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Fortaleza is one of the largest cities of Brazil and the proud capital of Ceará. As well as being an important economic hub, Fortaleza is also known for its excellent tourism opportunities, boasting numerous splendid beaches, an alluring nightlife and many other points of interest.

Many of the biggest attractions in Fortaleza relate directly to its innumerable beaches, generous coastline and plentiful sunshine. Although much history is present within the "centro", the beaches serve as the biggest magnet for tourists. The "Praia de Iracem"a, with its nightlife scene, is a very lively part of the city. Close by, the "Praia do Meireles" is a very popular beach with some of the best accommodation available, while the "Mucuripe" and the "Praia do Futuro"are agreed upon to be the principal beachfront. Tourists who enjoy the water sports presented by the Atlantic Ocean may like to consider trying a spot of kitesurfing or windsurfing, but more leisure options such as boat trips, catamarans and schooner cruises provide a relaxing way to explore the coast.

Fortaleza was officially founded in 1726 and its oldest remaining buildings have been well cared far. The "Forte de Nossa Senhora da Assuncao" is one of the city's most historical landmarks and actually dates back even further, being built by the Dutch more than 350 years ago, before subsequently being taken over by the Portuguese. Other important historical buildings include the late 18th-century Palacio da Luz (Palace of Light), which once served as the headquarters for the government of Ceará. Slightly more youthful is the "Igreja da Sé Catedral" - one of Brazil's largest cathedrals, with a grand Gothic-Roman facade and a cavernous interior. For evening entertainment in Fortaleza, the "Teatro José de Alencar" offers a taste of culture and pleasant landscaped gardens. More information about Fortaleza Landmarks and Monuments.

Even though a beach destination Fortaleza presents itself with a number of very commendable museums. The "Museu do Ceará" is one of the more interesting and comes with a sizeable collection of archeological treasures and ancient fossils. A visit to the Mucuripe Lighthouse will reveal the "Museu Histórico de Fortaleza" and its information relating to the earliest settlers in this region.

All along the neighbouring Ceará coast are charming fishing villages, tropical beaches and rolling sand dunes, perfect for an excursion or two. There are more beaches close to Fortaleza than most holiday makers could dream of: the south-easterly beaches of the "Costa Sol Nascente" are particularly special and easy to find. Although the nearby fishing village of Canoa Quebrada may be small, its beachfront, buggy rides, windsurfing opportunities, traditional "jangada" sailing boats and nightlife all combine to create quite a draw card.


The Organizing Committee, Porto Alegre (Brazil)