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The Beaches of Fortaleza Like no others

There are two things that set the beaches of Ceara, Brazil apart from all others.their beautiful colors and the huge dunes that sweep back from the ocean.Fortaleza is on a point, which means the beaches where the warm South Atlantic brushes the shore lie in both directions from the city. If we start at the middle and work out it's something like this.

Meireles is the beach area of the main tourist area, called Aldeota. There is a large concentration of high-rise condo and hotel buildings along the Beira Mar, or oceanside avenida.Early in the morning and at dusk, both of which occur around 5.30, either am or pm, you can find hundreds of the city's population, tourists, and locals, walking, jogging, running or just socializing at one of the manay barracas (pronounced ba-hackas) along the beach, both close to the water's edge and also along the avenida, depending on whether you want to have your toes in the white sand.There is also a tourist market each evening, beginnning around 6pm. The vendors start setting up at noon and close around 11pm-12am.

You may purchase everything from cashews to bikinis to shoulder bags to sandals to arts and crafts, in particular, little bottles filled with colored sand poured to make pictures. It's quite fascinating. Mostly, it's the locals who hang out at the city beaches.

The tourists take a taxi or onibus and travel a little farther.Facing the ocean and moving towards your right, after passing the port, you come to Praia do Futuro. Along this three mile stretch of beach, there is cleaner water and many barracas where most tourists and many locals go on weekends, particularly Sundays.There's lots of beautiful women, cervaza (beer) and regular or seafood.

The vendors wander through the tables set up under palm frond canopies and sell anything from lobster to shrimp, to CD's and DVD's to sunglasses and bikinis.If you are willing to travel a little further, say about 30km, you come to Prainha, my favorite beach. It is cleaner still.they rake the sand every night.the barracas are just as good and the prices are less than Futuro.

That's because most tourists won't go that far for a beach and the barracas are filled mostly with locals.If you go further you come to Morro Branco, and later Canoa Quebrada. More about them another time. On the other side of the city, out past Iracema, which doesn't have clean water really and even the locals don't swim there, is Cumbuco. This beach community is the weekend home of many of the rich Brazileiros and their families.

There are many mansions along the beach that would match the rich enclaves anywhere in the world.Further along this coast, you come to Mundau, lagoinha, Paracuru and six hours up the coast, you come to the beaches and incredible dunes of the legendary Jericocoara, on the list of Top Ten Beaches in the World.


The Author is an ex-pat living in Fortaleza for the last 2 years with his Brazilian wife and her 5 year old son. He moved to Fortaleza from San Diego even though he is a Canadian by birth. He also runs a small company called Fortaleza Adventure that assists first time visitors to the city who don't speak the language. Just type Fortalza Adventure into Google for all the inforation you need about the company's services and other articles on Fortaleza in particular and Brazil in general.

By: Andy Neill

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