Wednesday, August 11, 2010

transportation in Fortaleza

If you're traveling to Fortaleza, Brazil, by air, the city has its own international airport. Taxis, rental cars, and even a bus service operate daily out of the airport. It is a little less expensive to hire a cab at the airport than in the city. The buses are often crowded and, as stated in Inside Fortaleza: Safety, are not really as safe for the tourist as, say, a taxi or rental car.

Buses and bus stops are frequented by thieves on the lookout for prey, and such incidents are on the increase throughout all of Brazil. However, if the bus is your choice, flag one down at any city corner as it approaches, look on the windshield for displayed fares, pull out some reais, and hop on board. The bus terminal itself, can be confusing to the first-time user, as signs are not clear.
Taxis are somewhat expensive, and relatively safer, though travel at night, in any form, should be avoided. Mototaxis are motorcycle taxis, and are even cheaper than conventional taxis. However, the drivers have the tendency to speed. If you're up to it, look for drivers in orange waistcoats, and please listen to your mother and where a helmet.
An overlooked mode of transportation in Fortaleza is boat service, which will take you around (literally) the city, its beaches, and its ports. A number of hotels are situated on the beachfronts and have their own boat services and mini ports.
In-country flight service is available too, and obviously a lot quicker than a motor vehicle for getting to other parts of the country.


From the bus station (3256 2100; Av Oswaldo Studart) buses run to destinations including Belém (R$160, 28 hours, noon), Canoa Quebrada (R$18, three hours, five daily), Juazeiro do Norte (R$52 to R$79, 11 hours, 11 daily), Natal (R$65 to R$113, eight hours, seven daily), Parnaíba (R$58, nine hours, three daily), Recife (R$73 to R$93, 12 hours, four daily), Rio de Janeiro (R$294, 50 hours, 10am), Salvador (R$156, 22 hours, 7pm), Teresina (R$52 to R$82, 10 hours, seven daily), São Luís (R$118, 20 hours, three daily) and Ubajara (R$27 to R$31, six hours, eight daily). You can buy tickets in town at agencies including TSC (3086 2633; Rua Gonçalves Ledo 27, Iracema).

For Jericoacoara, Redenção (3256 1973) runs two or three buses daily from the Praiano Palace Hotel (Av Beira Mar 2800) on Meireles beach. The 9:30am and 5:30pm departures (R$35.50, seven hours) go every day and also pick up passengers at the airport (10am and 6pm) and bus station (10:30am and 6:30pm). The 3pm departure from the Praiano Palace (R$50, six hours, also daily but often canceled during Jericoacoara’s low season, mid-March to June), picks up at the Hotel Amuarama opposite the bus station, at 3:30pm. It’s a good idea to buy your ticket a day ahead: one outlet is Beach Point (3242 2946; Náutico, Meireles). The fare includes a 23km ride in an open-sided 4WD bus known as a jardineira for the final stretch from Jijoca to Jericoacoara along sandy tracks and the beach

To/from the bus station

To get bus 078 ‘Siqueira/Mucuripe’ (R$1.60) to Iracema and Meireles, walk left outside the bus station, turn right at the traffic signal along Av Borges de Melo, and the stop is about 200m along on the far (south) side of the street, in front of the Telemar building. The bus stops opposite the Centro Dragão do Mar, then heads east along Av Almirante Barroso (Iracema) and Av Abolição (Meireles). Going out to the bus station, you can pick it up westbound on Av Abolição or southbound on Av Dom Manuel south of Rua Tenente Benévolo.

From Centro to Iracema and Meireles take the Circular 2 bus (R$1.60) from Rua Castro e Silva or the Iguatemi–Centro bus (R$2.50) from Praça da Ferreira or the Igreja da Sé. The Circular 2 follows Av Almirante Barroso and Av Abolição. The Iguatemi–Centro goes along Av Monsenhor Tabosa and Av Abolição.
The Circular 1 bus (R$1.60) runs from Meireles (Av Abolição) to Iracema (Av Almirante Barroso), Centro Dragão do Mar and Centro (Av Alberto Nepomuceno and Rua João Moreira).
For Praia do Futuro you can take Top Bus 049 from the Mercado Central, Av Almirante Barroso or Av Abolição, or a Caça e Pesca bus from Av Beira Mar, Meireles


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