Ponta Negra Beach Beggars
The Ponta Negra beach strip area has alot of beggars who are there ALL the time. They will ask you for some cash every time they see you. Some are very persistent and will follow you for blocks if you refuse to give them any money.
We found none to be dangerous and some of the kids are actually decent and honest and will help you by getting you change, cigarrettes, a taxi, etc. for a few R$.
Be careful of the heads and rastas in this area, I heard from many locals that if they find you alone they are the most dangerous around.
We had no troubles with anyone.. even walking around at 4am proved no problem in ponta negra. Just stay alert and be careful as you would in any foreign setting.
Ponta Negra Beach - Dangerous or not?
We spend two weeks in Ponta Negra. I walked on the beach tree times a day and I did not see any beggars of theefs. This is not a promise but when you are not alone it's always more safe.
Of course there are a lot of what ever sellers (glasses, jewelry, Ronaldino shirts, headgears and kites) but they trust to the words no, näo or obrigado).
But of course if you see some beggars, don't give them money! Don't even to children or disabled people. (Children are very clever. In some ferry there was three man band doing samba and all of them were from 7 to 10 years. Very cute, nice rythm and soul but they avoid school if they are well paid by turists.)
Be carefull, don't move around alone, don't show your valuables and you probably have a safe holiday.
NATAL: NO VALUABLES AT BEACH
Do not bring any valuables when you head out to the beaches of Natal.
Unfortunately, I was robbed of my camera. 2 boys jumped on me and fought me to the ground. When they had run off with my camera and my watch, I simply got up and watched them disappear. I looked around me, many stared at me, but no one helped. I guess they are used to seeing such crimes.
Even at the police station later trying to report this incident with my friend, we met a Brazilian couple there who had also just been robbed. Gosh, what are the odds of 2 robberies (or more!!) happening at the same time!?? I learnt that they were robbed at gun-point. Gosh... now, I was 'relieved' that I was not.
Anyway, according to my friend tourists had been killed before for a watch. So, just be careful.
Just a little warning to you all. When I was in Natal and went for the airport to get on with my traveling - I was stopped by this medium built, chubby, latin looking police officer while driving my rental car at the airport area. He spoke some portuguese I didn't understand very well, but his fingerpointing was obvious enough. He insisted on getting into the car and showed me where to park the rental car at the parking lot - at the far corner from anything. Then came a second police officer, rather tall, normal build and caucasian looking. One from Policia Civil and the other from the Policia Militar.
They proceeded to bable something in portuguese which didn't make much sense to me. Then they repeatedly said "multa, multa" and wrote 120 Reais on a piece of paper. They both got a bit agitated after a while. Then a female police officer appeared from the policia civil. She seemed to scare the two others and stress them out. I asked her to please assist in solving whatever problem we might have - and she did. Suddenly the two other police officers didn't have anything they wanted to discuss with me. I guess it didn't look cool to them to explain they where trying to force me to pay them bribing money!
Thanks to the fair, honest and thrustworthy female police officer - and god damn boys - please don't try to force tourists to pay you bribes - it doesn't give much of a good impression, you corrupt idiots!
If you are taking a walk on the beach - away from the main beach in Ponta Negra -do not bring your beach bag or anything valuable.
As you have nothing, you are unlikely to be robbed. If you have a beach bag or similar - most likely Muggers can get interest in you.
At least in the areas with few people.
A few interesting info about Ponta Negra:
- Parking is a problem. The only way to park is along one side of the street, which besides being short, has several slots reserved to taxis, disabled, police, etc. There are a few private parking loots which charge up to R$ 3 and give no guarantees (if you manage to park in the street, separate a few coins to the "flanelinhas", those guys who "keep an eye on your car for you").
- The village is up the hill. As soon as the beach street ends, you have to walk up a steep hill to go to the village. That means that a hotel "100 meters away from the beach" may end up being not so close as you thought; however, there is the advantage that you can have a good view of the sea even if you are a little far from the shore line.
To sit in the sun is lovely. But be careful!
Natal is just south of the equator and there are always windy, so you do infact not feel how strong the sun is (until it is to late).
I recomend strongly to use highprotection sunoil.
Si hacéis una excursión en...
Si hacéis una excursión en buggy (ver foto del vehículo al lado) aseguraros de que el buggeiro (conductor del buggy) tenga la licencia correspondiente. Hay algunas excursiones por el litoral norte de Natal que requieren mucha experiencia en la conducción de los vehículos, como la de Genipabu.