Fortaleza Port Guide

The Fortaleza Port is the capital city of the State of Ceará in Brazil, pulling visitors to her shores for decades. This popular destination lures cruisers and other travelers with its beautiful beaches, rich heritage and culture, nightlife, and friendly locals. With one of the longest coastlines Brazil, beaches in Ceará and Fortaleza in particular are dotted with high rises, yet still retain their tropical charm.

The Fortaleza cruise port is a commercial port marking entry to this Brazilian destination. Take a taxi from the entrance of the Fortaleza cruise terminal to the downtown area with all its shops, beaches, restaurants and cultural offerings.

Shopping

If shopping is high on your priority list when stopping at your Fortaleza port of call, head straight to Mercado Central. This is the area's main shopping center, with five floors of souvenirs and gifts to commemorate your stay. There is really nothing you can't find here, from local artwork and pottery to clothing and wood carvings. Keep an eye out for items made from palm fronds or unique sand paintings in a bottle. Take your time to browse the wares and take in the shopping ambiance.

Things to See

Visiting the beaches may be another priority on your list. Praia de Meireles, located in the heart of the hotel district, is perfect for families, tourists and locals alike.The handicraft market is also located here, as are numerous hotels and barracas, which are rustic restaurants with huts on the beach. Other beaches you may want to try include Iracema, Mucuripe and Praia do Futuro, which is ideal for sunbathing and surfing.

Fortaleza's lighthouse sits just outside the port entrance and is a must see. Also, several impressive statues are placed throughout the city, such as the New Statue of Iracema. And don't miss the Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza, the third largest in Brazil. Accommodating 5,000 people, this church was built in the Gothic-Roman style.

Restaurants and Bars

Fortaleza's food is made up largely of seafood, no secret seeing as it sits right on a major port. In fact, you can spend hours just watching the local fishermen leaving the port in search of fish and coming back to unload. If you order seafood, you can bet its the freshest possible. You'll pay a lot for lobster, even though Ceará is the largest producer of lobster in the country. One popular dish is called "peixada cearense", which is basically fish pieces stewed with vegetables and boiled eggs, served over rice and a thick broth called "pirão." You'll see this dish, and variations of it, all over the city.

For Italian food, try Pulcinella, and for regional cuisine, try Colher de Pau or Alimenta Bistrô. Get some pizza at Vignoli or fresh fish and other seafood at Milmar. If the nightlife scene is what you crave, set aside Monday night for Piratas Bar at Rua dos Tabajaras, 325 on Iracema Beach. Mondays are crazy, and the bar is open till the wee hours of the morning.

The Fortaleza Port will open your eyes to a whole new side of Brazil, with its contemporary city-like feel to its straw beach huts and friendly locals.

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