Welcome to Fortaleza, the coastal jewel of the state of Ceará, a popular domestic adventure locale that is gaining a foothold with the international community. Although many places and activities will include much of the adventure in getting there, we feel that that is much of the appeal of the trip planning process. Does off-roading along a seemingly endless stretch of sand, kitesurfing in pristine conditions, or climbing a sparkling rock formation as it burns vermillion at sunset intrigue you? With Fortaleza as your home base, such moments could be yours.
Within the urban limits of the city, there are a handful of quality beaches, including Iracema and Meireles, where swimming is acceptable. With weather conditions comparable to Southern California, you'll enjoy the opportunity to hop in the water, either here or at Praia do Futuro, where the water quality is somewhat better. Also, you'll find that Fortaleza is not big on urban parks due to issues of urban development, but there is a park on the Coco River which fits the bill. If you seek true adventure opportunities, then head out of the city.
There are a number of excellent parks within half a day's ride of this metropolitan area, all of which have their fair share of unique rock formations, varied hikes, caving treks, and more. Sete Cidades, Serra das Confusoes, and Ubajara are all excellent, but the best for these activities is the isolated Chapada Diamantina National Park, a full day's drive from Fortaleza.
Then again, we may be silly in thinking you'd want to stray from the ocean when there are so many destinations to be had along the coast. Nearby towns of Cumbuco and Flecheiras are huge local attractions for their top-level kitesurfing, while the red cliffs of Canoa Quebrada, the Bohemian mystique of Jericoacoara, and the distant sand dunes and green lagoons of Lencois Maranhenses are must-see itinerary possibilities. The biggest problem, since travel between these attractions will be no quick feat, is choosing what to do with your limited time!
Although not at the top of most travelers' lists when it comes to adventure destinations, Fortaleza is the type of city that comes through with a little ingenuity and enough time to travel between the worthwhile activities that this region has on tap. The principles of novelty and spontaneity are often a traveler's best friend, so if you're at a loss for where to take your next great trip, then try something a little new and wild; try Fortaleza.