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The distances between the cities in Northeast Brazil make flying the best way to get around. Even then, the times involved are not small. Flying to Fortaleza from Salvador, for example, takes 2½ hours. That's nothing compared to the 24 hours you'd spend on a bus. Once you've reached your destination, there's often no reason to rent a car. In Natal or Fortaleza you can easily get around by taxi or bus.