By Ricardo Freire
You can search, but nowhere in the world will you will find another city this size with sand dunes that are part of the urban landscape. In Natal, the dunes stand in for mountains, only in sand.
The Via Costeira (Coastal Way), where the city’s resorts are located, skirts a dune park. Morro do Careca (Bald Man’s Hill), one of the most beautiful landmarks at Ponta Negra (Black Point) beach is just the northern side of another great dune that extends all the way to the air force base at Barreira do Inferno (Hell’s Wall). To the north, the Genipabu dunes begin the moment your car descends off the beautiful new bridge over the Potengi River.
At the top of the dunes, your driver will ask you a traditional question, one that has been incorporated into extreme trips throughout Brazil: “Com ou sem emoção?” (With or without a thrill?). Don’t be afraid. In Natal, the dunes are sources of beauty and fun.