Fortaleza is situated in the northeast of Brazil, with the Atlantic Ocean forming its northern and western boundaries. It is the state capitol of Ceará, and often nicknamed "Fortal". The climate is tropical, with rain and increased humidity from January to June, and virtually no rain from July to December. The city is popular with tourists, catering mainly for the Brazilian market, but increasingly tourists from further afield are drawn to the beaches and night life of Fortaleza. The locals are friendly towards Gringos: the term for all non-Brazilians, expats included. Renting an apartment in Fortaleza is inexpensive, as is eating out, and the food is excellent. The expatriate community living in Foraleza is, however, very small, and so you should consider registering with InterNations, the global community of expatriates who offer their friendship to others living in foreign countries. Using the online forums, members may network to find business and social contacts, and whilst you might not necessarily be able to find fellow expats living in Fortaleza, you can always locate those living in Brazil itself.
Get trustworthy advice and local insights from fellow members in our Brazil expat forums.
Fortaleza has its own airport, catering for the Brazilian tourist trade, but the number of flights to and from Portugal and other parts of Europe is increasing. Trains connect only three other towns, but buses run to all major cities in Brazil and local services are cheap. Clothing in the tropical heat is casual, with shirts and long trousers or skirts sufficing for business wear; beachwear is up to you! Unless you are fluent in Portuguese, you will, however, struggle. English is hardly spoken, and Spanish is not widely understood. Cultural differences are often hard to adapt to in any country, and whilst the beach lifestyle is enjoyable, Brazil is a country with its own customs and religious observances, and offence may inadvertently be caused. If problems do arise, the InterNations community may have the answer via the online forums and discussion groups. You may well find expats with experience of life in Brazil willing to share experiences and tips to help you. For more general information, the online Expat Magazine contains useful articles on a wide range of topics of relevance to expats relocating to a foreign country.
The economy of Fortaleza is primarily based on tourism and commerce. There are several commercial districts in the city. The manufacturing industries include textiles, footwear and processed foodstuffs. A number of universities are also based in or near Fortaleza. The main city square, Praco de Ferriera, is a social hub, with stores, restaurants and theaters. Beautiful beaches abound, and include Porto plas Dunas, Morro Branco and Cumbuco. Watersports are popular, including scuba diving and surfing. The universal language in Brazil is soccer! Meeting with members of the expat community working in Fortaleza is possible, and the best way to find new friends for mutual enjoyment is through the InterNations portal. The Centro Dragão do Mar de Arte e Cultura complex in Fortaleza contains a planetarium, museums, theaters and cinemas, and would be an ideal first meeting place.