Nearly all tourism development has focused on or around this beach in the past decade, with both negative and positive repercussions. It has a multitude of pousadas, restaurants, and shops, and even a few large resorts at the northern end. The beach itself, around 2½ km (1½ miles) long, can no longer be called pristine, but is still attractive and reasonably clean. If you seek a connection with nature, you would be best advised to head to one of the city's outer beaches during the day and venture to Ponta Negra for the nightlife, which ranges from buzzy to seedy. Ponta Negra's distinguishing feature is the Morro da Careca (Bald Man's Hill), a 120-meter (390-foot) dune at the southern end. You can catch a taxi or a bus (look for buses marked "ponta negra") at various stops along the Via Costeira south of Natal. Buses run fairly frequently. From Ponta Negra to downtown Natal, look for buses marked "centro" or "cidade alta." Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking (fee); toilets. Best for: partiers.
Via Costeira; 10 km (6 miles) south of Natal, Natal, 59090-420, Brazil