Wild and deserted beaches and rolling surf are the reasons that the seaside town of Natal features on many North Eastern Brazil travel itineraries - Natal's beaches are some of most popular in all Brazil. South from the town is the Rota do Sol - ‘Route of the Sun' - which runs alongside a golden coastline that ranges from empty beaches and tall sand dunes that can only be accessed by beach buggies or 4WD vehicles, to stretches of sand bustling with restaurants and nightlife. Heading north is just as rewarding, with more of Natal's famous dunes and dramatic multi-coloured cliffs.
The Forte dos Reis Magos stands sentinel at the tip of the peninsula between the Rio Potengi and the Atlantic Ocean, on which lies the capital of Rio Grande do Norte, and is a popular spot for a scenic stroll. The fort and the settlement around it were established on December 25, 1598 and the town was hence named Natal - from the Portuguese word for Christmas.