Discover Rio Grande do Norte

Rio Grande do Norte has 400 km of coastline, dunes, cliffs, and sea and a predominantly tropical climate, which may vary according to the region. The state capital is the city of Natal, known as the City of the Sun, because the sun shines 300 days a year. In addition to these advantages, as it is a state with a hot climate, the water temperature can reach up to 30°C.

Discover Rio Grande do Norte, a captivating state in Brazil’s Northeast region, where stunning coastal beauty, rich cultural traditions, and historical treasures converge to offer an unforgettable experience.

The coastline of Rio Grande do Norte is renowned for its pristine beaches and dramatic landscapes. Natal, the capital city, is the starting point for many travellers. Ponta Negra Beach, with its iconic Morro do Careca dune, is a must-visit, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Just north of Natal, Genipabu Beach is famous for its towering dunes and thrilling buggy rides. At the same time, Pipa Beach, to the south, is celebrated for its clear waters, surfing opportunities, and vibrant nightlife.

The state is a tapestry of cultural traditions and lively festivals. The Festa de São João, held in June, features bonfires, traditional dances, and forró music, a genre native to the Northeast. Although smaller than Rio’s, Natal’s Carnaval is equally vibrant, with parades, street parties, and music filling the city.

Handicrafts are deeply rooted in local culture, with lacework, ceramics, and embroidery particularly notable. Towns like Carnaúba dos Dantas are famous for pottery, where artisans craft unique pieces using traditional techniques.

The cuisine of Rio Grande do Norte is a delightful exploration of local flavours. Seafood is central to the state’s culinary identity, with dishes like moqueca Potiguar, a coconut milk-based fish stew, and paçoca de pilão, a mix of sun-dried meat and cassava flour, favourites. Tapioca, a versatile cassava flatbread, is commonly enjoyed with various fillings, sweet and savoury.

Music and dance are integral to the state’s cultural fabric. Forró, a lively dance and music genre, dominates the local scene, especially during festivals and gatherings. The state also boasts a rich tradition of literature and poetry, contributing significantly to Brazil’s cultural heritage.

Beyond its natural beauty, Rio Grande do Norte is rich in history and archaeology. The interior region, particularly the Serra de Martins, offers cooler climates, lush landscapes, and breathtaking views. The Lajedo de Soledade archaeological site features ancient rock carvings and fossils, offering a glimpse into the region’s prehistoric past.

For the adventurous, the state’s diverse landscapes provide numerous opportunities. From dune buggy rides and sandboarding in Genipabu to surfing in Pipa and exploring the scenic Serra de Martins, Rio Grande do Norte caters to thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike.

Discovering Rio Grande do Norte means immersing yourself in a vibrant mix of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and historical richness. Whether you are basking on sunlit beaches, enjoying lively festivals, or exploring ancient sites, this enchanting state promises a diverse and enriching experience that captures the heart and soul of Brazil.

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Praia do Madeiro Foto: Fernando Chiribaga

Green Destination

In 2021, the State entered the seal of the best 100 most sustainable destinations through the Green Destinations Story Awards. This annual award celebrates the most inspiring stories of sustainable tourism practices. Tibau do Sul, located 78 km from the capital, and São Miguel do Gostoso, located 100 km from Natal, are the most visited cities in the State featured in this award.

Santuario Ecologico Awasa | Pipa Foto: Emprotur

Digital Nomads

Many tourists already experience the culture of working through the internet. So, in 2022, the beach of Pipa, located 84km from the state capital, Natal, was chosen to receive the first village of digital nomads in South America. The project is already underway, and the Pousada Morada dos Ventos, just 10 minutes from the main streets of Pipa, will be the place chosen to welcome digital nomads.

Forte Reis Magos | Natal Foto: Sandro Menezes

Reis Magos Fort

One of the most important historical and cultural points in the city of Natal, the building was the starting point of the city, founded on December 25, 1599, on the right side of the Rio Potengi bar. It was named after the start date of its construction on January 6, 1598, King’s Day, by the Catholic calendar.

Camarão

Gastronomy

In gastronomy, the Rio Grande do Norte dishes stand out from the link between foods from African, indigenous and European traditions, resulting in delicious dishes. Potiguar means “shrimp eater”, which happens to be the most requested spice among tourists; without forgetting the Ginga with tapioca, Ginga is the name given to a fish of the Manjuba species (or Manjubinha) that is breaded and fried or roasted, served with tapioca. These are dishes that can be found from a day at the beach to a dinner in the most famous restaurants in the State.

São Miguel do Gostoso Foto: Sandro Menezes

Festivals

With a calendar full of options, the State of Rio Grande do Norte consolidates itself as a destination for cultural events in the country. Music festivals, cinema and the most popular New Year’s Eve in the Northeast attract tourists worldwide.

In December, the biggest micareta in Brazil – Carnatal – kicks off the end-of-year cultural program in the State, which still has New Year’s Eve events on the famous beaches of Pipa and São Miguel do Gostoso and also in the capital, with the second edition of Réveillon Santé, five days of celebration for tourists and Potiguares to enjoy themselves.

Frequently asked questions about Rio Grande do Norte

Some of the most frequently asked questions about this wonderful destination

The capital of Rio Grande do Norte is Natal.
Rio Grande do Norte has an area of 52,809.599 km².
Rio Grande do Norte population is 3,302,729 inhabitants (2022).
A person born in Rio Grande do Norte is called "potiguar," "norte-rio-grandense," or "rio-grandense-do-norte."
The dialing code for Rio Grande do Norte is 84.
Rio Grande do Norte borders with Paraíba and Ceará.

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