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  • Overview

    Fortaleza is huge and isolated, and lures travellers with about 16 miles (25km) of urban beaches and a celebrated nightlife. The coastal destination is extremely popular among holidaying Brazilians. Praia de Iracema, Meireles and Varjota are all booming tourist neighbourhoods boasting shops, restaurants and nightclubs aplenty.

    Fortaleza is not a prime sightseeing destination insofar as it has few famous landmarks or historic sites - though some fine examples of colonial architecture do remain. That said, it's unrivalled as a hedonistic beach holiday setting.

    The city is hot and humid year-round, promising almost permanent beach weather. Popular urban beaches include Iracema, which has some beach bars and nightclubs and a bohemian vibe, and Mucuripe, where local fishermen still ply their trade at a traditional fish market. Praia do Futuro has great tourist infrastructure, while the Pedra da Risca do Meio State Marine Park offers scuba diving.

    Travellers who'd rather avoid the city's crowded beaches can find more wild and unspoilt stretches of coastline beyond Fortaleza, where a number of quaint fishing villages promise a more timeless and authentic experience of Brazilian culture.

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    Fortaleza has a tropical climate with high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The heat is somewhat suppressed by light winds from the ocean. December and January are the warmest months with an average high of 88°F (31°C) and low of 77°F (25°C). The rainy season runs from February to May, with the heaviest rainfall in March and April. Locals refer to this time of year as winter (even though it is technically autumn). Between January and June humidity is high. The best time to visit Fortaleza is from August to December, as it is warm with very little rainfall.

    Pinto Martins – Fortaleza International Airport
    Location: The airport is located four miles (6km) south of downtown Fortaleza.
    Time: GMT -3
    Getting to the city: The local bus service runs frequently between the airport and Fortaleza. The city's main bus station is also on this route.
    Car Rental: A number of car rental companies are represented at the airport, including Avis, Hertz, and Europcar.
    Airport Taxis: Airport taxis are readily available and charge a fixed rate for transport into the city centre.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include banking services and ATMs, a medical centre, chapel, comfort station, restaurants and cafes, baggage protection, a post office, a travel agency, shopping (including duty-free), and a souvenir shop.
    Parking Fortaleza Airport has lots of covered and uncovered parking.

    Useful Contacts:

    The most affordable way to get around Fortaleza is by bus. Travellers can get off at a terminal and change lines without paying again, provided they do so within a certain time period. Most lines run seven days a week and depart every 10 minutes, or 20 minutes at night and on weekends.

    Over 4,000 taxis run on the same meter system (excluding the special cabs at the airport). Taxis have standardised rates, with increased fares at night, on weekends and over December. Taxis are obligated to display the fare system on one of the rear side windows. Travellers should avoid cabs that don't. Chaotic traffic makes driving difficult in Fortaleza, but rental car outlets are available in town and at the airport.

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    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination