PRAIA DO MEIO
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The Praia do Meio area is in the northern part of Natal; there are several beaches, with blurred boundaries: Praia do Forte (the beach near the Forte dos Reis Magos), Praia do Meio, Praia dos Artistas (around Chaplin) and Areia Preta.
Praia do Meio
Praia do Forte is protected by the reefs. Waters are quiet, good for bathing and windsurf. The area is a military zone; access is permitted only until 5pm.
Praia do Meio means "Beach of the Middle"; the first house was built in 1912, and it was referred to as "the house in the middle of the way between the city and the beaches". Praia do Meio is roughly the stretch between the Praia do Forte and the Hotel dos Reis Magos. This hotel was opened in 1965, and for a long time it was the most famous hotel in Natal; the high society of the city used to meet for big parties here; today, the hotel is closed. Two years ago, the government urbanized the area, which now is served by wide, well maintained and iluminated roads; playgrounds and sports courts were built, to be used by the population.
Praia dos Artistas means "Beach of the Artists", and goes from the hotel to the Ponta dos Morcegos, where nightclub Chaplin is located; the name is because, a few decades ago, famous and anonymous artists used to come here. There is a tourist office at Praia dos Artistas, close to Chaplin; also, right beside this office, there is a 24/7 Banco do Brasil ATM.
Praia de Areia Preta
Areia Preta means "Black Sand"; there are some darker spots in the sand, because of traces of minerals. A nice view here is the fight between the strong waves and the rocks in the shore.
Don't walk very far towards the fortress at night. Even though very diminished from recent years, street prostitution still exists, both on main avenue and lateral streets.
The beaches are lined by reefs; when the tide lowers, water pools are formed, good for children. During the high tides, the waves here and bigger than in Ponta Negra, making Praia dos Artistas a favourite place for surfers.
Hotels along the beach avenue are cheaper than in Ponta Negra. Quality and prices vary much, but you can certainly find comfortable places here. Check out the section hotels in Praia do Meio, Natal.
Praia do Meio and Ponta Negra are about 12 km apart; a taxi costs about US$10, and a bus US$0.50.
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visitors since April 5th 2005