Fortaleza Travel Guide
Fortaleza © Ricardo
Fortaleza is a huge, isolated city, which lures travellers with about 16 miles (25km) of urban beaches and a celebrated nightlife. It is a very popular coastal destination for Brazilians on holiday, and has the simple appeal of a resort city, geared towards fun in all its forms. Praia de Iracema, Meireles and Varjota are all booming tourist neighbourhoods boasting shops, restaurants and nightclubs aplenty. Fortaleza is not a prime sightseeing destination, in the sense that there are few famous landmarks or historic sites in the city, but for a hedonistic beach holiday, it is a top Brazilian destination, and some fine examples of colonial architecture do remain.
The city is hot and humid year-round, promising almost permanent beach weather. Popular urban beaches include Iracema, which has some beach bars and nightclubs and a bohemian vibe; Mucuripe, a beach still frequented by local fishermen, with a traditional fish market; and Praia do Futuro, which has great tourist infrastructure. Scuba diving can be enjoyed in the Pedra da Risca do Meio State Marine Park. Travellers who prefer to avoid the crowded beaches within city limits can find more wild and unspoilt stretches of coastline beyond Fortaleza, where a number of quaint fishing villages promise a more timeless and authentic experience of Brazilian culture.