Taxis are abundant in Natal so you'll never have to worry about finding one. What you will need to worry about is price. As with anything else in Brazil, price is negotiable - so NEGOTIATE!
Before you get in the taxi, ask the driver how much to go to ___________? Don't like the price? Then get a different taxi, or let the driver know what you're willing to pay - barter.
You will find that the meter rate for taxis is one of the most expensive things in Natal. Especially if you are going someplace outside of Ponta Negra.
The solution?? Regardless of what you do, DO NOT let them use the taxi meter to determine your fee. Negotiate FIRST. Then, If they turn it on, tell them it's not necessary -you will pay [X] amount to go to [Y] location. Still have problems? Get out of the taxi and get another taxi driver who's willing.
You won't have any trouble - believe me.
There's a saying about bartering in Brazil that goes "No chora, no mama" - which equates to our American saying "the squeaky wheel gets the oil" - Bartering is welcomed and expected so, do it!
Close to Pipa, you find this nice samba ferry. It crosses a long laguun and there can be some young boys having fun with drums and other players, as you can see on the upper deck.
Don't give them money, they should be in school, but sambaing is easy-money to them. Remember that average salary f.e. in restaurant workers is some low against our standards.
This is a must in Natal. When going to Genibabu beach with a beach buggy you must not miss this adventure. Ferrymen take you to other side of this laguun. Only trap is the photographers who takes a snapshop of you journey and try to sell it to you when you are goming back. Price was some 5 reals if I remember correctly.
If you are going to north dunes with beach buggies, you go over the rio Potengi with this ferry. Drivers must be highly skilled, because the river is floating, there is normally wind and the pushing boat is besides the ferry.
If you're by Ponta Negra, there are local buses going south the shore to Praia Pirangi and so on.
The bus to Pirangi costs R$ 2.70 and takes less than one hour.
In case you need to find something out regarding these buses, the bus company is named Auto Viação Campos.
By Plane and by Car.
Flights to the biggest brazilians cities (daily): Rio, Sao Paulo, Recife, Salvador, Fortaleza, etc., Europe : Regular: Lisbon; Charters: Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, Oslo, Stockholm, Amsterdan.
Getting around Natal by bus is easy.
The main spots of the city (Ponta Negra, Praia do Meio, downtown, Shopping Centers) are connected by large avenues, and many buses shuttle along them.
A ticket today (May 2004) is at R$ 1,30, or about US$ 0,40. Besides buses, natalenses use also "bestas", small - but legalized - vans which follow the same paths, with the same price.
Drivers and conductors don´t speak English, but are usually very willing to help.
To go outside the city (Jenipabu, Buzios, etc), even though there are some intercity lines, the best deal is to pay for tours; competition is tough, prices are fair (shop around). Even better is to arrange for the travel agent to pick you up at the hotels.
You can take the bus or a van at anytime to go to Natal or around there... it's really cheap, less than 50 cents... the buggys are best to know places by the beaches and it's more expensive...the bus and vans goes by the road.
By December 2000 there was only a few charter-flights to Natal's airport from outside Brazil (as far as I could see). It's also round-trip flights to and from Fortaleza, Salvador, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and probably several other Brazilian cities.
By now I guess it's more international flights to Natal.
Taxi are cheap in Brazil (at least for a Norwegian) so that is always an option. There are also a lot of buses.
Using the taxi in Natal can become very expensive! The taxi meter goes up like crazy, making you spend quite a lot of money just to get around Natal.