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Fortaleza, Brazil

Fortaleza is a major city on Brazil's northeast coast and the capital of Ceará state. It is one of the largest cities in Brazil and certainly one of the most vibrant. The city is perhaps the most popular domestic package tour destination, and Europeans are following suit. Despite being quite a party town, the carnival in Fortaleza is rather feeble, though growing bigger by the year, with the largest parades being maracatu-style. There are 2.55 million inhabitants in the city and 3.5 million in the metropolitan area.


The official history of Fortaleza as a permanent settlement dates back to the 17th century when the Dutch had a brief dispute with the Portuguese over the territory. The first settlement was known as Fort Schoonenborch and it was founded by the Dutch West Indian Company in 1649. During Portuguese and Brazilian... Read more

Fortaleza, Brazil


Fortaleza is a major city on Brazil's northeast coast and the capital of Ceará state. It is one of the largest cities in Brazil and certainly one of the most vibrant. The city is perhaps the most popular domestic package tour destination, and Europeans are following suit. Despite being quite a party town, the carnival in Fortaleza is rather feeble, though growing bigger by the year, with the largest parades being maracatu-style. There are 2.55 million inhabitants in the city and 3.5 million in the metropolitan area.


The official history of Fortaleza as a permanent settlement dates back to the 17th century when the Dutch had a brief dispute with the Portuguese over the territory. The first settlement was known as Fort Schoonenborch and it was founded by the Dutch West Indian Company in 1649. During Portuguese and Brazilian rule, the city has had several names, always beginning with Fortaleza (fortress in Portuguese).
However, some local historians fiercely defend the thesis that the very first European to land in South America — allegedly the Spaniard Vicente Yáñez Pinzón — did so where the city's port is situated today, in January 1500, i.e. a few months before the Portuguese Pedro Alvares Cabral's much-celebrated arrival in Porto Seguro.
Probably the most proudly remembered occasion of local history was the abolition of slavery in 1884, four years ahead of Brazil as a whole. The mulatto Dragão do Mar, the native of Aracati, reached a near-mythical status for his role in the boycott of slave ships starting in 1881 and is still widely recognized.


The author José de Alencar is so important for the identity of the city of Fortaleza (and also the state), that its inhabitants are nicknamed Alencarinos. He eagerly discussed the origins of the people, languages and geographical names of the region. Most important in this context is the novel Iracema, with its renowned main character lending her name to several neighborhoods and inspiring statues around town.
In Brazil, Fortaleza is famous for the forró music and dance, and its crop of comedians. Cearenses (people born in Ceará) are also famous for their ease and fondness for a good verbal joke, from which derives a colorful and hilarious local vocabulary (e. g. a very ugly person is "a dog sucking mangoes"). Travelers with any degree of fluency in Portuguese are likely to be amazed.
Traditional folklore, a fusion of European, African and native traditions, is manifested through dances and songs unique to this region:

  • Bumba-meu-boi or Boi-Ceará - songs and dances with Luso-Iberican influence dedicated to the religious cult of the ox
  • Dança do coco - of African origin, this is a dance danced by males on the beach but elsewhere it's danced by couples
  • Torém - an indigenous dance originating among the Tremembé people
  • Maracatu - a dancing procession of African origin originally danced to honor kings
  • Violeiros, Cantadores e Emboladores - a musical manifestation, often used as a way to express social criticism
  • Reisado - an event held every Epiphany, where people go from house to house singing and dancing and receiving gifts


Fortaleza is in the tropics and therefore, the weather is always warm but never extremely hot. Temperatures range from +23-31°C with rare exceptions. There is usually a breeze blowing from the east softening the temperature and forming the sand dunes. The relative humidity is usually between 55-75%. July - November has virtually no rain. February - May can have its share, but mostly at night.


These districts are probably the most interesting for visitors:

  • Centro — downtown and its Praça do Ferreira is full of shops and restaurants
  • Praia de Iracema — just northeast of downtown. Popular among travelers, this district features affordable accommodation and lively nightlife
  • Praia de Meireles — a little further east along the beach, with some major hotels.
  • Praia do Futuro — Far east (8 km) of downtown, it's the best beach in Fortaleza. On the downside, the sea can be rough here and the water is often polluted by oil
  • Mucuripe — The commercial port of Fortaleza

Tourist office

Several municipal tourist information offices around, the most convenient being at the airport, the Central Market and Beira Mar (halfway between McDonald's and the fish market).

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Fortaleza, Brazil: Port Information

Cruise liners dock at the dedicated cruise terminal with great amenities including stores, restaurants, Wi-Fi, etc.
Shuttles and taxis are available.

Get around Fortaleza, Brazil


Most tourists will not go more than 5 blocks from the sea, except for a shopping mall. The following main streets will take you from the city center to the fish market, by way of Dragão do Mar and the beaches Iracema and Meireles, totaling some 6 km: Avenida Almirante Barroso, Av. Beira Mar (until Rua Ildefonso Albano, where it's cut off by an artificial beach -the aterro.), Av. Historiador Raimundo Girão, Av. Beira Mar (from Av. Rui Barbosa). This last three km section of Beira Mar (literally Sea Side) is by far the most attractive part of the city, with police stands and patrols making it fairly safe around the clock, although rather deserted from midnight to dawn. The Avenida Beira Mar with its broad pavement stops at the fish market. From here to the beach of Praia do Futuro is the port area, backed by a refinery and slums. Walking here at daytime can be risky; at night, it's asking for trouble.

By subway

The Metrofor network consists as of January 2015 of two operational lines; the South line and the West line. Three other lines are in construction or planning. 

By bus

Like any major Brazilian city, Fortaleza can be done almost entirely by bus. The lines listed here deemed most useful for tourists will run roughly every 10 minutes daytime weekdays, frequencies perhaps halved nighttime and weekends, and down to once an hour after midnight. Only the most useful parts of the routes are described. Some lines have the number 1 or 2 after their names, only to indicate direction, others don't. I.e. the very same bus with the same number and name could be running either from A to B or from B to A. Ask!

  • Centro/Beira Mar Caça e Pesca is comfy and air-conditioned. It runs Beira Mar and all along Praia do Futuro. Returning it swaps Beira Mar for Abolição. This bus can get very packed from Praia do Futuro before sunset. Risk of muggings at Praia do Futuro bus stops after dark.
  • Circular 1/2 - runs 24 hours a day Downtown - Mercado Central - Dragão do Mar - Historiador Raimundo Girão - Abolicão - Desembargador Moreira/Shopping Aldeota.
  • Grande Circular 1/2 - runs 24 hours a day. Downtown - Dragão do Mar - Historiador Raimundo Girão - Abolição - Praia do Futuro - Terminal Papicu - Shopping Iguatemi.
  • Centro Iguatemi - Last bus leaves Iguatemi at 22:00, does not run on Sundays. Comfy and air-conditioned. City center - Monsenhor Tabosa - Abolição - Desembargador Moreira (Shopping Aldeota), leaves you inside the Iguatemi shopping mall.

By taxi

All 4000-odd taxis in town run on the same meter system, except the special cabs at the airport.
It is mandatory for taxis to display the fare system on one of the rear side windows. Do not take a cab without such a posting.
Cab drivers in Fortaleza are fairly honest, although a few will put the meter on rate 2 too often. The meter should always run unless you have fixed a price before getting into the car. Taxi stands are abundant, but it can often prove easier to negotiate the fare if you hail one off the street.

Taxi companies

  • Cooperativa, ☎ +55 85 3261-4181.
  • Fortaleza, ☎ +55 85 3254-5744.

By moto taxi

Moto taxis, ie. motorcycles that function as taxis, can be picked up at their own stands, ask locals if you cannot find one. Depending on the traffic flow, this can be a rather scary experience. Fares depend on company and distance.

Moto taxi companies

  • Ágil Moto e Táxi, ☎ +55 85 3252-5555.
  • Ande Cooper Moto Táxi, ☎ +55 85 3256-1795.

Rental car

Brazilian city traffic makes this option a bit frustrating for anyone who honks less than once a minute while driving back home. The city is best covered by bus and cab, but a car can make many day trips to outlying beaches. Rental shops are virtually everywhere, and they have motorcycles for rent too.  

What to see in Fortaleza, Brazil

Quite an effort has been put into restoring colonial architecture over the last years. Still, there is no area that is completely "clean," but the stretch from the beachfront of Praia de Iracema, via Dragão do Mar and to Praça do Ferreira is steadily improving and worth a walk.
One thing worth seeing is the sunset, either from Ponte Metalica, Praia Iracema, or the beach by the fish market, Mucuripe.

Architecture and statues

Several architectural styles are represented in Fortaleza contemporary (Centro Cultural Dragão do Mar), modern (Mausoleum of Castelo Branco), classical (Museu do Ceará), neo-classical (central railway station), art deco (Cine São Luis), art nouveau (Theatro José de Alencar) and neo-Gothic (cathedral).

  • Theatro José de Alencar, Praça José de Alencar. A theater on the south side of the eponymous square. The architectural landmark of the city, and also declared a National Historic Landmark. Finished in 1912, there are performances almost every evening. Visits every hour on the hour, except noon.
  • Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza (Igreja da Sé), Rua Sobral 1, ☎ +55 85 3231-4196. Its sooty façade gives the cathedral a somewhat brutal look. But it still has nice mosaics, and the 75m high towers and its size (its capacity is 5000 persons) are impressive. The main western façade has large windows and the sun lights up the church during the evening mass. French architect George Mounier allegedly was inspired by the Cologne cathedral. Note the 40-year span between the initial works and the inaugural mass, above the main entrance. Masses daily except Mondays.
  • Estoril, Rua dos Tabajaras 397, Praia de Iracema (Near Pirata Bar). This mansion, built in 1925 as Vila Morena, and later used as a casino, a restaurant(when its current name was applied) and a rather political bar, is of peculiar architecture. It was virtually rebuilt in the 90's and is undergoing another refurbishment to be used for public cultural arrangements.
  • Mercado dos Pinhões, Praça Visconde de Pelotas, Praia de Iracema (Two blocks inland from the shops at Rua Monsenhor Tabosa). This former meat market was imported piece by piece from Europe and set up in 1897. Refurbished and now used as a handicrafts fair with a variety of cultural events five days a week from Afro-Brazilian culture and art to contemporary dance and the local forró music style.
  • Ponte dos Ingleses (Metálica), Rua dos Cariris (Praia de Iracema). Construction of this pier started in 1923, but it has never functioned as a port as intended. Its sunset view is reputedly the best in the city.
  • Iracema Statue (Estátua de Iracema) (Praia de Iracema). Also known as the Guardian of Iracema, this statue was constructed to honor the author José de Alencar. The statue depicts the protagonist in his novel Iracema. Another one stands in Messejena Lake in the south of the city.
  • Seminário da Prainha. A Catholic seminary with a neoclassical church from the 19th century. If you're interested in the city's local religious history or want to do some genealogical studies, this is the right place to visit.
  • Fortaleza railway station (Estação João Felipe). An all too common sight in South America; Fortaleza has a beautiful railway station... but traffic ended in 1975.

Squares and parks

  • Dragão do Mar. The square at Rua Dragão do Mar is culturally a very lively place. Several artisans are selling their work there, musicians are performing and there are several bars and restaurants with international cuisine as well as nightclubs of different styles. Then there's also the cultural center, described below.
  • Praça do Ferreira (Between the streets of Floriano Peixoto, Guilherme Rocha, Major Facundo and Pedro Borges, downtown). The main city square named after the pharmacist Antônio Rodrigues Ferreira and is surrounded by stores, restaurants, a movie theater and plenty of benches. Inaugurated in 1829, it has been rebuilt several times and is surrounded by many buildings of historical importance. The square of today features a time column and a small garden, just like the original version.
  • Praça José de Alencar. Plenty of greenery and the place to catch the city's best street performers. The square, which formerly functioned as a bus station is today frequented by small market stalls and food carts. On the southern side of this square is the eponymous theater building.
  • Praça Portugal. Six blocks from Beira-Mar, this square is lined by elegant restaurants and shopping. Major public events are often held here; for instance, during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Praça Portugal was one of the venues for the FIFA Fan Fest. In the Christmas season, you will find a huge Christmas tree in the middle of this square.
  • Parque Ecologico do Cocó. The Cocó Ecological Park is the city's largest green area, near the Iguatemi-mall. One of the largest urban parks in South America, it's a piece of jungle in the middle of Fortaleza and is the most important showpiece of Fortaleza's ecological heritage. The park is popular for recreation among the locals and the place for seeing some local flora and fauna without leaving the city.


  • Museu de Arte e Cultura Popular, Rua Senador Pompeu 350, ☎ +55 85 3488-7411. Located in an old prison, now the Centro de Turismo, along with a handicraft market and a tourist information. Displays many fine examples of folk art as well as boats and other cultural relics.
  • Museu do Ceará, Rua São Paulo 51 (one block north of Pr. do Ferreira). In a late 19th-century seat of state government. Explains the history of the state of Ceará and its capital. 
  • Museu do Automóvel (Veteran Car Club do Brasil), Avenida Chanceler Edson Queiroz 70 (Walk some 7 blocks up Av. Cel. Miguel Dias from Shopping Iguatemi's main entrance, then turn right.), ☎ +55 85 3273-3129. 9-12, 14-17, closed Mondays and Sunday afternoons. Some 60 cars on display, mostly of US make, ranging from 1917 to 1995(!). Notably two funeral cars from the 30's. 
  • Mini Siará (Museu de Miniaturas), Rua José Avelino 250 (Right off Dragão do Mar). Tue-Sat 2 PM - 5 PM. More cute than really interesting, this tiny museum has about 25 scale models of Fortaleza's colonial buildings, and also a couple of scale landscapes. 
  • Dragão do Mar Cultural Center, Rua Dragão do Mar 81, ☎ +55 85 3488-8600. Opened in 1999, the center has 30,000 m2 of attractions including an art museum, a library, a cinema, a planetarium, an amphitheater, art workshops and the Culture Memorial of Ceara. The surrounding offers some of the highlights of Fortaleza's nightlife.
  • Museu da Escrita, Rua Dr. Walder Studart, 56, ☎ +55 85 3244 7729. The Museum of Writing was reopened in 2012. As the name suggests, you can see typewriters from different eras, pens, feathers, cartridges and books including a collection of Bibles.

What to do in Fortaleza, Brazil


There are two nice city beaches,   Praia de Iracema and   Meireles. Some people discourage bathing here, although they are mostly rated green by authorities. Iracema is often the place for large events and gatherings, in particular, the new years celebrations. The whole stretch from the Ponte Metálica (aka Ponte Inglesa) pier to the fish market is paralleled by the Avenida Beira Mar, very nice for an evening stroll. A string of shacks lines the beachfront, mostly good for drinking and people watching. Some of these, particularly when serving in the sand, have up to three different menus with varying prices. The busiest strip (with the most expensive beer), including the bulk of beggars, prostitutes, and vendors, is right in front of McDonald's, to avoid these go east of the market. A selection listed from the west (Praia de Iracema) to the east (Fish market):

  • Babagula, more sandwiches, a playground for children. Subway is cohabiting.
  • Satéhut, Dutch run with some Indonesian on the menu. Clean toilet!
  • Veraneio, the hedges protect you!
  • Joca, Gay.
  • Beira Mar Grill, decent food.
  • Volta da Jurema, near Othon Palace. Nice sunset.
  • G2, a notch cheaper than the rest.

The most attractive urban beach is   Praia do Futuro, about 5 km (unsafe to walk) from Meireles. Windy, with rather strong currents and undertows, swimming can be a challenge, but for a dip it's fine. Some 150(!) beach shacks, here a selection from the north (closest to Beira Mar) to the south, with their special features:

  • Marulhos. Reggae music and good food. Try the escondidinho.
  • Croco Beach. Plenty gringos. "After Beach" with live music on Sundays, sunset to eightish, no forro!
  • Vira Verão. Young Brazilian crowd. If you're lucky, you'll get a table.
  • Vila Galé. Belongs to the hotel. Perhaps the neatest appearance, definitely the most expensive!
  • Chico do Carangueijo. Clean, popular, good food, specializing in crab, sometimes live music.
  • Côco Beach and Boa Vida. Mainly foreigners and their crew, live forró.

Be aware, that the slums (favelas) of the city are located next to Praia do Futuro, and that the beach may not be safe even in daytime. Nevertheless, as a tourism business has grown bigger at the beach, also police presence has increased. At the very end of Praia do Futuro, its name changes to Caça e Pesca. Freshwater swimming in a strong current where the river Cocó meets the ocean.

On water

  • There is good surfing on the beaches and frequent competitions at Praia do Futuro.
  • Chandler Surf, 411 Rua 24 de Maio, ☎ +55 85 8803-4487, e-mail: A surf school working at Meireles Wednesday - Sunday afternoons. 
  • Aldeia Surf School, ☎ +55 85 9444-7496, +55 85 8610-4092, e-mail: Offers surf lessons and surf trips every day of the week. Based at Hotel Vila Galé.
  • Kite and windsurfing are very popular in Ceará. If you aren't familiar with the sports, there are several schools on the beaches. Good conditions most of the year, with winds up to 40 knots.
  • Windzen, Praia do Futuro (Next to Vira Verao). Equipment (Naish dealer) and classes. Helpful with info about out-of-town spots.
  • A couple of motorized schooners and a catamaran do 2-hour cruises along the city beaches, setting out daily at 10:00 and 16:00 from near the Iracema-statue, where they also have their ticket booths. The latter departure is better, as you get the sunset. Bring swim-gear. Minimum of ten people required and thus it's often canceled in the low season. Another schooner takes you all the way to Cumbuco at 09:00, lands you for lunch and has buses you back to Fortaleza before 5 PM. 
  • In addition, it's possible to rent a boat with a skipper for sightseeing or fishing at your own pace.

On land

  • Beach Park (13km southeast of Fortaleza). South America's biggest water park with the world's biggest toboggan. The park also features a hotel and a concert stage.
  • The nearest golf club is in neighboring Iguape, some 30 minutes by car from Beira Mar.

What to eat and drink in Fortaleza, Brazil


A popular vacation destination, there is a wide variety of restaurants from steak houses (churrascarias) to pizzerias and fast food restaurants. The best concentration of restaurants in town is found in the Varjota neighborhood, especially along Rua Frederico Borges and its side streets, starting some five blocks inland from Beira Mar.
Fortaleza is a fishing port, so fresh seafood is readily available in the restaurants. If you are a bit more courageous, buy your shrimp/lobster/squid/whatever, straight from the fish market stalls, and hit one of the nearby shacks to fry it for you. Thursday is crab day in Fortaleza, especially in the many shacks at Praia do Futuro. If you prefer beef, there are options for a rodízio (grilled meats en masse with a big buffet of salads and side dishes; but watch out for expensive drinks and desserts in these establishments).
Northeast (Brazil)#Eat and Brazil#Eat presents some regional and national specialties worth trying. In addition to this, as you're in the topics it's easy to find:

  • Fresh fruits: the variety is indescribable and the prices are low. Every self-respecting grocer will have at least four different types of bananas for sale. Dozens of tropical delicacies (jabuticaba, sapoti, siriguela, murici, umbu, cajarana, carambola etc. etc. etc.) are unavailable anywhere else. Go to a supermarket and check them out.
  • Suco: juice made of fresh fruits or frozen pulps. Check the stalls to have a notion of what`s best in the season.


Fortaleza is a forró-stronghold. Virtually any day of the week you can find a party with live music and this traditional dance, sometimes in quite modern variations (often referred to as forró universitário). On weekends you can choose from literally dozens of places. For a more genuine, tourist-free happening, you must move towards the outskirts of the city.
For daytime drinking, which can be quite a party, especially on weekends, see the Beaches-section above. For a non-alcoholic refreshment; grab a chilled coconut from a stall at Beira Mar.

Shopping in Fortaleza, Brazil

The state of Ceará has a large textile industry, and arguably the cheapest clothing in Brazil. Also the capital of hammocks. Best place to buy is the range of small shops opposite the cathedral, city center.

Changing cash EUR or USD into BRL is done close to interbank rates, meaning that it's better value than cash advances on credit or debit cards. Many travel agencies exchange money,you mostly get slightly better rates moving away from Beira Mar.

  • Pão de Açúcar. There is a very convenient Pão de Açúcar round-the-clock supermarket by the intersection of Av. Abolição and Av. Desembargador Moreira. Although more expensive than most other shops, it has a good selection of groceries, including many imports, and also some fresh foods. Fresh sandwiches and pizzas until 8 PM.
  • Mercado São Sebastião. For a true abundance of fruits and vegetables, in addition to meat, fish and whatever else you could think of for your kitchen, visit Mercado São Sebastião, at the east end of Av. Bezerra de Menezes, 4 blocks south and 5 west of Praça José de Alencar in the center. The earlier you arrive, the greater the variety.
  • Sebo O Geraldo, Rua 24 de Maio 950 (Three blocks south from Praça José de Alencar), ☎ +55 85 3226-2557. Behind a modest façade, there is a vast selection of used books, including hundreds of titles in English (although much outdated) and a little something in many other languages. 

Shopping centers

  • Shopping Aldeota, Av. Dom Luiz, 500 (Praça Portugal, seven blocks from Beira Mar), ☎ +55 85 3458-1212. 220 stores on five floors, specializing in brand clothing. Also has a cinema, a food court, and covered parking.
  • Shopping Del Passeo, Av. Santos Dumont, 3131 – Aldeota (near Shopping Aldeota), ☎ +55 85 3456-5500. 85 stores, mostly domestic chains. Has a cinema.
  • Shopping Iguatemi, Av. Washington Soares, 85 - Água Fria, ☎ +55 85 3477-3560. The largest mall in Fortaleza and one of the best. Everything from C&A, to Zoompe and Lacoste. A huge 24-hour supermarket, a large food court and the biggest cinema in town.
  • Via Sul Shopping, Avenida Washington Soares, 4335, ☎ +55 85 3404-4000. Six floors of all kinds of stores from fashion, food, and sports equipment to different services and entertainment.
  • North Shopping, Avenida Bezerra de Menezes, 2450 - Bairro São Gerardo, ☎ +55 85 3404-3000. In the west of the city, in addition to the stores also features a cinema multiplex including one 3D auditorium.

Handicraft and markets

There are handicraft shops all around the city, but the best places to go are the Feirinha da Beira Mar (Beachfront fair, daily about 4 PM - 10 PM) and the Mercado Central (near the cathedral). These places have a large number of stalls and shops, and competition drives prices down. On Monsenhor Tabosa street there's a street market with all kinds of goods, however, beware that pirated stuff is pretty common here.

  • Centro Cultural de Artesanato do Ceará (CEART), Santos Dumont 1589, ☎ +55 85 3131-6531. Mo-Sa 9-20. Local handicrafts cultural center
  • Centro de Turismo (CETUR), Rua Senador Pompeu, 350, ☎ +55 85 3231-3566. Mo-Sa 7-18, Su 7-12.
  • Mercado Central (Central Market), Avenida Alberto Nepomuceno, 199, ☎ +55 85 3454-8586. Mo-Fr 7-18, Sa 8-16, Su 8-13. Artesanal center with over 500 vendors. Clothing, food products, books, and other art are products you can find at the "Central Market".

Safety in Fortaleza, Brazil

Even though the police are working hard to make Fortaleza safer and the city is less dangerous than it used to be, you're still in Brazil. Avoid showing valuable items in public, carrying huge bags (a plastic bag from a local supermarket can be a good substitute) and showing that you're a tourist. The tourist zone around Beira Mar is relatively safe, thanks to a constant police presence.

  • Helpful tourist police "Delegacia do Turista" at Avenida Historiador Raimundo Girao 805, phone 31012488, just by Hotel Travel Iracema (formerly Othon), Praia Iracema. Some English is spoken.
  • There are countless stories of single foreign men being robbed by prostitutes, apparent or not, who they take back to their rooms. Reportedly they sometimes employ a drug to knock victims out; otherwise, they just rely on your voluntarily exaggerated alcohol/drug consumption. Be aware that virtually all hotels and apartment buildings will register visitors, particularly late-night ones. As soon as you are aware of missing valuables, get the reception to pass you the data of the suspect and go straight to see the police, above. The sooner you act, the greater the chance of getting your stuff back. Money mostly evaporates instantly, though.
  • Although most commercial districts of the city are fairly safe, including the center and the tourist area around Beira Mar, pickpocketing, bag-snatching and other non-violent robberies are always a possibility. Never flash valuables and beware of beggars that keep touching you.
  • Praia do Futuro is bordered by one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in town, the Serviluz slum. Do not under any circumstances walk through deserted areas of this beach, even if you are going through them between two crowded places. Bus stops are notoriously robbery-ridden after sunset — even if it's only 5:45 PM.
  • There have been a number of cases when foreigners have been detained at the airport with large amounts of drugs, particularly cocaine, on their way out of the country. The Brazilian Federal Police have been working hard: Don't even think about it!


Language spoken in Fortaleza, Brazil

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, spoken by the entire population (except for a few, very remotely located tribes). Indeed, Brazil has had immigrants from all parts of the world for centuries, whose descendants now speak Portuguese as their mother tongue.

Brazilian Portuguese has a number of pronunciation differences with that spoken in Portugal (and within, between the regions there are some quite extreme accent and slang differences), but speakers of either can understand each other. However, European Portuguese (Luso) is more difficult for Brazilians to understand than the reverse, as many Brazilian television programs are shown in Portugal. Notice that a few words can have a totally different meaning in Brazil and Portugal, usually slang words. An example of this is "Rapariga" which in Portugal means young girl, and in Brazil means a prostitute.

English is not widely spoken except in some touristy areas. Don't expect bus or taxi drivers to understand English, so it may be a good idea to write down the address you are heading to before getting the cab. 

Spanish has some similarity with Portuguese. Brazilian tourists are able to make basic questions and give basic answers when visiting Spain or other Latin American countries and vice-versa. Of course, such communication is quite awkward (mainly due to tilded vowels and semivowelization of 'e' and 'o' when being the last vowel of a Portuguese word), so take a phrase book and be prepared for slow communication with a lot of interpretive gestures.


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Pedra da Risca do Meio State Marine Park, Fortaleza, Brazil
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Pedra da Risca do Meio State Marine Park ("Parque Estadual Marinho da Pedra da Risca do Meio" in Portuguese) is a marine protected area in the state of Ceará, Brazil. The park was created by state law in September 1997, and was named after "Pedra da Risca do Meio", the popular name given by local artisanal fishermen to a reef formation inside the...
Castelao (Ceara), Fortaleza, Brazil
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The Estádio Plácido Aderaldo Castelo, also known as the Castelão (Portuguese pronunciation: kasteˈlɐ̃w, Portuguese for "Big Castle") or Gigante da Boa Vista, is a football stadium that was inaugurated on November 11, 1973 in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, with a maximum capacity of 67,037 people. The stadium is owned by the Ceará state Government...
Theatro Jose de Alencar, Fortaleza, Brazil
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The Theatro José de Alencar is a Brazilian theater, located in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará. History It was officially opened on June 17, 1910 and features eclectic architecture of the theater in art nouveau style, 120-seat auditorium, foyer, stage space open and annex building, with two thousand square feet that houses the Center for the...