...And more Beach
This is a picture of "Praia do Futuro". "Praia do Futuro" is a place where you can go to enjoy the beach. It is in town and it is close to most places. If you don't have much time in Fortaleza but you want to check out the beach, that is the place to go... there are dozens of individual "barracas" that you can go and eat, drink and etc. It is not the most beautiful beach you will see, Fortaleza has waaaaay preatier ones, but it is pretty and in town. It is always good to go to "Praia do Futuro" because I always get to see my friends. During vacation, it is always packed full with very good looking people, from natives to tourist. Just sit back and relax!!!!!
Go down the water slide...
I don't know if this really qualifies as a "Off the Beaten Path Activity" because that is a well known Water park. I just think that you might miss it because usually, the tourists stay pretty much in one part of town, and it is kinda far away from most places. It is 20km from the Airport and 16km from "Iguatemi Shopping" (our biggest mall). Beach Park is not only a Water Park, they also have a resort and you can enjoy the beach, or go to the gift shop. This is a picture of "Insano" (Insane) one of the atractions of the water park. "Insano is the biggestwater slide in the world, it is equivalent to a 14 floor building and you go from 0 to 101km/h in only 4 seconds. My advice for the girls is: If you decide to fo on the "Insano", wear a one piece bathing suit because if you wear a two piece, you might not have it in the right places by the time you get down :).
And just a quick note. For the natives, Beach Park is very expensive. It is totally designed for tourists. But if your money is the american dollar, it won't be too bad. :)
The addres is: Rua Porto das Dunas 2734, Aquiraz, CE.
Amicis at Centro Dragão do Mar
Amicis is a italian restaurant at Centro Cultural Dragão do Mar serving amazing pizza. But after 11pm it turns into an intense night club. Saturday is the best day to go and it's when they play samba music from the past. It's so worth it.
It is near Praia de Iracema and it's cheap to get in, around 10 reais. Anything you want
Boat trip with great city view
If you do not get sea sick then this is a great way to see the city and get some great pictures. They have a cruise every evening leaving from the Beira Mar beach area. The tickets are cheap like 10 Reis per person and the cruise is about 2 hours long and stops so that people can swim at one of the calmer areas off shore.
The trip was a little bumpy because they never got far enough out to get away from the waves breaking against the shore, but it was fun and there was a great view of a Fortaleza sunset over the city skyline.
We had taken a similar boat cruise in Rio that was much better than this one but when we went on this one it was free, we got the tickets at Iguatemi for taking a survey, so it was a nice time all and all.
The funniest part about our cruise was some old lady that was friend with the boat crew that kept getting into the drinks and was just about ready to pass-out by the end of the cruise. I think she was just about ready to pass out at the beginning of the cruise too.
You will take an interesting trip on a raft to board the boat. Once onboard they sell drinks and they are relatively cheap like 1 or 2 Reis for a beer or coke. About what you would pay on land, all in all a good sightseeing trip, the sunset was worth the trip.
Music, dancing and lots of sun!
"Combuco, Taiba and Paracuru"
There are mainly 3 spots around Fortaleza wich is a must to visit when kitesurfing in Brazil. Although I have only been to 2 of them, these 3 spots are where you will find the best wind and wave conditions, accessabillity and the best range of service.
The wind around Fortaleza always blows from the southeast and you will get constant wind around 30 knots in the high season from June thru January and 10-20 knots approx from February thru May.
Of course there are many excellent spots along the coast of Ceara, but below I will focus on the 3 main spots that are most visited by kitesurfers.
All 3 spots are located north of the main city of Fortaleza. The first and closest spot is located in Combuco and is only 23km from Fortaleza. I have never surfed on this spot myself, but I have been to Combuco and wached the surfers there.
The spot is right on the beach in the center of town. The conditions are good if you like some waves to play in.
The best thing about Combuco is that it has all the facilities you could possibly need such as kiteschools, restaurants, bars accomodation right on the beach and excellent accessability.
Taiba is known for it's flatwater lagoon. However, there are spots along the whole stretch of beach up to Paracuru wich are excellent for surfing. Be aware though, that there are dangerous rocks and poles used for fishing in the water at certain places, so take caution and never surf alone and seek advice from surfers who know the area.
The downside of Taiba lagoon and it's surrounding spots are that you will need a 4X4 vehicle to access them. This is because there are no roads leading to the lagoon and you will have to drive on the beach. You can either rent a 4X4 (expensive), or you can rent a buggy (cheap). The other option, and best option, is to hitch a ride with someone for a few reais to these spots as there is always someone going to or from.
The lagoon is great for beginners. It's got flatwater and is also shallow through the entire lagoon, about waist high. The downside is that it can get very crowded, and with more than 8-10 surfers, its already to it's limit.
The furthest spot from Fortaleza is Paracuru. This is also my favorite spot. Although very accessable by road, it can be a bit tricky to find for first timers. The best way to find your way is to ask or follow one of the many surfers leaving every morning to the surf center. On the picture to the left is the route marked in red that leads to the surf center.
When you arrive to the kitesurf center there is a big parking spot behind the center where you can park your car or if you have a 4X4 you can park on the beach in front of the center. Then you wont have to carry your gear down to the beach.
The center is located right on the beach and also has a restaurant with cheap and great food. The beach is wide so it's great for launching or practise. The wind is also the strongest of the 3 spots here in Paracuru, but the best thing about the spot is that you get flat water closest to the beach and big waves outside the reef for the more experienced. So there is something here for everyone!
Although all 3 spots are great for surfing, you must experience Paracuru at least once on your stay in Brasil. It is my all time favorite spot, and the people you meet here are friendly and always willing to help whatever your needs.