Eco-friendly travel guide to Natal advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Natal, Brazil.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 2.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 3 / 5
- Parks: 2 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30 - $100
- Budget per day: US$70 - $200
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Natal's city is rich in culture and has many museums to commemorate its rich and amazing history. Natal is a rather popular tourist destination. The city is very safe for tourists, with no violent crimes against tourists, and also the cost of living is relatively low, making it an awesome place to go on vacation. Various things can be done to ensure responsible travel, and these include:
Natal stands out as it has an excellent economic system, so the residents are not doing poorly. The economy gives assurance to visitors that they would enjoy and have a swell time in the city.
If you decide to visit this city, you should always be on guard and preserve the environment. You can do this by using non-stop flights to use lesser fuels and turn off the lights in your room when not in use. Support local businesses rather than big corporations that harm the environment with huge amounts of toxic waste. Buying local means supporting the local people as well and helping the economy. Try to avoid using plastic as much as you can, and try carrying around reusable cups for your coffee and metal straws for your drinks.
All these might seem like little details that you can easily overlook, but they go a long way in ensuring that you have an eco-friendly stay.
Air Quality and Pollution
There is a saying that it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Thus, people love to make inquiries before they visit any city as they would not want to compromise their health despite wanting to have fun during the holiday. After all, health is wealth.
In line with being eco-friendly, it is good to know about the city's quality and pollution. Compared to other cities, Natal's air quality is pretty good, but compared with other cities in the world, it isn't good.
The Air Quality Index shows that the Air Quality of the city is good. Summer and Autumn are the perfect seasons to visit. The air is fresh and crisp at this time of the year, and you will enjoy bike rides and walking in the city quite a lot.
Respect the Culture
The city has a vibrant culture, and a trip to the city without indulging in the various exquisite cultural experiences would be a total waste. The city's size and variety reflects the culture of the city. Most Brazilian cultural movements first emerged in the city. The city is an important center for music, film, theatre, dance, and visual art, and many artists have been drawn into the city by opportunity. The government is well invested in keeping the arts alive and ensures that it funds the arts with adequate financial resources. Another aspect of culture that puts the city on the map is that it is the Brazilian community's headquarters. There are also numerous museums, libraries, and historical sites that document and show the city's rich cultural background, which is a must-visit.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Genipabu Beach: Genipabu Beach is used for Buggie and also a formerly dromedary ride. The buggy rides are offered in two different types.
- Ponta Negra: Ponta Negra is a famous beach which is located nearer to the Brazilian city of Natal. It is a famous landmark and large dune.
- Morro Do Careca: Morro Do Careca is a famous tourist attraction in the city of Natal. It is located in Praia de Ponta Negra, Natal, Brazil. It has a height of 120 meters.
- Fortaleza Dos Reis Magos: Fortaleza Dos Reis Magos is located in Praia do Meio, Natal, Brazil. It is a famous tourist attraction in the city.
- Natal Dunes State Park: Natal Dunes State Park is a state park in the city of Natal. It is located in Alexandrino, Natal, Brazil. The park was established in the year 1977.
- Ponte Newton Navarro: Ponte Newton Navarro is a cable-stayed bridge in the city of Natal. It is located in Navarro-Redinha, Natal, Brazil. The official name of the bridge is All Newton Navarro.
- Redinha Beach: Redinha Beach is located in the city of Natal, Brazil. The beach is very famous in the city.
- Vai Consteira: Vai Consteira is a famous avenue in the city of Natal. The avenue is also known as Senador Dinarte Mariz Avenue. It was built in 1985.
- Praia Dos Artistas: Praia Dos Artistas is a public beach in the city of Natal. It is located in Praia do Meio, Natal, Brazil.
- Praia De Areia Preta: Praia De Areia Preta is one of the famous beaches in the city of Natal, Brazil.
Natal is one of the world's most visited cities due to its numerous exciting and breathtaking sites. The city is buzzing as it is the center of commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. The city is rich in culture and has many museums to commemorate its rich and amazing history. Exploring the city is an enjoyable experience as it is very safe for tourists, with no violent crimes against tourists. The cost of living is relatively low, making it an awesome place to go on vacation. The choice to visit the city is, without a doubt, a great one, and it will be worth your time and every cent spent. Keep reading to be able to find out more about this fantastic tourist destination.
Natal has many gorgeous parks and gardens, with some being for exercise, family time, and amusement parks, to name a few. Listed below are the most popular parks in the city.
- Natal City Park
- Natal Dunes State Park
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and a zoo. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.
Some of the National Parks in the city of Natal are:
- Floresta Encantada Magica
- Parque Nacional Dos Lencios Maranhenses
- Sera Da Capivara National Park
Many people love the idea of soaking up the sun on the beach, enjoying the peacefulness and calm the water brings, and meeting people. If you buy this idea, it means you would want to hang out at the beach if you visit the city. Thankfully, there are many excellent beaches in the city.
- Ponta Negra Beach
- Praia de Areia Preta
- Praia dos Artistas
- Praia do Meio
- Redinha Beach
The city of Natal also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. While the list is quite long, we are mentioning a few of them for our readers' benefit.
- Natal Tourism Center
- Aquário Natal
- Dromedunas Turismo
- Mãe Luíza's Lighthouse
Numerous museums are worth a visit to ensure that you leave the city has learned about its history, amongst other things. Below is a list of some of the most prominent museums in the city.
- Museu de Minérios do RN
- Museum Cascudo
- Museu Ferroviário de Natal-RN
- Popular Culture Museum Djalma Maranhão
There are several traditional foods found in Natal. Trying various local dishes is one of the best things about being a tourist as you get to experience multiple dishes that you probably could never come across anywhere else. Several restaurants and street vendors sell different dishes that you could try, whether it is out of curiosity or so that you can have a story to tell later.
Traditional Local Restaurants
There are specific dishes available in the city that you will not find in any other place. So, make sure to try the traditional dishes in the city to help you understand the culture.
- Cassiano - O Rei do Caranguejo
- Camaroes Restaurant
- Tapera Do Gaúcho
- Shake Petrópolis
- Restaurante De Galinha
- Barraca Dp Canho
Vegetarian and Vegan
If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in Natal as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Some of these vegan restaurants are:
- Libre Café Vegano
- Espaço Cozinha Ecológica
- Nativos Restaurante
- Goodala Burger
- Doce Lar - Delivery Vegano
There are also many food stalls across the city and some of the top tourist attractions where you can buy street food. Some of the top places to purchase street include:
- Carne De Sol
- Baiao De Dois
- Bobo De Camaro
You can try some local beers from the shops, soft drinks, juices, and others. Drinks are an essential thing in travel as it helps to get refreshed between your travel to different places in the city. Make sure to try the local drinks in the city to get the best experience and help out the local people. There are some of the places in the city that will provide you a wide range of drinks. Many people are very much dependent on tourism and maintain their living based on it.
Tap water has many uses, but the constraint is determining the water quality, knowing if it will harm you or not. Of course, no one would want to use anything harmful, so tourists are always seeking information on the state of the water in any city before visiting.
You cannot drink the water gushing from the tap or even use it to clean your teeth in some cities. However, Natal is an exception to such places as its tap water is relatively safe compared to other places. You can drink the water gushing from the taps and some fountains. The city is poised to ensure that its residents are safe, and they would not want foreigners to have a negative perception. Thus, they put effort into ensuring that the water is always clean.
Organic foods are foods that are grown without artificial nutrients, pesticides, or other chemicals. Eating organic has become a widespread trend where people are very selective about what they put in their bodies. Several organic cafes attract patrons of all ages who are careful about nutrition. There are many cafes in the city that cater specifically to this group of people. Below is a list of some of the organic cafes that one could try in the city:
- Chapelatto Ponta Negra
- Tropical Leve - Capim Macio
- Colheita Viva
- São Braz Campos Sales
- Coffee Square
- Sao Braz
Natal's local beer brewing industry is quite active as the locals prefer to drink local beer above imported brews. Numerous breweries are responsible for making local liquor, with the most popular being lagers. These breweries are responsible for supplying a majority of the bars and pubs in the city. The most popular breweries are:
- Malte Station
- Cervejaria Ponta Negra
- Cervejaria Roti
- Condado Beer House
- Cervejaria Oktos Natal
Numerous activities can be done as you explore the city of Natal. The city is one of the most visited in the world by both local and international tourists alike. The activities are designed to ensure that no one is left out, and people of different interests can still enjoy and have a great time. Some of the most popular activities include museum tours, hikes, bike riding, game drives, visits to the many religious sites, and beautiful gardens, to name a few. Some of the activities are in the city center while others are just on the outskirts. It is essential to carefully plan your itinerary to ensure that you get the best out of what the city offers.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is traditionally a Hindu discipline that focuses on physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines. It has become quite popular globally, and there are yoga studios in almost every country in the world. There are several yoga studios in the city of Natal, and the most popular include:
- Fox Fitness
- UFRN Centre for Yoga
- Academia Hatha Yoga
- Casa De Yoga
- Espaço Dhyana
- Foco Pilates
One factor that a foreigner cannot fail to consider when traveling to a new place is accommodation, as you would need a place to lodge during your stay. It is not about finding a place to sleep, but a place of comfort as you want your stay in the city to be memorable. The city of Natal has many options when it comes to accommodation, so foreigners are not stranded. These accommodation options range from hotels to apartments, and much more. With this clear, we know that the next question concerns the pricing as people want to know to plan their budget.
We would not say that accommodation in Natal's city is cheap, neither would we say that it is expensive. The price you would get depends on your accommodation option. It may not be as low as what you would get in some cities, but it is not the most expensive in the world. You can either make accommodation plans when you are in the city or before you arrive. It would be best to do whatever works best for you.
If you are an environmental enthusiast, we know that you would search for green hotels in the city to ensure that you have an eco-friendly stay in the city. Many foreigners fail to realize that they have a role to play in protecting the environment, and it does not matter if it is your place of origin or not. You should play a role in any place you find yourself.
- Best Western Premier Majestic Ponta Negra Beach
- Hotel Marsol Beach
- Manary Praia Hotel
- eSuites VILA DO MAR
- Wish Natal
Hostels and Guest Houses
It may be that you do not want to stay in a guest house for one reason or the other. Some people believe that it is cheaper to stay in a hostel or guest house, while others feel that you will feel a better sense of warmth at these places. The different reasons why people opt for the option of a hostel or guest house differs, but here are some of these places are:
- Soul Hostel
- Kuara Hostel Natal
- Republic Hostel
- Blue Hostel
- Jambudvipa Hostel
- Lantern Inn and Maria Bonita
For those who intend to stay in the city of Natal for a long time, staying in hotels might prove to be a bit too expensive. Some people fancy the idea of having all home facilities wherever they lodge. Of course, you cannot have a kitchen's luxury in a hotel, but some may argue that you can get it in a hostel. However, the difference between a hostel and an apartment is that you get to get such a facility in the hostel, but it is personal when you lodge in an apartment. Several apartments are hired out for a minimum of one month, and these are more budget-friendly as they reduce costs on several levels. For one, apartments allow for self-catering, which means that you get to save instead of having to buy all meals at hotels. If you stay as a group of friends or family, you can share the cost, unlike hotels that charge per head.
Couch surfing refers to staying with a host family that rents out a part of their house to tourists. This is a trend that is gaining popularity in the city. There are several websites where people who are willing can put their homes on offer, and tourists can book the most interesting or convenient one. One such website is called couch surfing.
There are numerous campsites across the city for those tourists who want to rough it, by living outside during their vacation. Camping offers a sense of adventure as it allows people to get the full outdoor experience and can be quite affordable. Camping provides a great experience, including the fresh night air as well as the magnificent night skies. Below are some of the more popular campsites in the city:
- Campo Do Cetil
- Aldeia Maracajau Camping and Chalets
- Dunas da Caiana
- Sede Campestre da Acs PM/RN
How to Get There
Several modes of transport can be used to travel to the city, with the most convenient for you being dictated by where you are coming from, be it a local or international area. People from surrounding cities usually travel to the city by bus or train. While those coming from further away commonly use airplanes.
Natal International Airport is the only airport in the city, and it is located about 40 mins from the city center. The airport is large and comfortable, and it is fast and easy to get through customs and passport control, collect your luggage, and off you go to explore the hidden gems of the city.
You can use a bus to get to the city, and you can also use it to move around. It could be that you want to visit somewhere exciting in another city, and you are wondering how you can get there. You should know that some of the city's buses operate long distances so that you can use them anywhere within the country. Thus, it is safe to say that you get a bus in Natal for both domestic connections. Using a bus within the city may be more expensive than some other means of transportation, but it can get you from one point to another.
Many people in the city would tell you that using a train is the cheapest means of transportation. Thus, it is not surprising that people are always rushing for the train. Some people book ahead so that they would not miss using it to reach their destination.
The idea of hitchhiking centers on getting free rides, and this works well for people who might not have enough money when visiting the city. You can wait on the side of the road and try to flag down a vehicle. If you are lucky to get one and accept to carry you, you will get a free ride to your destination.
However, it is not as easy as it seems, especially in a city like Natal. The city drivers are always driving fast, and one can associate this with the smooth roads. Thus, you should wait and try to get a ride from a gas station as they might not stop if you stay on the roadside.
Shared rides are another means of reaching the city. It could be that you want to order a taxi that would take you there, but the amount is too expensive, and you cannot cover it alone. In such a case, you need to look for someone who is also going to the same destination and is willing to share a ride. This way, you both would share the expenses, and it would not be on you alone. It is not always hard to get someone who wants a shared ride as it is common in the region. Thus, it is another viable option.
You might be a foreigner, but you do not want to make it obvious. Thus, you will research how movement is done within the city, not to be glaring that you do not know your way around. You should know that Natal is a friendly city, and the locals are open to helping strangers. Thus, they would not make you feel embarrassed if you ask for directions.
Moving around this city is easy as there are many means of transportation such as walking and driving. But, if you need a green means of moving around the city, you can decide to use a skate or bicycle. With these means, you know that there would be no pollution to the environment, especially as they do not disseminate fumes. Your conscience would be clear that you are playing a role in protecting the environment.
Walking is useful when you are in a new city, especially when you have to move between short distances. It allows you to take in beautiful views, and you relax your mind while doing this. Some people might feel that walking is stressful, but it has many health benefits, and you should try it out.
Some people do not like to walk around in a new city because they fear being robbed. This is understandable, but you do not need to worry as the city is a safe space for locals and foreigners. Another reason why foreigners do not fancy the idea of walking is because they fear that they might miss their way, and this is something they wish to avoid. The city has man landmarks, which we have highlighted above, so navigating is usually painless. The locals are also always ready to help out.
Some people use bicycles as a means of transportation, while others use it for exploration. Irrespective of why you are using a bicycle, be assured that it is safe as the city has cycle paths to ensure that cyclists do not collide with cars.
The road also has a flat structure, so it does not impose any harm. Your safety is assured if you are using a bicycle in the city. Many people would say that the best way to explore a city is through cycling, and we agree with this claim. As you cycle around a city, you get to take in views, and it would leave a happy smile on your face.
The city is highly urbanized, and they are in touch with the latest features in the world. Thus, electric vehicles are not strange to any of the locals. Knowing that you can get an electronic vehicle if you desire, the next question for foreigners is how safe it is to use such in the city. It is expected that everyone would have safety procedures at the back of their mind, and you would not want to use something like an electronic scooter on a busy road to obstruct cars. This way, you would get a less busy environment. You should also use it at the edge of the road to avoid any stories that would touch the heart.
There are over 200 bus routes within the city of Natal. Express buses with red number signs serve the busiest routes in the city, and a majority of people in the city of Natal travel by bus. The red buses travel along the same route as the regular buses with black number signs but make fewer stops.
Tram, Train and Subway
Trams, Trains, and subways classify amongst the public transportation system in Natal, and it is a common form. It is easy to get and use if it is your desired choice, and they go to various locations within the district. As we have repeatedly mentioned earlier, it is one of the cheapest means of transportation in the city, and we can vouch to a large extent that it is safe to use.
Many people might not understand what sustainable shopping means, and we are here to break down the explanation. Different people have varying beliefs on what is healthy and essential, and this also extends to different regions and locations. A type of clothing might be what the people in your present town hold in high value, but it is not valued in your previous city. If you understand their explanation and go ahead to buy the things, you are doing sustainable shopping. Every foreigner is encouraged to do sustainable shopping as it shows that you care for your host environment and are ready to contribute your little quota and help in any possible way.
If you notice this, you should ask questions on why they place importance on certain items. From their explanation, you will see some health or environmental benefits attached and get support when people purchase these items.
We would assume that you already know some of Natal's local delicacies since we have talked about some of them. There are several markets across the city that are dedicated to selling fresh food. They sell both local and international food, processed or unprocessed. Some of these markets include:
- Mercadinho Crista
- Cultural Market Petropolis
- Redinha Public Market
- Mercadinho do Patrício
- O Mundo dos Chocolates
Several flea markets across the city of Natal offer both an exciting shopping experience and a chance to mingle with the locals. Most of them sell various things at reasonable prices, some of which are found in local shops. However, they tend to double the price when selling to tourists. Some of these flea markets are:
- Centro de Artesanato de Ponta Negra
- Pescados ki Peixe
- Mercado Publico da Redinha
- Mercadinho Real
- Mercadinho ta na hora
Second Hand Stores
The trend of second-hand stores has caught the world by a storm; numerous stores have opened where people can buy things they wouldn't usually afford for less than half the price. The most common ones in the city of Natal are:
- Vuco Vuco do Gato Lira
- Natal's Sebo
- Paraiso dos Usados
- Edy Moveis
Eco-fashion is the use of sustainable materials that protect the environment to make clothes. If you do not know, Natal is one of the top sustainable cities in the world, so many of its designers subscribe to the style of eco-fashion. Some people feel that sustainable clothes are not fashionable, but your mind will be blown by the varieties they have in Natal.
Since Natal is one of the top sustainable cities globally, you should know that they are always proactive towards recycling. During your stay in the city, you will notice that the government has facilities to ensure the enforcement of recycling, and the locals gladly comply because they understand its importance. As a foreigner, you should join hands with the locals and imbibe the recycling culture. Because your city of origin does not practice recycling does not mean that you should not do it in a city where it is applicable. There is always a difference between cities that recycle and those that do not.
Natal has a waste management organization to ensure that the city is always clean. People say that cleanliness brings happiness, and the locals do not want to compromise this in any way. They understand that it is their responsibility to keep their environment clean, and whatever they do can either make or mar their atmosphere. These people strive to have a city conducive to living and know that it is impossible without an adequate waste management organization. The locals are always happy when foreigners visit and commend the pristine state of the city. You will also notice that people have excellent health due to proper waste care.
Work and Study Abroad
It is common to see foreigners moving to this country because of its conductive state. You should know that Natal has the highest quality of living in South America. So, why would there not be a steady increase in foreigners? The city's educational institutions are also commendable, and many foreigners opt for the option of studying in this city. One might trace their decision to the fact that Natal is a city where people can work and study simultaneously. Thus, students are not stranded nor dependent. By the time they are done with education, they also have adequate work experience.
There are many famous universities and colleges in Natal so that you would see exchange students in abundance. If you are an international student in this country, you should not fear that locals will dominate the educational institutions as you would also see many foreigners. Since the city is amongst the best in South America, tales of ye quality of their universities and colleges spread, and students in other schools will want to do exchange programs in the city. There are several programs for exchange students in the city, and you need to find out from your current University if they are affiliated with any of the institutions. Many surrounding cities are striving to attain the level of popularity gotten by the universities and colleges in Natal.
An au pair is a young foreign person who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and pocket money. Many people are usually ready to work in this city, but some might encounter issues finding jobs as it may be that many are also applying for the same position. You will see some people downcast because they cannot seem to secure a job, and this is where the idea of Au Pair comes into pair. Au Pair is almost similar to Couchsurfing as it pairs you with a host you would work for and get paid in return. It is a win-win situation as it saves you the stress of searching for a job, and the host gets their job done quickly.
There are hundreds of organizations in the city of Natal that provide volunteering options. Suppose you wish to indulge in a volunteering act while in the city, you would not have difficulty getting any. Volunteering is a way of you helping and giving back to society. It is not done out of force, but because you are passionate about the cause. It is common to see people desire to be volunteers in Natal, and it is best to attach yourself to an organization to make the process easier. Engaging in volunteering activities while in Natal shows that you are a responsible tourist. Volunteering is a rather noble act whereby an individual gives their time and energy in exchange for nothing to help those who are less fortunate. Several voluntary organizations across Natal are always open to accepting volunteers on either a short or long-term basis.