When you visit Beira mar in the evening you will see a kids train driving around playing music loaded with... yeah kids and their parents. Well I say "ALL ABOARD"!!
Not only is this a great way to scope out the sights at Beira mar and plan your next course of action, but it is an absolute riot. The train is nothing special... but the characters that are there to amuse the kids are hillarious!!! There is usually Pluto, and that other dog form disney along with Donald Duck and Daisy, some Brazilian muppet couple and sometimes a few others.
These characters are wild! Running around smashing into each other and street signs or trees. Climbing all around and up trees, onto boats and over cars, all while the train is moving. They jump on and off of the train and run along side, by the end of the ride they are about ready to colapse. It is the most fun R$2.50 will buy you in Fortaleza.
It runs in the evening and night only and departs from the middle of Beira mar beach walk area. The cost is Crazy cheap R$2.50 (about $1.00) for an adult, I know little kids are free.
The craft market at Beira Mar is open every evening from 6 to 10 PM and is filled with all kinds of great crafts for sale. They have a little bit of everything there for sale. They have foods, clothing, wood carvings, linens, paintings, etc. etc.
When you find something you want to buy... do not buy it right off.... ask the vendor the price then move on. 99% of the time you will see your item again at other stands and it might be of better quality or you might like it more that the first one you saw, do not worry you can always go back to the first vendor later. Now ask the prices of the item from some other vendors... are you ready to buy now? Alright, offer the vendor at least half of whatever they are asking... seriously, these guys buy these craft good from markets in the interior for a fraction of what they are selling them for. Anyway you get the general idea... have fun at the craft market you should be able to leave there with some unique treasures and have a story about the shopping experience to remember.
Oh and remember that this is a area full of tourists... so guess what else it is full of... yeah thieves... if you stay in the well lit areas and do not flash your money you should not have any problem. The police there will not help you, so just be on-guard yourself, the cops know who the thieves are and get a kickback at the end of the night.
Oh take your money in small denominations and separate it in small amounts in different pockets. Leave your purse or handbag at home.
Do not go there with a load of 50 Reis bills and then broker a deal with a vendor.. just in time to hand him a $R50 to break.
Praia do Futuro is a great beach with lots of space to get your feet wet. There are calm pools for relaxing in and there are areas with big waves for the more adventurous. So bring your surf board and come spent the morning at the beach afterwards lunch at one of the restaurants that line the beach (check out my restaurant tips). Be smart when going to the beach, your going to the beach after all! If you dress for the beach and only take what a beach bum needs with you, you should have no problems. The easiest way to get there is by taxi or if your adventurous by bus. Just get on the one that says "Praia do Futuro".
I mostly did tours of other beaches in the region during the day through a tour company called "OceanView Tours" (85) 219-1300, my tours consisted of Cumbuco, Lagoinha, Marro Branco, Prais das Fontes, Capanga, Centro das Rendiras, Canoa QUebrada, Mundau, and Praia do Futuro... all of those were EXCELLENT, and I was able to partake in all of the things designated as these particular beaches... horesback riding, parasailing, windsurfing, jaganda rides, 4-wheeling on the beach, buggy tours of the sand dune, sand surfing.. you name it, I did it...
Other times I hung out on BeiraMar and Mucuripe during the day, with the occasional stint at Coco Beach (on Praia do Futuro)... lots of men and their pro's, but it's still a sight to be seen, and the food is pretty good here too...
I also went to Beach Park (although, I must admit, this was a total waste...)
Exploring the many wonderful beaches and resorts if one is not familiar with the area is best done by signing up with one of the organized tour-operators that will pick you up right at your hotel. Hotels should have info and brochures about these trips. Unfortunately, some of the best beaches or attractions are out of the city, so we found this to be a most pleasant experience. And not only is the trip itself enjoyable, but once arriving at its destination, one is free to use all the facilites at that location, including their pools and - if they have - waterslides, rest under the palmhuts on the beach or enjoy parasailing, rent a horse or whatever attractions are offered. Also, on arrival one would want to order ahead of time individually cooked delicious but inexpensive lunches of a great variety to be ready at the chosen time.
It works like this: One calls the tour-organizer a day or two ahead of the planned place to visit and a comfortable airconditioned bus will pick you up in the morning right at your hotel. Each bus has a pleasant female guide and they will come to the hotel lobby where you are waiting and call out your name.
Once all the parties are collected from the different hotels, the trip begins to its destination, which can be only a few kilometers away or as much as well over a hundred. On the longer trips, there is usually a pit-stop involved at some place of interest along the way, for example on the trip to Caponga beach they stop at a place where women practise the fascinating art of making lace, and all there work can be purchased.
The athmosphere on the bus is anything but boring, as the tourguide may not only explain many things along the way, but also will ask each participant to take the microfon and introduce themselves to the passengers. Of course, most of the communication is in portuguese.
The bus then stays at the destination for the day and will return all its )often tired) passengers back to their hotels late in the afternoon or early evening.
... especially a trip to see the FALESIAS, a miniature "grand canyon" with an abundance of different natural sand colours (10) that are used by the local artists to make wonderful creations in glass containers.
And a trip in a dunebuggy driven by a local guide through the up to 45 meter high dunes is worth the 80 Reais (for up to 4 people), as they stop in places of interest to take pics or for additional action, like surfing the dunes down on wooden boards called "ESQUI-BUNDA".
At Canoa Quebrada beach, about 160 km from Fortaleza, there are huge dune formations (up to 45 m high) where one can take rides in dunebuggies that stop at various places for fun and refreshments, like here sliding into a cool lake sitting on a simple seat suspended from a cable.
Another way is to slide down the steep hot, soft sand on a simple wooden board, similar to a small surfboard called "Esqui-bunda"
A monument to the beautiful native Indian heroine of the novel "Iracema" by the immortal Ceará-born José de Alencar. It depicts Iracema arrow in hand, aimed at the Portuguese warrior before her and holding her son Moacir, symbol of the miscegenation of the Indians and the white man. The statue was erected on Mucuripe Beach, where Iracema waited on the wharf for the return of her lover.
The Art of making lace as demonstrated by this local woman. It is fascinating to watch how fast the woman can manipulate all the many wooden handles, and creating wonderful designs laid out on a primitive paper or cardboard pattern.
One of the most refreshing (and cheap) drinks is the water from a coconut. Usually they are refrigerated or packed in ice and a hole cut into the top to be able to drink this most delicious and nutricious liquid at a cost of as low as about 0.50 Reais.
One of the more remote beaches are in Lagoinha, about 130 km from Fortaleza. It is a small fishing settlement and has a nice but simple resort-like place with good food. It also features Dune-buggy rides among other attractions.
Situated at a 40-50 kms range from Fortaleza, a nice beach where there is nothing special to see (not like Morro Branco) though full of people...
Situee a 40-50 bornes de Fortaleza, une jolie plage ou il n'y a rien de special a voir (pas comme a Morro Branco), mais y a plein de gens...
go to " park do vaqueiro", " sitio siqueira" and "cantinho do ceu" all thoses are "forro" niteclubs, and you will see a lots of beautfull peaple and many bands playing local music in live, a lots of cocktalls and drinks for all taste and peaple's resistece... if you think you are stronge you get to drink a " c a p e t a " for all god's nothing is like that...
I think you shoul check out our Cathedral... It is pretty... And you also should check out the "Mercado Central" (central Market), where you can find a lot of Fortaleza's Culture. " Mercado Central" is a place where a lot of the native people have little shops where you can buy things that are characteristic of Fortaleza. Most of the things there are made by hand, and they make excellent souveneirs. The bigger picture is of our cathedral and the smaller one is the "Mercado Central".
I think that if you go to Fortaleza and get tired of partying, or even leave to go party a little early, you should check out the "Centro Cultural Dragao do Mar" (Dragon of the Sea Cultural Center). "Dragao do mar" is located in "Praia de Iracema" one of the most famous counties in town and a lot of the night clubs is located in this area. You should visit "Dragao do Mar" because it tells a little bit of out culture, which is a important aspect of our town. You can check out the movie theater, the theater, the Planetarium which seats 90 people, you can check out the live concerts and many other activities that this wonderful piece of our culture has to offer you. CHECK IT OUT!