Situated in the north east corner of Brazil, Natal is geographically just as close to Africa as it is Sao Paulo. Deriving its name from the Portuguese for Christmas, the city was founded on 25th December 1599 as a small fishing village.
The festive theme is maintained all year round with a large ever present Christmas tree welcoming visitors as they arrive in the city, but it is the beaches that are the main attraction, particularly the southern beaches of Ponta Negra.
Hotels and pousadas line the beachfront and the sea is great for swimming or surfing and the area is just perfect to relax by the beach without any hassle.
Near to Natal there are a number of other great beaches such as Jenipabu or Maracajau but the pick of these is the charming town of Pipa.
Natal also acts as one of the two departure points for direct flights to the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.