The 10 most beautiful beaches of Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

The beaches in the centre of Fortaleza are best suited for boisterous nightlife and romantic walks. The beaches further out are paradise. They invite you to swim with fine sand, crystal clear water and coconut palms.

The best address for cocktails on a picture-book beach! The Brazilian city of Fortaleza is located directly on the Atlantic coast in north-eastern Brazil. Thanks to the tropical climate, bathing holidays are possible here all year round.


25 kilometres of sandy beaches make Fortaleza probably the only major city in the world famous for its beaches. Beach bars in front of an imposing skyline are here as well as surf spots and natural pools for swimming.

The beaches Iracema, Meireles and Mucuripe are located on the Avenida Beira-Mar directly in the centre of Fortaleza and are not typical bathing beaches. The sea here is heavily polluted by sewage, but you can still see many locals throwing themselves into the waves.

However, Fortaleza's city beaches are great for long walks on the beach or sunbathing. Brazilian delicacies and the ubiquitous caipirinhas can be sampled in the many beach stalls, the so-called barracas, and the surrounding restaurants.

Praia de Iracema

The statue of the character "Iracema" at Praia Iracema is from the Brazilian novel of the same name by José de Alencar, Brazil - © ostill / Shutterstock
© ostill / Shutterstock

Iracema beach is located south of the city centre and is named after the main character from the famous novel of the same name by José de Alencar. Iracema, the "mother of the Brazilian people", was also memorialised on this beach. Iracema is now one of the more upscale neighbourhoods of Fortaleza. At night, people party in the clubs and bars on Praia de Iracema.

Also at Praia de Iracema is the "Ponte dos Inglêses" ("Bridge of the English"), a former ship landing stage that today offers the ideal place to watch the sunset. With a bit of luck, a dolphin will stick its pert snout out of the water.

The history of Iracema

The writer José de Alencar is considered the main Brazilian representative of literary romanticism. His famous novel "Iracema" is set in Ceará at the beginning of the 17th century.

A lost Portuguese named Martim is rescued by the indigenous Tabajara tribe and falls in love with the beautiful Iracema, who is supposed to be a priestess.

The lovers flee and seek refuge with the Potiguaras, who are allied with the Portuguese. Since the Potiguaras are enemies of Iracema's tribe, they cannot stay there either and are forced to live in seclusion until Martim goes to war.

On his return, he finds the dying Iracema, who has just given birth to his son. He names him "Moacir", "Son of Pain", which symbolises the emergence of the Brazilian people - from a union of indigenous people with the Portuguese. At the end of the novel, Martim returns to civilisation with his son.

Praia Meireles

Meireles is considered Fortaleza's tourist stronghold and is the best address for beach walks. Most of Fortaleza's hotels are located here and numerous restaurants serve freshly caught fish and other typical local dishes.

Tourists and locals meet under the bright Brazilian sun, in the morning it is the joggers, during the day the beach holidaymakers and in the evening the visitors of the famous handicraft market who populate Praia Mereiles.


Praia Mucuripe

Jangadas, the traditional Brazilian fishing boats, are still seen on the beaches of Fortaleza in the northeast of Brazil - © Sonia Alves-Polidori / Shutterstock
© Sonia Alves-Polidori / Shutterstock

Mucuripe is the beach of the jangadas. These traditional wooden fishing boats are nowhere else to be found in such large numbers as in Fortaleza. They are still used by the fishermen for fishing. The arrival of the fishermen with their freshly caught fish is always a spectacle.

Mucuripe also attracts with bright, soft sand, coconut trees swaying in the wind and sports fields. Many of the fishermen offer tourists excursions on the traditional jangadas. The white-yellow, octagonal lighthouse of Mucuripe ("Farol do Mucuripe") also points the way to the safe harbour at night.


The jangadas are sailing rafts that evolved from the "Changgahs", the rafts of the Brazilian natives. These traditional fishing boats look like oversized windsurfing boards. They consist only of moored tree trunks and a mast with a sail and are about 6m long.

Just like a hundred years ago, the fishermen still go out to sea for kilometres, where they stay for up to several days. The stars serve as orientation and when the sea is rough, the fishermen tie themselves to their wooden boat to avoid being washed overboard.

The catch is stowed on wooden boxes on board. When they are full enough, they return to the shore, where the jangadas are literally washed up on the beach and then quickly pulled ashore on tree trunks supported by many sturdy helpers. The arrival of the fishermen with their freshly caught fish is always a spectacle.

However, the fishermen can no longer compete with modern fishing methods and catamarans and are in danger of dying out. Many of them are increasingly switching to the more lucrative business of tourist trips.

Praia do Futuro

Praia do Futuro is located about 7km from the city centre and has become famous for its barracas. In the past, the slums of Fortaleza were located here and after sunset it was not advisable as a tourist to stay in this area.

But the shanties have been removed, the police are keeping an eye on things, new hotels and restaurants are populating the beach, and the area is now living up to its name "beach of the future".

Today, the 8km long beach offers much cleaner sea water than the beaches in the centre and wonderfully fine sand. Here you can see swimmers and surfers in large numbers, and the famous barracas are a hive of activity every evening with live music.

Especially on Thursdays, there are fantastic shows. To enjoy the many cocktails, we recommend a delicious dinner of fish, lobster and crab at a ridiculous price.

Praia do Sabiaguaba

Praia do Sabiaguaba is directly adjacent to Praia do Futuro, but is much quieter and cleaner. Nevertheless, you hardly see any tourists here, because the waves are still almost too high for swimming. There are no restaurants, only a few small kiosks selling snacks.

Already at dawn you can see the fishermen setting sail here. The best thing to do is to find a quiet spot in the shade of the coconut trees and enjoy the peaceful scenario of sky, sand and sea.


Praia dos Dois Coqueiros

The further you get from the city centre of Fortaleza, the more paradisiacal the beaches become. The picturesque Praia dos Dois Coqueiros is about 13 kilometres west of the city centre and lies on the left bank of the Ceará River, which flows into the Atlantic here. On the river bank, small snack bars provide the necessary sustenance for a day at the beach.

There is little traffic in the bay because large stones in the water pose a danger to boats and ships. There is hardly any peace and quiet, however, because the roar of the surf is omnipresent. The high waves make Praia dos Dois Coqueiros a hotspot for surfers.

Praia Icarí

The neighbouring Praia Icarí, about 20km from the centre, is also extremely popular with surfers. Rough waves lick the golden sand, shimmering in various shades of green. Restaurants and pousadas offer sufficient tourist infrastructure.

A long walk on the beach followed by a taste of the daily fresh fish catch makes the beach day perfect. Those who don't want to walk can also explore the gentle dunes of Praia Icarí by buggy or on horseback.

Praia do Cumbuco

Praia do Cumbuco is often called the most beautiful beach in Fortaleza. You have to travel about 33 kilometres (about 45 minutes by car) to reach it from the city centre.

The white sand dunes, against which a small fishing village nestles, are often deserted. Thatched parasols and coconut palms complete the picture of a classic beach paradise. Only at weekends do the locals meet here for kite surfing, sandboarding, buggy riding or sunbathing.

Praia do Lagoinha

You have to drive a little further to Praia do Lagoinha, a good 100 kilometres to Fortaleza. But the drive is worth it, because Praia do Lagoinha is considered the most beautiful beach in Ceará!


The picture-perfect coastal strip lies in a crescent-shaped bay that was often used as a pirate hideout in the past. Its distance from the city gives it heavenly tranquillity in a dreamlike atmosphere, especially during the week. The freshwater lagoon behind the beach is also suitable for swimming.

Those who have had enough of sunbathing can explore the Brazilian coast by buggy, on horseback or by jangada - tours are offered in the adjacent fishing village.

Praia de Flecheiras

A little further away, almost 2 hours by car, is Praia de Flecheiras. Here, too, the cosy fishing village is not far away and the quiet sandy beach is perfect for swimming and relaxing. Far out, where a strong breeze blows, the colourful sails of surfers dance.

Children will be thrilled, because at low tide the beach turns into a veritable adventure playground. Building sandcastles on the beach is followed by splashing around and looking for crabs in the crystal-clear tide pools.