Fortaleza Brazil has seen significant growth in the tourism industry in the last 30 years

By: Daryl Bates

Tourism in Fortaleza has grown significantly in the early '80s. Fortaleza these last 30 years has grown significantly, becoming the fifth most populous capital city in Brazil. This population growth has also increased the growth of tourism in the city and its metropolitan region, where one can enjoy many beautiful beaches. Some of them have good infrastructure for tourism including plenty of hotels and restaurants, such as Cumbuco, on the west coast, and Prainha, on the east coast.

Those visiting the city today can count on an excellent hotel network, with many hotels now rated at three, four and five stars, but also several hostels and bed and breakfasts with a high standard of service with prices that are affordable. As the city is one of the venues of the Soccer World Cup of 2014, there is the expectation of many other hotels being built in Fortaleza and the region in the coming years. Further improving the city’s ability to accommodate tourists. Some of these hotels are already operating as Resorts, with golf courses, gyms and many with built out recreation areas.

Once in Fortaleza, you must go to the Cumbuco Beach. There you will find beautiful dunes where you can go on buggy rides, or even walk through the sands of the site. Go on a raft ride and eat fresh fish at some of the local restaurants. Talk with the fishermen and find out about their adventures out at sea. Anyway, it's a beautiful landscape, and very different from the rest of Brazil. This beach is located only 25 kilometers from the hotels in Avenida Beira-Mar neighborhood.

By the way, speaking of Beira-Mar Avenue, this is where the nightlife of Fortaleza takes place, along Futuro and Iracema beaches. Before you make your hotel reservations, make sure that it is in this region. There is a late afternoon fair, which is the best place for those who want to buy crafts and enjoy good local cuisine from Ceará. Futuro beach is further away but much more comfortable and full of tents and kiosks with impeccable service. Iracema beach brings you to an encounter with the Bohemian spirit. It also has good restaurants and the famous Ingleses bridge. Close to the location, the first Aquarium of Fortaleza is being built. This promises to be a major tourist attraction in the city next year.

Want to go shopping? In addition to the Beira-Mar Avenue, I advise the Central Market, next to the Catedral Metropolitana de Fortaleza, right in the city center. Close by, there is also the Emcetur, an old prison that was converted into a sales center of arts and crafts. In the same region, you can also learn a bit about the history and the founding of Fortaleza - The 10th Military Region. It was in this fort that the city began. Ask your tour guide about the real epic battles that took place here. You can’t miss visiting the Dragao do Mar center, a place where many exhibits on the local culture are held, including the meeting point for many local artists, and the stage for many concerts and the famous art exhibition Artists of Ceará. Everything in this region is relatively close to one another. One day is probably enough time to see most of what the area has to offer.

Fortaleza really is a city of welcoming people, who are friendly and full of life. That's how it grew to become a national tourism center, which nowadays is international, considering that the city receives many flights from other countries besides Brazil. You can hear several languages besides Portuguese spoke on the streets, notably Italian, French, Spanish, and English.

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