Capital of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal is considered the safest capital city in Brazil. Its beaches, infrastructure and beauty have earned it a place among the most visited spots throughout the country. The Coast Road through the dunes is one of the most photographed sites in the city.
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Natal is one of those places where every dish looks exotic. Mixing Portuguese and alternative cuisine, it is very common to find what the locals call "espeto corrido" or buffet restaurants, where diners can enjoy all kinds of preparations on a flat fare. Tapioca is one of the region's most typical foods, as is cous cous and all possible kinds of seafood. "Carne-de-sol", also called "jabá", is a local specialty, a type of salted beef that is exposed to the sun for a couple of days to cure. It can be served as a patty in a sandwich, fried or ground together with cassava flour and red onions and presented as paçoca.
Where to eat in Natal
The biggest and most famous restaurant you'll find in Natal is Camaroes, on the top floor of a four story bulding located at Av. Engenheiro Roberto Freire 2610. There, you'll find a very welcoming traditional family atmosphere with delicious dishes. Barraca do Caranguejo, in Avenida Erivan Franca 1180, is another of the places chosen by many for its evening shows and the house's specialty: crab. The Taipa House, at Rua Manoel AB de Araujo 130A, is among the most sophisticated restaurants in Natal. It is located in a typical tropical house, completely restored and refurbished to hold a fully functioning, high class and fun restaurant.
Types of lodgings in Natal
As in any destination, accommodations come in a wide range of varieties, from mid-scale hotels down town to high-end hotels in the poshest neighbourhoods. Natal is also known for its many resorts on the Vía Costera, many of which have a activities for children, water slides and more. In the area of Ponta Negra Beach, the hotels are generally of lower category, but has the advantage of being closer to the local night life.
Where to stay in Natal
If you are looking for a quieter location, it is best to seek accommodations in Ponta Negra Beach. One of the best there is Manary Praia Hotel, on Rua Francisco Gurgel 9067, overlooking the sea. The Tulip Inn Potengi Flat is located on Rua Potengi 521, in the area near the Potengi Tulip River. It offers exquisitely designed rooms, restaurants and pools. In the same area but more towards Ladeira do Sol, and 150 metres (160 yards) away from Praia do Meio, at Rua Getúlio Vargas 788 you will find the Golden Tulip Interatlántico.