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the famous beach resort ponta negra
Brazil

This is certainly the most famous tourist spot in Natal.

The village of Ponta Negra is a few square kilometers large. It used to be home for fishers and other working people; around early 1990's, the tourism businesses began to take ove the area; a few years ago, foreigner investors (notably Italians, Portuguese and other Europeans) started to pour money into the area, and tourism oriented businesses flourished.
Today, there are men at work all around the village. Medium and small  hotels and flats are being built everywhere (there is no free space for bigger hotels - these are being built along thevia costeira. Houses are being refurbished and adapted to become restaurants, shops, etc. There are few slots of real estate left (naturally, prices are rising).
However, if the hotels and flats are spread all over, most of the fun happens at the beach strip.
Ponta Negra beach is about 4 km long. In the south end is Morro do Careca, the most famous landmark of Natal. Walking northwards, one first sees about 2km of av. Erivan Franca, crowded with bars, restaurants, hotels, party houses, small shopping galleries, etc; then, the avenue ends, and the next 2km have just a walk way, lined with hotels and some kioskes.

It's not hard to see why this is the hot spot in Natal.
Morro do Careca is a combination of sea, mountain, dunes and green. Climbing the hill is forbidden, but many people don't care; the gay guides repeatedly mention the lateral trails of the hill as a good meeting point. Below, a few pictures of Morro do Careca, taken from several distances.

The avenue sideways is where most fun happens. That stretch is always crowded with tourists, both Brazilian and foreigners. It's not luxurious or posh, but it's cosy and clean. The sun is almost always shining, but it's always accompanied by a refresing wind. It's always busy with people of all walks of life, but everybody respects each other.
The pictures below were taken all at the same day early December 2,003; they show a little of what goes on everyday in Ponta Negra.

source:  natal-brazil.com

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Copyright: Jan dolk
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 8000x4000
Uploaded: 15/06/2010
Updated: 02/07/2014
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Tags: natal; ponta negra; beach; night life; tourism
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