good option, especially since traffic is light and roads are safe.
More adventurous visitors will find that renting a buggy with a driver is a fun and quick way to get to the beaches and dunes outside the city.
Taxis are readily available on the streets, alternatively you can phone one of the local taxi companies and reserve one in advance.