Fortaleza, capital of the state of Ceará, enchants tourists from around the world with its 34 km of beaches in the Northeast region of the country. The seaside town, with a geographical area of 314.930 km2, is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean at the north and is one of the main tourist destinations in Brazil. Visitors should be prepared for the heat in the city, which has a hot and humid tropical climate, with temperatures that average 27°C all year.
With an architecture predominantly Azorean, the city has a very diversified cultural and artistic production. The most representative craft of Fortaleza and the region are bottles filled with colored sand, which creates numerous designs such as landscapes. The tertiary sector, with commerce and tourism services, is the highlight of Fortaleza’s economy, followed by the industrial sector, driven by the implementation of the Industrial District of Fortaleza.
Founded as a municipality in 1726, Fortaleza was elevated to the status of city by Dom Pedro I only in mid-nineteenth century, in 1823. In the 50s and 60s, the city has gone through a big economic growth that surpassed 100%, which was the moment when that the occupation of districts more distant from the central region started. By the late 70s, the capital of Ceará emerged as an industrial hub in the Northeast.
The food of Fortaleza is quite varied due to the diverse colonization that the city went through in its formation process. Locally, we highlight the traditional dish Baião de Dois, usually served with lamb barbecue or corned beef, and also dishes made with the crab, a type of seafood very present in the state’s coast. In general, the seafood is the main ingredient of Fortaleza’s kitchen typical dishes, such as the stingray ‘moqueca’ and the mackerel and snapper ‘peixadas’. The popular culture says that the original purpose of these dishes was to recover the strength of the fishermen returning from the sea.
Every Thursday, Fortaleza has a “caranguejada”, an event in which restaurants, bars and food stands around the city’s coast serve dishes derived from this local crustacean (crab), eaten with the help of a small hammer. A common activity of the locals and the tourists is buying shrimp in the market and asking for the shrimp to be cooked with garlic and oil for people to eat it during the weekend’s dusk.
The gastronomic poles of Varjota, Iracema beach and Avenida Beira Mar are the regions with the greatest diversity of international cuisine’s restaurants, focusing on Arabic, French, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Swiss cuisines, as well as pizzerias, steak houses, contemporary and regional cuisines.
Fourth destination most visited in Brazil, Fortaleza offers attractions such as the theme park Beach Park (which is located at the Grande Fortaleza), the Avenida Beira Mar (and its bars, restaurants and music clubs), the Futuro and Iracema beaches and the Pirata Bar. The tourism’s vocation of the city has encouraged the growth of the hotel infrastructure and mainly of entertainment areas, especially beach huts, craft shops, water parks, clubs, nightclubs and concert halls.
Ceará’s Convention Center (Centro de Eventos do Ceará), where the 26th Anprotec Conference will be held, is the second largest in Brazil and Latin America, and has attracted to the city major national and international trade fairs, congresses, conferences, lectures, seminars, exhibitions, concerts and meetings. From this new explored tourism segment, Fortaleza hosted the Sixth BRICS summit.