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Natal - Brazil

Natal (Brazilian Portuguese: [naˈtaw], "Christmas") is the capital and largest city of the state Rio Grande do Norte, located in northeastern Brazil. According to IBGE's July 2014 report, the city had a total population of 862,044, while Greater Natal had 1,485,505 inhabitants.

The implementation of the Via Costeira (Coastal Highway), 10 km (6.2 miles) long avenue along the shore and the dunes, was the true starting point for the beginning of tourist activity in the State in the 1980s. The main hotels are concentrated along Via Costeira. Natal has several tourist attractions and is famous for its natural beauty (such as the crystalline waters of Maracajaú and the largest cashew tree in the world), for its historical monuments and buildings (e.g. Forte dos Reis Magos, the Alberto Maranhão Theatre and Newton Navarro Bridge), for its beaches (such as Ponta Negra, Pipa and Genipabu) and also for its off-season carnival, the Carnatal. The city also boasts the second largest urban park in Brazil, the Natal Dunes State Park.

It is the closest state capital of Brazil to Africa and Europe. The Greater Natal International Airport connects Natal with many Brazilian cities and also operates some international flights. The city was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Natal has a typical tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen climate classification: As), with warm to hot temperatures and high relative humidity all throughout the year. However, these conditions are relieved by a near absence of extreme temperatures and pleasant trade winds blowing from the ocean. February is the warmest month, with mean maxima of 31 °C (88 °F) and minima of 24 °C (75 °F), while July is the coolest with mean maxima of 28 °C (82 °F) and minima of 21 °C (69 °F). Rainfall is heavy at around 1,465 millimetres (58 in) per year, but there is a dry season between about September and January that is more distinct than further south on the Atlantic coast. Nonetheless, the weather is not so dry as to preclude the growth of tropical rainforest and, since colonisation by Portugal, sugar cane.

Known as the "City of the Sun" and also as "The City of the Dunes", Natal is located in the northeastern tip of Brazil. Lying about six degrees south of the equator the sun shines on for more than 3,000 hours every year. The average temperature in Natal is about 27 °C (81 °F). During the summer season it normally reaches above 30 °C (86 °F) with the water at a soothing 26 °C (79 °F). The greatest amount of rain falls between March and July.

With its dozens of sandy, white beaches, such as Ponta Negra and its famous Morro do Careca, Tabatinga - the cliff of dolphins, Pirangi, Redinha, Pipa and Genipabu with its famous fixed sand dunes and imported dromedaries, tourism is the most important industry of Natal, attracting Brazilians, Europeans (many from Spain, England, Scandinavia, Germany, Portugal, Italy and France), and U.S. citizens alike. There has been an increase of 134% in foreign tourism in Natal between 2002 and 2005 (for the same time period the increase of foreign tourism in Brazil was 48%); This is a due to the accessibility of Natal and the appeal Brazil has for an increasing number of tourists, clearly showing that Natal is the area leading the Brazilian tourism boom. Natal is the number one area receiving international investments in Brazil. Natal will benefit enormously from the massive future investments on the coastline.


Newton Navarro bridge

Alberto Maranhão Theatre (on the inside of it) is part of Historic Center.

The Newton Navarro bridge is one of the highest bridges in Brazil and has over a gorgeous sunset seen from Potengi River. It makes the connection with the beaches of the north coast of the state. In addition to unburden the city traffic, the bridge became a tourist attraction because of its large size.

Historic Center

The Natal Historic Center it comprises an area of approximately 201,278 m2 (2,166,538.36 sq ft), which are included 150 buildings of various styles, including colonial architecture, neoclassical, art-deco and modernist. This area comprises the districts of Ribeira and Cidade Alta, which are the oldest neighborhoods of the city, which have characteristics of the first centuries of the history of Brazil, highlighting important aspects of Portuguese colonization.

Barreira do Inferno

The Barreira do Inferno Launch Center is the first base to launch rockets from Brazil. With the construction of another center in Brazil, today, it only launches rockets, small and medium businesses and is open to visitation of tourists to know the rockets, but must make an appointment to visit the center.

Parrachos de Maracajaú

Federal Highway BR-101 is the most important access to Natal, coming from the South of Brazil, through the boundary with the municipality of Parnamirim. For those who come from the State of Ceará, the principle access is by the Federal Highway BR-304, through the boundary with the municipality of Macaíba, where you pick up BR-226 taking people to Natal. Leaving Natal, an important access to the southern Potiguar coast is the "Sun Route" (Rota do Sol) as RN-063 is known by, and which takes you to the beaches of Pirangi, Búzios, Tabatinga, up to the municipality of Nísia Floresta. The North Shore is accessible from the Newton Navarro bridge, following the Praia do Forte to Genipabu, and the Igapó Bridge, following the district of Igapó by BR-101 to Touros, and by BR-406 to Macau.

Natal is connected to all the 167 municipalities of Rio Grande do Norte and dozens of locations and Potiguar districts, through the Passenger Bus Terminal of Natal (Terminal Rodoviário de Passageiros de Natal), located in the Eastern Zone of the city. All the accesses to the countryside of the state are through the Metropolitan region of Natal, composed of the municipalities of Ceará-Mirim, Emaús, Extremoz, Macaíba, Monte Alegre, Nísia Floresta, Parnamirim e São Gonçalo do Amarante. Buses with direct destinations to various Brazilian capitals also leave from the Passenger Bus Terminal of Natal. The cities with regular weekly schedules are: Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Goiânia, João Pessoa, Palmas, Recife, Salvador, São Luiz e Teresina.