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Fortaleza

 

The fifth largest town in Brazil. It is a booming centre of the Northeast and an important tourist centre. Its beaches are very popular all year round. Because of their incredible beauty, this region is often compared to the Caribbean.

Discover more about Fortaleza

The City

The city of Fortaleza was founded in 1810 and is today the fifth largest town in Brazil in terms of number of population. It is an important tourist centre. Its beaches are very popular among both Brazilian and foreign tourists. The attractions of the city include the Museum of Popular Art and Culture, which is situated in the same building as the headquarters of EMCETUR (Empresa Cearense de Turismo), formerly the local prison, where there are also more than a hundred small shops that sell arts and crafts of the region; the Central Market, with more than 600 stalls with great variety of articles, from arts and crafts, embroidery and hammocks to medicinal herbs and items for domestic use; the Jose de Alencar Theatre, with its art nouveau ironwork, built in 1910 and restored in 1991; the Historical and Anthropological Museum of Ceara; the Museum of Art of the Federal University of Ceara; and the Centre for the Preservation of the Railway.

History

The history of Ceara begins with the creation of the "Captaincy of Siara", granted to Antonio Cardoso de Barros in 1535. In 1603, an expedition commanded by Pero Coelho de Souza, a native of the Azores, founded a colony known as Nova Luzitania. One member of the expedition was a young man 17 years old, Martim Soares Moreno, who is considered the real founder of Ceara. He studied the language and customs of the local indigenous people and established friendly relations with them. In return they lent him valuable support in defeating the French and the Dutch who were also trying to colonise the region. In 1619, after a long struggle against these invaders, which included being shipwrecked and taken prisoner, Soares Moreno obtained a royal charter granting him the title of Lord of the Captaincy of Ceara, a position he occupied for many years. His romance with the Indian lady Iracema was immortalised by the Brazilian writer Jose de Alencar in his book entitled "Iracema".
Ceara was made part of the State of Maranhao and Grao-Para in 1621. It was invaded two more times, in 1637 and 1649, by the Dutch, who occupied the region which is now the State of Pernambuco, and remained subordinate to that State until getting its autonomy in 1799. The development of cattle ranching in Pernambuco and Bahia led ranchers to occupy the interior of Ceara. Small towns started to grow near the large farms or at places where troops coming from the south were accustomed to rest.

In 1824, Ceara joined the Confederation of the Equator, along with the States of Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte and Paraiba. The State started to develop in the second half of the nineteenth century, with the coming of steamships, railways, gas lighting and the telephone. It was the first Brazilian province to free slaves in 1884 and also one of the first to adhere to the Republic.

General Info

TELEPHONE AREA CODE
085/

CLIMATE
The climate in Fortaleza is generally hot and dry, but this is offset by fresh breezes coming in off the ocean.

CLOTHING
As for most resort cities in Brazil, casual lightweight clothes are the order of the day.

ELECTRICITY
220 V

AIRPORT
The airport, which receives international and national flights, is 7 Km out of town.

BUSINESS HOURS
Normal business hours apply in Fortaleza. Banks open between 10am and 4pm.

TAXIS
The city has both normal and radio taxi services. Check with hotel reception for the best option from your area.

MEDICAL
Check with your hotel for information on the nearest clinic.

How to get there

The international airport, Pinto Martins, is situated 7km south of the city. The Hotel district can be reached in as little as 15 minutes.

We recommend transfer with Driver / Guide, since you will be able to find out many useful details about Fortaleza and the surrandings during this short ride.

Specially trained guides will receive clients with a name board and, on the way to the hotel, they will give all the necessary information about arrangements for the client´s stay in Fortaleza.

For those who opt not to make use of this important service, other transport is available:

From the airport there is an air-conditioned bus that leaves about every 30 minutes. It goes along the coast line, through the hotel district and to the centre. It costs about 3 dollars.

There are also taxi companies at the airport. Probably the easiest way is to pay a set-fare in advance at one of the stalls at the airport (about US$12 to Iracema beach).

Restaurants

Great food, especially seafood and dried meat with very regional taste. Keep following options for the evening and enjoy eating with fingers on the beach during the sunny day.

SEAFOOD

@ Cemoara XXX $$$ - Av. Abolicao, 3340 (Meireles - Flat San Martin), tel 263-5001; cc: Ae, D, Mc, 12h/24h sun. 12h/17h.
Very fresh ingredients, recipes are wide ranged under french and portuguese influence.

REGIONAL

@@ Cantinho do Faustino X $$ - R. Delmiro Gouveia, 1520(Varjota), tel. 267-5348; cc: all, 12h/15h 18h/24h. Sun 12h/16h. Closed mon.
Simple ambiance, good service and great recipies mixing regional ingredients with criativity.

@ Colher de Pau X $ - R. Frederico Borges, 204 (Varjota), tel. 219-3605; cc: all, 11h/1h. Closed mon.
Always in demand, it is pleasant to sit on the open air veranda, on the other side of the street.

@ Colher de Pau X $ - R. dos Tabajaras, 412 (Iracema), tel. 219-3605; cc: all, 18h/1h. Closed mon.

FRENCH
@ Nostradamos XXX $$$ - R. Joaquim Nabuco, 166(Meireles), tel. 242-8500; cc: all, 19h/1h. Closed sun.
The menue was elaborated by chef Laurent Suaudeau, which stands for two things: Exquisite cuisine at salty prices. Excellent example for the fantastic blend of french cuisine with local spices.

@ Marcel XXX $$$ - Hotel Holiday Inn , (Praia de Iracema), tel. 219-7246; cc: all, 12-14:30; 19h/1h. Sat 19h/1h; Closed sun.

VARIETY
@ Le Dinner XX $$$ - Rua Alfonso Celso, (Aldeota), tel. 224-2627; cc: all, 19:30h/1h. Closed sun.
Reservation necessary. French and oriental mix.

@ Alt Heidelberg XX $$ - Av. Alberto Sá, 1315, (Papicu), tel. 265-3308; cc: Ae, D, Mc, 19:00h/1h. Fri and Sat 12h/15h 19:00h/1h Closed sun.
Reservation necessary. French and oriental mix.

Night Life

The Capital of Ceara has a great night life. With its many night-clubs and "danceterias", it is definitely the place for young people to have fun. You can try dancing 'forro', a typical sensual dance, or if you don´t feel up to giving it a go, hours of entertainmnet can be spent just watching the agile dancers. For each day of the week, one club is chosen by the locals to be the meeting point for that evening. It starts on the Monday at Pirata Bar on Iracema Beach. On Tuesdays you can enjoy the beach bar, Subindo ao Ceu. On Wednesdays the Clube do Vaqueiro is a popular venue and on Thursdays go to the all the beach bars at Praia do Futuro; here the stalls stay open late into the night, serving fresh seafood and providing music and an atmosphere to please the crowds. At the weekends the city turns into a party, where night clubs, bars and restaurants lay on a great variety of live music and comedy shows. For the older people, the beautiful district of Iracema, with its French colonial houses, has a wide range of attractive bars and restaurants looking over the water,with the skyline of the city of Fortaleza as a backdrop. Also, a famous handicraft market, which takes place daily from 18:00 hrs onwards, is located on the main avenue; walk along the city beach and buy beautiful handicrafts of the region, such as lace and sandbottles.

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