Located on the northern coast of Natal, Maracajaú is known as the Caribbean of Brazil. The small fishing village is surrounded by natural scenery that stretches along the village’s coastline. Maracajaú is famous for its crystal water and coral reefs that span out over 10km in the ocean. The colourful coral combined with the clear water form a breath-taking natural aquarium, making it a popular tourist destination for aquatic activities including snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing. Visitors to the area can take in the sights of Maracajaú’s sand dunes, lagoons and beautiful palm trees that grow along the beach. The area is an excellent option for those who want to relax, get to know nature and experience a comfortable, safe and ambient place.
- Ma-Noa Park – The most popular attraction in the area is Ma-Noa Park. The park is located on the edge of Maracajaú Beach and offers water slides, waterfalls, a jacuzzi, a pool bar, a beach volleyball court, river rides and playground. Ma-Noa Park is a fun and energetic attraction for both kids and adults to spend the day.
- Scuba Diving – Discover an underwater world with the unique and wonderful experience of diving among the coral. During low tide, large natural pools of warm water form along the coast. The pools can be as much as 3 metres deep, making it an excellent place for beginners to practice scuba diving. In the pools you can see tropical fish and beautiful aquatic vegetation.
- Snorkelling – Considered one of the top 10 sites in Brazil for snorkelling, Maracajaú is an ideal place to experience the underwater beauty of the region. In the areas coral reef, found 7km from the beach, you can see colourful shoals of fish while exploring the warm and crystal clear waters of Maracajaú.
- Quad Ride – Get an adrenaline rush while discovering the amazing eco-system that is Maracajaú Beach. Rent out a quad to ride across the beautiful sand dunes, catching the best views of the ocean along the way.
- Boat Trip – Take a boat trip to visit Punaú to see the beauty of the river flowing into the ocean. You can also admire the hundreds of rich and colourful species of oceanic flora and fauna. Punaú is a tranquil place to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature at its finest.
- Maracajaú Lighthouse – Take a history trip to the scenic Maracajaú Lighthouse which was built in the late 1930s and named in remembrance of an Italian ship name “Tereza Panci” that sank in the region.
- Car – You can reach Maracajaú from Natal by car by taking the BR 101 highway towards Touros. The route is straightforward and the roads are well signposted.
- Buggy – The most adventurous and exciting way to reach Maracajaú is by dune buggy. The driver will pick you up at your hotel or pre-arranged location. The journey will take you along Brazil’s north coast allowing you to take in Rio Grande do Norte’s beautiful landscape.
- Bus – There are two buses that operate daily from Natal’s central bus station to Maracajaú. Many private bus companies provide transport from hotels in the region.
Maracajaú’s restaurants are of a high standard and specialise in regional cuisine and locally produced seafood. Here are some of the top restaurants in the area you should definitely try:
- The Dunnas – Located on the grounds of Ma-Noa Park, The Dunnas Restaurant, offers a range of delicious dishes including grilled meats and seafood. They serve a la carte dishes from Tuesday to Friday and a buffet on weekends and public holidays.
- Tereza Pança Restaurante – Enjoy an alfresco meal on the beach with a stunning view of Maracajaú’s popular lighthouse at Teresa Pança Restaurante. The restaurant is one of the most popular in the area and serves a wide range of food and drinks, giving you lots of options to choose from.
- Parrachos Praia Clube – This seaside restaurant specializes in seafood and is considered one of the most renowned restaurants in the region. Also on site is a pool with a bar, a souvenir shop and a massage spa.
The origin of the village’s name ‘Maracajaú’ comes from the Tupi word ‘maracaiáu’ meaning ‘the river’.