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The Northeast Travel Guide

  • Photo: Luiz C. Ribeiro/Shutterstock


Called the "City of Light," Fortaleza claims that the sun shines on it 2,800 hours a year. And it's a good thing, too, as the coastline stretches far beyond the city. To the east, along the Litoral Leste or the Costa Sol Nascente (Sunrise Coast) are many fishing villages. To the west, along the Litoral Oeste or the Costa Sol Poente (Sunset Coast), there are pristine stretches of sand. The

shores here are cooled by constant breezes and lapped by waters with an average temperature of 24°C (72°F).

The city originally sprang up around the Forte de Schoonemborch, a Dutch fortress built in 1649. After the Portuguese defeated the Dutch, the small settlement was called Fortaleza Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption). It didn't see significant growth until 1808, when its ports were opened to facilitate the export of cotton to the United Kingdom.

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