Natal, the capital of Rio Grande do Norte, is a clean, bright and rather bland city that has swelled as the entry point for coastal package tourism. Surrounded by impressively large sand dunes, Natal's main attractions are some great beaches, historical sites, and natural areas with large dunes where buggy rides can be made. Besides that, it is worth mentioning the night life of Natal which is very lively.
These days, most visitors stay in the southern beach neighbourhood of Ponta Negra, 12km from the center. It is a striking location, overlooked by fantastic dunes, and with steady surf and some great nightlife in the Alto de Ponta Negra area. Natal's Carnatal (out-of-season Carnival), at the beginning of December, draws huge crowds from all over Brazil, and is a much bigger deal here than Carnival itself.