The capital of Ceará, with almost three hundred years of history, possesses to receive the tourist well. A complete infrastructure, three thousand hours of sun per year and the constant ocean breeze gives the full dimension of this paradise. For those who have more energy, the nightlife is full of attractions, with bars, restaurants, and shows. Not even on Mondays Fortaleza cools down. The city is known for having the “wildest Monday nights in the world.” The Praia of Iracema (Iracema’s beach), one of the first urban nucleuses of the city, holds most of the bars and restaurants. There, the Ponte dos Ingleses (English’s Bridge), the old docks, is located and used to watch the sunset and spot dolphins.
Warm waters bathe Fortaleza’s urbanized beaches, which offer every comfort to the tourist. The scenery is complemented by the jangadas, small and rustic rafts used by many of Ceará’s fishermen. From the jangadas come the sea’s fruits, responsible for the best Ceará’s cuisine.
The Praia do Futuro (Beach of the Future) is the meeting place for the bathers, concentrating a large number of typical beachside restaurants, with carnauba straw used in its construction. The local population calls them “Barracas de Praia.” Thursday nights, the beach becomes the biggest sensation in the capital’s nightlife, with live music, forró and a lot of crab to eat. With string winds the Praia do Futuro is an excellent place for nautical sports. Fortaleza hosts world competitions of surfing and windsurfing.
A few kilometers away from the city are some well-known beaches as Prainha, Iguape and Porto das Dunas. At the latter there are two large water parks.
For those who like shopping, Fortaleza is also a paradise. The art crafts can be found at the local markets. Clothes, shoes, purses and bikinis made by the skilled hands of Cearense are sold at Rua Monsenhor Tabosa, an immense open-space shopping mall. At downtown, the tourist can find museums, historical public squares and the Theatre José de Alencar , considered one of the most beautiful in Brazil.
Fortaleza’s history began 275 years ago, when the Dutch constructed the Fort Shoonenborch in 1649. Later, the Portuguese expelled the Dutch and renamed it to Fort of Nossa Senhora da Assunção. Around the fort, which even today is in perfect conservation state, a small village grew into the fifth largest city in Brazil today, with 2,1 million people.
The county is 26,36 meters above sea level at 3º43’02″S of latitude e 38º32’35″W of longitude. The county is very leveled with minor elevations.
Fortaleza has an area of 336 square km. North of the city is the Atlantic Ocean, to the south are the counties of Pacatuba, Eusébio, Maracanaú and Itaitinga. To the East it’s the county of Aquiraz and the Atlantic Ocean and to west the county of Caucaia.
Climate and Temperature
Fortaleza has a warm and dry tropical climate with an average annual temperature of 27oC. lative air humidity is 77%, with an annual precipitation average of 1.378,3 millimeters (mm). The relative air humidity is 77%, with an annual precipitation average of 1.378,3 millimeters (mm).
Getting to know Fortaleza is to take a ride through its history. The city has modernized but it still keeps landmarks from its past, either in museums, churches, forts, public squares, stations, at the Farol do Mucuripe, theatre and historical buildings. Downtown is full of these memories, such as the Fort of Nossa Senhora da Assunção, built in the same spot that the city was originated, and the Palácio da Luz (Palace of Light), a beautiful construction from end of the eighteenth century classic style, which was the center of the state government.