Updated on Oct.1, 2012
To many travelers in Fortaleza, there is no arguing that the best beach around is Praia do Futuro. Located about 11 kilometers from the city center, this wide, flat, five-mile-long stretch of coastline is nearly all taken over by barracas de praia - casual beach lounges made up of kiosks with bars, restaurants, lounge chairs, showers, parking lots and attractions ranging from water parks to beauty salons.
At night, the beach is one of the places to be, thanks to events such as the Thursday caranguejada (a whole crab dish) - a local tradition - or shows and parties with lots of live music, especially forró, a signature rhythm of Northeastern Brazil.
The beach as a whole usually does well in the quality monitoring carried by Semace, the Ceará State Environment Superintendence. Praia do Futuro is good for swimming and surfing (see report on Surfline. Like many other beaches in Ceara, it's also a great point for kite surfing.
Barracas de Praia:
Pronounced ba-HA-kas, the kiosks at Praia do Futuro are the best-known in Brazil. Everyone meets and lingers here: families, singles, the young crowd, the LGBT crowd.
Here are some of the best and most famous barracas on the beach:
- Barraca América do Sol
Attractions: Bar, restaurant, Thursday caranguejada, feijoada with live music on Saturday afternoon, live music on Sunday afternoon, Wi-Fi internet, Marear Water Park for the kids.
Avenida Zezé Diogo 4265
Capacity: 1,500 people
- Vila Galé
Attractions: The barraca belonging to Vila Galé Fortaleza Hotel is big with international travelers. A nice bar, massages, feijoada with live music on Saturdays, luaus and surfing lessons (seasonally, check first) are available.
Avenida Zezé Diogo 4189
Capacity: 500 people
Attractions: Bar, restaurant, pool, shops, beauty salon, cyber cafe, shows on Tuesday and Thursday night, massage tent.
Avenida Zezé Diogo 3125
Capacity: 3,000 people
Attractions: Great for families with kids; bar, restaurant, a water park, over 400 coconut trees, lawns, Thursday caranguejada.
Avenida Zezé Diogo 6801
Capacity: 500 people
- Viva Verão
Attractions: Bar, restaurant, Thursday caranguejada with live music, playground.
Avenida Zezé Diogo 3345
Capacity: 1,000 people
Attractions: A favorite among the LGBT crowd; good appetizers, such as pastel (turnover) and drinks, live music on weekends.
Avenida Zezé Diogo 3911
Capacity: 500 people
Other Barracas de Praia:
- Sorriso do Sol
The casual barraca belonging to Hotel Sorriso do Sol has seafood dishes and drinks.
Hotel Sorriso do Sol
Avenida Zezé Diogo 1670
Praia do Futuro
See a list of barracas de praia on Praia do Futuro from the local Tourism Secretariat.
Where to Stay on Praia do Futuro:
Praia do Futuro does not have as many hotels as other Fortaleza beaches, such as Mucuripe, Iracema or Meireles. However, there are accommodations ranging from top-of-the-line to budget - some of them on Avenida Zezé Diogo (aka Avenida Dioguinho), the avenue that runs along the Futuro seaside.
- Vila Galé Fortaleza
The best hotel on Praia do Futuro and one of the top two hotels in Fortaleza, beachfront Vila Galé has 300 guest rooms (including wheelchair-accessible ones) and a super infrastructure which includes plenty of services and things to do for families with kids (pools, sports, game rooms, monitored activities); clubs; and restaurants and bars as well as a barraca.
- Boreas Apart Hotel
Just two blocks from the beach, Boreas has 60 apartments, a restaurant, a poolside bar, a game room and a sauna.
- Marbello Ariaú
Three-star Marbello Ariaú has 104 rooms with tile flooring and simple decorations, a restaurant, a large garden and two pools. It's just steps from the beachfront avenue.
- Golden Beach Fortaleza
A good value for the cost, the Golden Beach has 58 guest rooms with ocean views. Amenities include a pool, a sauna, a hot tub and a restaurant serving regional food.
- Barrudada Palace Hotel
Formerly called Dunas Mar Hotel, beachfront Barrudada (pronounced ba-hoo-DA-da) has single, double and triple apartments. Amenities include a pool area and a restaurant.
- Hotel Porto Futuro
Beachfront Porto Futuro has guest rooms for up to four people. One child 12 and younger can stay for free in the same guest room as the parents. The hotel has a guitar-shaped pool for grown-ups and a kids' pool, a game room and a restaurant serving breakfast (included in the rate), lunch and dinner.