You'll find Meireles Beach in Fortaleza (Portuguese for fort), the capital
city of the state of Ceara. Ceara is one of Brazil's smallest states, but it
boasts one of the longest coastlines and some of the best Brazil
beaches in the country. Fortaleza itself is a vibrant city boasting some
great urban beaches similar to their more famous cousins in Rio
de Janeiro, though on a slightly smaller scale.
It is Meireles Beach that is most reminiscent of the Rio de Janeiro beaches, with the same sort of busy, vibrant activity from beach volleyball and surfing to laid-back beach bars and bronzed sunbathers. This is the widest of the beaches in Fortaleza and is dotted with rustic barracas (palm-thatched bars set right on the sand) and throngs of bathing suit-clad beachgoers. On the other side is a picturesque curving bay lined with high-rise apartments and tourist hotels overlooking the scene below and the crystal blue water of the Atlantic Ocean. One of the things to do in Fortaleza is to be seen on Meireles Beach even if you're just going for a stroll.
Meireles Beach in Fortaleza is located right where the outdoor crafts market
(Feirinha de Artesanato) occurs in front of the big hotels lining the main beach
avenue. Of all the beaches in Fortaleza you'll find that Meireles Beach probably
has the best choices for dining venues, Brazil
hotels, and other places to stay and shopping opportunities. It's also easy
to get from here to the neighboring beaches. The nightlife is hopping after
sundown, and you can hear the strains of traditional forro music emanating from
restaurants and bars all the way down the beach.
Other things to do that can be booked at Meireles include schooner cruises
out into the bay or a Brazil day trip deep sea fishing excursion. This is the
most popular vacation spot for Brazilians, and is becoming more and more popular
with Europeans. A trip here can be booked as part of Rio or Sao
Paulo vacation packages or as a package on its own. If you're planning on
staying in the city, you'll probably end up at a hotel on Meireles Beach in
Fortaleza and use that as your base of exploration, since this is where the
majority of the restaurants, bars and hotels are concentrated.
In addition to Meireles Beach there are three other beaches close by along the city's coastline. They include Mucuripe Beach, the fisherman's beach dotted with traditional jangadas (boats). If you want to go fishing the way the locals do instead of the high-tech deep sea fishing that's available, it is possible to book a Brazil cruise trip on one of these little fishing boats. There is also Iracema Beach, named for the native Indian associated with the founding of Fortelaza and closest to the old town area. Finally, there is Praia do Futuru, which is popular with surfers and swimmers. However, it is Meireles Beach that is the most popular overall and which has the most activities, including a surf school, forro music venues and shopping at the handcraft market on Beira Mar (seaside) Avenue.
If you venture further afield than Meireles and the other beaches in Fortaleza
you will also find numerous fabulous beaches both north and south of the city,
including lovely Jericoacoara
Beach set in the great sand dunes north of the city. All of the beaches up and
down the coast are accessible via Fortaleza. Direct flights
to Brazil land in Fortelza from the U.S. and Europe, as well as from other
major Brazilian cities like Rio, Belem
and Sao Paulo. Car transportation
along the coast is fairly straightforward should you want to rent a vehicle
for a Brazil day trip outside
the city. Most people who venture out to the other Ceara beaches will spend
time in Fortaleza on Miereles Beach either at the beginning or end of their