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How to Spend 1 Day in Fortaleza

How to Spend 1 Day in Fortaleza

With just one day in Fortaleza, you’d be forgiven for spending the entire time on the beach, but the city offers plenty to tempt you inland. Plan ahead to make the most of your time in this sprawling and packed city, and stay up late to sample the buzzing nightlife. Here’s how to spend one day in Fortaleza.

Morning: Seaside Sightseeing

A city tour offers the ideal introduction, ensuring that you cover all the highlights and don’t waste time in transit—Fortaleza is one of Brazil’s largest cities, so private transportation is essential if you want to see it all. Visit landmarks such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and the President Castelo Branco Mausoleum, learn about Fortaleza’s history and rich cultural heritage at the Museum of Ceara, and make a photo stop at the Statue of Iracema.

After a scenic drive along the palm-lined Avenida Beira Mar, looking out over Iracema and Meireles beaches, spend the rest of the morning browsing the stalls at the Central Market or shopping for traditional handicrafts at the Center of Tourism.

Afternoon: Relax at the Beach

A variety of beachside bars and restaurants offer a myriad of options for lunch. Fortaleza is particularly renowned for its excellent seafood; to sample the catch of the day, head to the Fish Market at the end of Avenida Beira Mar. Afterward, head to one of Fortaleza’s four urban beaches. Mucuripe, Meireles, and Iracema are the closest to downtown, but it’s worth hopping in a taxi to Futuro Beach, just east of the center. This is a popular spot for surfers, so stick to the lifeguard-patrolled areas if you want to swim, or just grab a sunbed at one of the beach bars and order yourself a caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.

A fun alternative for families is Beach Park, the largest water park in Latin America, just south of Futuro Beach—book your tickets in advance to avoid the queues and enjoy round-trip transfers.

Night: Sunsets and Sundowners

If you’re in town on a Thursday night, stay at Futuro Beach for a crab dinner. Thursdays mark the start of the weekend and are renowned as “crab night” throughout the city; locals arrive in droves to tuck into a local preparation called caranguejada.

Alternatively, head to the Ponte dos Ingleses at Iracema Beach in time for sunset—the historic pier is one of the most popular spots in town to watch the sun go down. The nearby Dragão do Mar cultural center is a great place to enjoy Fortaleza’s nightlife; it offers a wide range of bars, restaurants, and live music venues where you can experience traditional Brazilian forró music and dance.

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4 Tours and Activities

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Cumbuco Beach with City Tour from Fortaleza
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Cumbuco Beach with City Tour from Fortaleza

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Visit the fishing village of Cumbuco on this full-day trip from Fortaleza. Relax on the sugar-soft sand of the area's tranquil beaches or sign up for some active water sports. After sampling the area's traditional cuisine at the many beachside bars and restaurants, visit the pristine Parnamirim Pond for a freshwater dip. This family-friendly excursion includes round-trip transportation from Fortaleza.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$9.18
From
$9.18

Lagoinha Beach from Fortaleza
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Lagoinha Beach from Fortaleza

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Explore Lagoinha Beach in the district of Paraipaba on this full-day trip from Fortaleza. A former hiding place for treasure buried by French pirates, this area is now a tranquil fishing village. Spend time lounging on the beach or strolling through the towering red dunes and swaying palm trees at your leisure. Opt for a dune buggy tour, a horseback riding excursion or a jaganda (sailboat) ride on Almecegas Pond.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$18.54
From
$18.54

Beach Park Transfer from Fortaleza
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Beach Park Transfer from Fortaleza

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Transfer round-trip from Fortaleza to Beach Park with this voucher, good for a 8-hour time frame. Enjoy a pickup at your Fortaleza hotel with a local guide and relax on the way to the park, which boasts a hotel, museum, shops and Aqua Park. This family-friendly attraction at the seashore near Fortaleza is entertaining for all ages. Entrance fees to Beach Park are not included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$14.05
From
$14.05

Fortaleza City Tour
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Fortaleza City Tour

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Neste tour of approximately two hours of duration, we will visit the main tourist points of the city. We will pass by Avenida Beira Mar, a few days of Fortaleza, Bairro de Mucuripe, Praia do Futuro, Bairro do Aldeota and Bairro Boêmio. We will have three stops: at Catedral, at Ponte dos Ingleses, know as Ponte Metálica, and no Tourism Center.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$16.00
From
$16.00