Latin America & Caribbean

World Cup Brazil city guide: Natal

BBC Brazil's Camilla Costa offers an insider's view of the 12 cities hosting matches in this year's Fifa World Cup tournament.

Natal

Overview

Image copyright Google
Image copyright Ricardo Junqueira
Image caption Natal was founded at the end of the 16th century

The north-eastern city of Natal is famous for its sand cliffs and dunes, but has won a number of other titles.

In World War Two, it was recognised by the US as one of the four most strategically important points in the world, and the US military went on build an air base in a Natal suburb.

It was in the city that Brazilian president Getulio Vargas signed an agreement with US President Franklin D Roosevelt to join the war.

And according to Nasa, you'll also breathe the purest air in the Americas there.

Venue

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stadium das Dunas. Capacity: 42,086

One of Brazil's new green stadiums, Stadium das Dunas gets its energy from solar panels and recycled rain water.

Its undulating structure, which mimics Natal's sand dunes, is meant to protect supporters from the heat.

Even though the city lacks a public transport infrastructure that meets all its needs, the stadium's central location makes it easy to get to.

Culture and cuisine

Image copyright Canindé Soares
Image caption Customise your caiprinha with the spirit of your choice

The Caipirinha, made with cachaca (sugar-cane brandy), sugar and lime, is Brazil's national cocktail.

There are a number of variations, such as caipiroska, made with vodka instead of cachaca. It's also possible to vary the "roska" part of the drink, based on your fruit of choice. In Natal, there's also the local "cajaroska" - a taste only found in the north east.

The area is also famous for its lace and embroidery, including curtains, towels and clothes.

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