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Being located on the Atlantic coast makes this "Land of the Sun" one of Brazil’s main tourist destinations with attractions for all tastes: from Jericoacoara, with its immense white dunes, to the Buggy and 4x4 rides in Canoa Quebrada, or buying embroidery, hammocks and typical plates
But the state is best known for its extensive coast, with 573 kilometers of sand blessed by sun all year round, though it also has great extensions of mountains and “sertões”, such as the great valleys producing tropical fruits in the chapadas of Araripe and Apodi.
History The territory of Ceará includes three of the “capitanias” originally granted by the Portuguese crown in 1534. First attempts to settle the territory failed and the earliest Portuguese settlement was made near the mouth of the Rio Camocim in 1604.
Ceará was first successfully colonized by the middle of the 16th century when what is today Brazil was fought over by the Dutch and the Portuguese. The area was invaded twice by the Dutch, in 1644 and in 1654 – and both times the settlers repelled them.
They did have time in the interim to found what is today Fortaleza. In 1661, the Netherlands formally ceded their Brazilian territories to the Portuguese crown, ending conflict in the region. Ceará became a dependency of Pernambuco in 1680, until 1799, when the capitania of Ceará was made independent.
The fight for Brazilian independence in 1822 was particularly fierce in Ceará, with the area being a rebel stronghold that incurred vicious retribution from loyalists. The capitania became a province in 1822 under Dom Pedro I. Ceará was one of the first provinces of Brazil to abolish slavery and on July 17, 2006, the state became the second one (after São Paulo) to ratify a bill recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
Culture To sample regional handicrafts, visit the Ceart cooperative for a display of wicker furniture, macramé hammocks, straw baskets, ceramics, hand-painted greeting cards, embroidery and needlepoint, lace, candles incorporating fruit or shells and the most popular souvenir --- bottles of all sizes filled with coloured sand designs depicting villages, the sea, waving palms – even one’s name.
Activities Ceará has several tourist attractions, but is famous for its ecotourism potential with hundreds of nearly deserted beaches and sand dunes. The hinterland, with its rainforests and waterfalls (such as Ibiapaba, Araripe, Meruoca and Guaramiranga) and some semi-arid regions, is ideal for tourists who like sports and adventure.
The city of Santana do Cariri, in the higher areas of Serra do Araripe, is also noted for its great paleontology discoveries – including a new specie of dinosaur, the Santanaraptor placidus.
The state provides visitors with various sport activities. The most popular, of course, is soccer, with numerous football clubs in the main cities. Strong winds make the Praia do Futuro an excellent place for nautical sports, and Fortaleza hosts world competitions of surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing.
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Romantic & boutique hotels by city in Ceará
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