Natal HotelsRace across flat, white sands in an open air buggy, challenge the forces of nature with an afternoon spent surfing the tropical ocean, or drive the coast road to discover a quieter side to this heavily populated Brazilian tourist destination – Natal is exciting, accommodating, and welcoming, all rolled into one. From the bright lights of its decadent tourist resorts, to the quiet, undulating dunes of its distance beaches, it offers a heady mix of vibrant nightlife, and tranquil scenery, all just minutes from the bustling town center.The impossibly flat sands of Point Negra Beach stretch from the Morro do Careca sand dune, famous for its thick covering of tropical vegetation marked by a wide band of infertile sand, to the beginning of the Via Costeira coastal highway in the north. The beach is a commercial hub, and despite its idyllic setting you’ll find a good number of barracas serving freshly grilled corn, and succulent shrimp. Leaving behind the warm seawater, gentle surf, and colorful jangadas fishing boats, the inner city streets are a maze of modern buildings nestling between ancient architecture. On Rua da Conceicao, an innocuous whitewashed building with sash windows and an aging façade is home to the Café Filho House Museum, a dedication to Brazilian politician, Café Filhao. The Midway Mall is a welcome air-conditioned retreat from the heat of the Brazilian sun. Level upon level of glamorous shops, big name stores, and brand boutiques, line up next to ethnic eateries in the food hall, the multi-screen cinema, and a large theater that delights with modern recitals, theatrical performances, and musical extravaganzas.Hotels in
NatalWhen the Via Costeira arrived along the coastal route between Natal and the outlying coastal town of Ponta Negra, it brought with it a plethora of new-build resorts to nestle on the picture perfect sands of this previously virgin landscape. Most luxury hotels in Natal can be found dotted along this route, or in the cities that hug either end. Aside from unsurpassed views across the turquoise Atlantic waters, higher-end hotels feature furnished balconies, spacious bedrooms, decadent bathrooms, and sparkling swimming pools with thatched sunshades. Even mid-range hotels have sophisticated upgrades, including flat screen televisions, living areas, and relaxing spas.Where to stayThe small village of Ponta Negra doesn’t have many streets, but considering you’ll be spending most of your visit here on the beach, it’s not a great loss. It’s still a modern tourist destination, drawing thousands of visitors to view its famous Morro do Careca sand dune, which is why there are plenty of tourist cafes beneath billowing awnings, and lots of chintzy souvenir shops to explore. At its northern tip, discount hotels in Natal are favored by surfers and other waters sports enthusiasts heading to the wild surf off Praia do Meio, where the swells are legendary among Brazilian boarders.How to get to NatalThe Natal area of Brazil welcomes foreign travelers through its Augusto Severo International Airport, a short 20 minute drive from the heart of the city. The Natal bus stops at the main doors of the terminal and runs directly into town, with connecting buses available at the Negra Shopping bus depot. Around town, buses, taxis, and urban trains are all convenient, and affordable, but if you’re here to see the beach, hiring a chauffeured buggy is the best way to travel.