Brazil is the largest country in South America. It is also the fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populated country worldwide with over 211 million inhabitants. Brazil knows an ethnically diverse nation due to mass immigration from all around the world.  

Brazil covers roughly half of South America’s land, and borders all other countries in the continent except Ecuador and Chile.

Brazil’s coastline in the East exists of almost 7500 km along the Atlantic Ocean.

Brazil is known worldwide for containing the majority of the Amazon rainforest. At least 60 % of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil! Deforestation in Brazil is of direct global impact on climate change and biodiversity loss worldwide.

Despite its size and renowned reputation, Brazil welcomes a relatively low number of tourists every year. This can be explained by various reasons; some people are afraid it is not a safe travel destination. Brazil is less well-known than other South American countries as a great travel destination.

When people visit Brazil, the main reasons are the popular beaches, intriguing historical sites, extravagant festivals and immense jungle.

Brazil has several beautiful cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Salvador. Everyone knows the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that majestically overlooks the incredibly beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

For more tourism information, visit

Brazil’s official tourism website:

www.visitbrasil.com

We flew to Fortaleza in Brazil for a beach holiday when our firstborn child was only four months old. We wanted to have a relaxed beach holiday and some of our family members had just returned from Brazil and loved it. Being first-time parents and not self-confident about traveling with a baby back then, we asked our mum’s and Anjali’s sister along to support us on this trip.

Fortaleza is the country’s fifth-largest city. It is the capital of Ceará and is among the most desirable tourist destinations in Brazil. Many international and domestic tourists visit Fortaleza every year. 

Fortaleza is known as the Brazilian Miami, locally called Miami Brasileira. This city offers great beaches, plenty of leisure activities, historical sites, peaceful neighborhoods and mixed influenced cuisines. Fortaleza’s  nightlife is vibrant and fun. It is a delight to watch Brazilians dance on vivacious and thrilling Portuguese music. 

Let me share our remarkable experiences during our trip to this city. If you want to have a more lively impression of Fortaleza, have a look at our video in Fortaleza: https://youtu.be/P1V6OplKRYw

Hanging out at urban beaches, dancing to the exhilarating rhythms of Brasilian music, taking a walk along the beachside, eating fresh seafood and capturing the best moments; this is what Fortaleza is about. 

Beach Park

Beach Park is one of the largest seaside waterparks worldwide.  There are some spectacular glides which will surely provide a thrilling experience! Their restaurant offers excellent food, such as fresh lobsters.

Praia de Iracema


Many people visit Praia de Iracema for its sandy beach. Although famous, most visitors prefer strolling along the beachside instead of bathing, because of the pollution level of the beach. The beach is surrounded by a pleasant neighbourhood with numerous restaurants and stores.

Carnaval

The most outgoing festival in Fortaleza is the city’s Carnaval. This is Brazil’s best party with exhilarating music, excellent dancers, scarcely dressed people in the wildest and most colorful costumes  and shows and parades.  Fortaleza’s Carnaval is usually celebrated at Praia de Iracema. Although it is an excellent encounter for visitors, bear in mind to be careful as it is also a great opportunity for pickpockets.

Praia de Futuro

Another famous beach in Fortaleza is the Praia de Futuro, also known as the Future Beach. Many people visit this beach for its fantastic views and the best beach nightlife. Clubs offer great music and dancing. 

Praia de Meireles

This is a great beach to walk along the boardwalk at night and enjoy the city.  This beach is one of the busiest beaches in the town. 

Central Market

One of the most famous landmarks in Fortaleza is the Central Market, locally known as Mercado Central de Fortaleza. It is a massive indoor local market selling various merchandise.  There are different stores selling clothes, handicrafts, cashew nuts, delicacies, gifts and souvenirs. Furthermore there is a wide variety of food available.

Ferreira Square

‘Praia do Ferreira’ is a huge square , also known as the heart of the city. The square is famous for the central clock, the fountain, artistic kiosks and shops. There is also a cinema and many restaurants. 

Cocó Park

This ecological park contains various endemic and threatened species of animals and plants. It also serves as a basin to prevent floods at times of high rain fall. This recreational park offers great opportunities for anyone interested in Brazil’s unique local flora and fauna and the ecological biodiversity. 

There are several physical activities such as zip line and Zumba. There are also playgrounds, picnic areas and leisure options.

St. Joseph’s Cathedral

St. Joseph’s Cathedral is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza. This cathedral is famous for its fantastic Gothic architectural grandeur. It is situated in the center of Fortaleza and has a capacity for 5000 people.

Public Garden

This garden is located at Square Martires, which is the oldest square in Fortaleza. Public garden is one of the most visited tourist destinations for its music, forestry and cafe’s and restaurants that serve delicious food.

Avenida Beira Mar

Another famous point of interest in Fortaleza is the Avenida Beira Mar, also known as Beira Mar Avenue. It is a busy street market right beside the ocean with many stalls lined along the street and perfect to buy local goods.

Boat Trips

There are many boat trips to hop on in Fortaleza to enjoy Fortaleza’s coast. Some boat trips are guided tours providing information about the place’s history and shipwrecks’ on sight. Some trips include swimming and accommodation pickup. Fortaleza’s view from the boat is incredible any time of the day, but at sunset even more breathtaking.

 

Beach Clubs

A vacation to Fortaleza will not be complete without visiting the beach clubs in the city. We enjoyed the locals’ way of partying while our mum’s were babysitting. Nightlife is fantastic here, Brazilian music is uplifting and the people are excellent dancers and such a delight to watch!

 

We stayed at Hotel Gran Marquise, close to several beaches and sites of interest. The staff was very friendly and the breakfast delicious. Especially the Brazilian desserts and cakes were a great treat!

Countless restaurants scattered around Fortaleza offer various dishes, most popular are seafood and desserts. Some cuisines are influenced by European and Mediterranean cuisines. 

 

Affordable restaurants

Fortaleza features several food options at an affordable price. I will summon some of Fortaleza’s well-known cheap eats.

Trevo Acai

Brazilian desserts are amazing and the treats at Trevo Acai are delectable and budget-friendly. The interior is tidy. 

La Brasilerie

Ideal for breakfast or brunch in Fortaleza. The bakery’s welcoming mood complements its excellent buffet and food options. They sell luscious Brazilian cakes, drinks and desserts like the widely known Tapioca for only a nominal cost.

Restaurante Senador

This is a casual restaurant with an excellent menu at an affordable price with good services. They serve delicious grilled meats and sausages.

Restaurante Compasso Gourmet

A popular eat-all-you-can buffet restaurant in Fortaleza. It is a perfect place for anyone who loves a tasty BBQ.

Restaurante Delícias da Terra

This is a cafeteria with a pleasant atmosphere and delicious homemade buffet. There are many meal options to choose from, like pasta, meats and vegetables. It is one of the most visited self-service restaurants in Fortaleza’s centre.

Mucambo Lanches

Another commendable restaurant in Fortaleza is Mucambo Lanches. They serve delicious dishes for an affordable price.

Centro Cultural Annapurna

Centro Cultural Annapurna is a vegetarian-friendly restaurant in Fortaleza. It has a casual and cozy ambiance, offering mouth-watering entrees from different parts of the world at an affordabe price.

Restaurante Primeira Opçāo

This is a self-service eatery with on-point and excellent meals. They offer different dishes like meats, barbecue and salads at a reasonable price.

De Babo Restaurante

An excellent place for lunch in Fortaleza is the De Babo Restaurante. It is a fully air-conditioned food outlet with tasty food varieties. 

Leão do Sul

This is a simple restaurant offering the famous sugarcane juice and Brazilian quick bites, including traditional style pastel.

 

More Luxurious Dining

There are numerous upscale dining places in Fortaleza, serving local and international cuisines. What follows are some of Fortaleza’s best fancy restaurants.

Coco Bambu

The most popular restaurant among locals and tourists in Fortaleza is the Coco Bambu. They serve various delicious and exceptional dishes.

Murano Grill

Murano Grill is ideal for meat and barbecue lovers. They also have a recreational area for children. With excellent overall service and a formal chic vibe, this restaurant is quite popular.

L’Ô Restaurante

Experience a luxurious and fashionable interior design while tasting the finest seafood dishes in L’Ô Restaurante. It has a beautiful atmosphere perfect for families and couples.

Santa Grelha

This is one of Fortaleza’s most recommended and best steakhouses with a sophisticated dining environment. 

Jardim do Alchymist

Another commendable fine dining restaurant in Fortaleza is the Jardim do Alchymist. They serve delicate local and international cuisines in a  cozy atmosphere.

Fortaleza is known for its excellent public transport system. There are various modes of transportation, allowing easy access to the entire city. One of the things that we like about Fortaleza is the convenience we experienced while exploring the city. We walked around and took several taxi’s. I will summon the different ways of traveling around Fortaleza.

Bus

The most usual method of traveling around Fortaleza is the bus. There are several bus stations within the city limits, which enable travellers to change lines without paying again. Riding a bus requires a bit of time and effort, unlike traveling by taxis, e-hailing rides, or rental cars.

Taxi

 

One of the available transportation means in Fortaleza is the taxi. All taxis in Fortaleza operate on a fixed fare system with two different rates. It allows a passenger to pay depending on the day, time and route travelled. However, some drivers may still inappropriately adjust the taxi rate, so always be attentive. Additionally, do not board taxis with no fare system posted on any of the rear side windows.

Subway

Another way of going around the city is by subway or train. The Metrofor, also known as Metropolitan of Fortaleza, is the train system operating in the city. It is considered one of the largest subway systems in Brazil. However, only a few of the entire city’s population rides the subway, since several buses and e-hailing rides are available.

Uber

E-hailing rides are famous in Fortaleza. One of the most common e-hailing rides in the city is Uber. Aside from its cost-effectiveness, riding the Uber guarantees safety especially when roaming at night.

Mototaxi

Moto taxis are popular in Fortaleza as they are basically motorcycles functioning like taxis. Several moto-taxi stands are dotted across the city, allowing travelers to rent one easily. However, riding mototaxis may be quite dangerous, especially when traffic jams are heavy.

Bicycle

Recently, Fortaleza has established a bicycle sharing system, which lets one rent a bike to go around the city. There are cycling roads available now, making it safe for everyone to bike around Fortaleza.

Car Rental

Renting a car is also a common means to go around Fortaleza. Although the city’s streets are quite busy, car rentals are still convenient for tourists planning personal trips such as road trips, enjoying nightlife and beach trips. There are various car rental companies around, so finding the best rent-a-car offer might be an easy feat.

Walking

When traveling to Fortaleza, make sure to find time to walk around the city and its coastal road. It allows one to experience the local life and get to see the city’s real charm. Plus, navigating around by foot lets one witness all the city’s current happenings, like impromptu events in the streets.
There are many ways to travel and reach various destinations around the city. I suggest choosing the most suitable transportation based on the desired activities and landmarks.

Fortaleza’s overall appearance is indeed irresistible. One may say that it is a perfect place to stay, because of its lovely scenery. However, several news articles about the city’s reputation are scattered worldwide, causing second thoughts about traveling. Let me share my opinions about Fortaleza.

Street Crimes

Street crimes are the highest reported flip side of Fortaleza. There are several records of tourists being mugged and assaulted in the city. Many travellers experienced being robbed and attacked in broad daylight. It is a problem that tourists cannot solve, but it is something that we can avoid as
much as possible. Always try not to leave any belongings unattended in public places like streets and beaches and always watch your belongings.

Pollution

Fortaleza is famous for its charming view and stunning beaches. It is sad to know the pollution levels of the entire city increase. Most beaches appear to be dirty and some even unappealing. During Carnaval, there is usually even more garbage and waste scattered around.

Traffic

Like in most parts of the world, Fortaleza suffers from heavy traffic, especially during peak hours. The city is known to have excellent public transportations. However, the everyday flow of traffic in the town is uncontrollable. Many travellers may find it hard to go around the city during peak hours. So, I suggest planning the whole trip at the most convenient times.

Fortaleza has many great qualities and attractions to offer, but many tourists prefer to avoid visiting this place because of its flip sides. We still have lovely memories of our trip to Fortaleza. For travellers going to this city, I suggest taking precautionary measures and planning your vacation well to enjoy the true beauty of Fortaleza.

Overall we enjoyed a lovely beach holiday with our just born baby. We strolled along many beaches, loved the Brazilian nightlife and enjoyed delicious food and desserts. If you want to enjoy Fortaleza’s famous nightlife, I would suggest to take your mum along or hire a babysitter. 

If you are inspired to visit Fortaleza, I would love to know! Please leave a comment below. 

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