One of the most well-known attractions in Natal is the Parque Estadual das Dunas de Natal Jornalista Luiz Maria Alves. Referred to simply as Dunas Park Natal (Natal Park of Dunes), this park is a Brazilian nature reserve which consists of 1,172 hectares of lush Atlantic rain forest and towering sand dunes right in the middle of Natal city in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. It is considered as the second largest city park in Brazil, next only to Tijuca Forest.
In most developed cities of the world today, it is often difficult to find an appropriate and healthy environment in the parks for leisure and sports. This is important so urban residents may develop a good quality of life. Dunas Park Natal is one of Natal’s trademarks that draw in a lot of tourists both locally and from different countries. It is a preferred alternative for people who want to take time off from the beaches and be treated to a different environment of fun and exercise. And you have to believe the thousands of visitors who have been there that this interesting tour attraction definitely won’t disappoint.
A visit to Dunas Park Natal offers a rare opportunity to discover a bit about the region’s natural environment. It is recommended that you go with a guide to learn more about the place. By walking along its beautiful landscape and trails, you will get to know the numerous varieties of plants and wildlife of Natal in their natural setting while you burn unwanted calories. Its majestic dunes provide a protective covering for one-fourth of the city’s water supply. The thick plants and other vegetation prevent the sand dunes from moving with the wind and gradually creeping into inhabited areas. The plants also help reduce the heat in the city.
Health and Recreation Facilities in Parque das Dunas Natal
Dunas Park Natal has plenty of facilities for recreation, exercise and learning for both adults and children and puts emphasis on safety and convenience. The park has about 6,500 registrants who participate in daily physical activities like walking and aerobics. Those who wish to participate in these healthful activities can register at the administration center at a cost of R$10. Registration then exempts the user from paying the R$1 maintenance fee to the park. Exercise sessions are held from Tuesday to Friday at 6:30 AM and 4:30 PM, followed by advanced workouts.
Parque das Dunas Natal is a must see destination if you’re a nature lover. The magnificent dune sizes and formation give you this strange feeling that you are no longer in Brazil, South America anymore, but in a desert somewhere in Africa. This makes for an excellent photo opportunity. You can dress up as an Arab sheikh or as Lawrence of Arabia and impress your friends back home.
Skibunda and Aerobunda Adventures in Parque das Dunas Natal
The sand dunes are considered as one of the trademarks of Natal. Because of this, a lot of efforts have been made to make a visit in the sand dunes a most unforgettable one. Recreational facilities like the aerobunda and skibunda were designed specifically to make use of the sand dunes to entertain visitors.
In skibunda, you can rent a sled-like board and climb a steep sand slope. From up there, you slide down the slope on your board. The thrilling slide sometimes end with a plunge into the waters of the lagoon. This ride is also known as sandboarding.
To get your adrenalin pumping much faster, you can go and try aerobunda. This aerial adventure involves you climbing up a very high base slope where you will be rigged to a zipline whose other end is far down below near the water. You will then push hold on to the line and push off, zipping down the steel cable at high speed. Before you reach the end, you must let go so you can plunge into the waters right below you. This ride is not for the faint-hearted who has a fear of high places and fast speeds.
The Thrilling Buggy Rides in Parque das Dunas Natal
Your adventure in Parque das Dunas Natal hasn’t really started yet until you have tried what is probably the best attraction of the park, the dune buggy ride. This ride with buggy driver included will give you a scenic tour of the entire park plus a little adventure on the side if you so prefer. The tour without the adventure option allows you to see the beautiful sights of the park at a slower and relaxed pace. This will give you more time to engage in some conversation as you take in the wonderful environment.
The buggy tour with adventure included tells the buggy driver that he must drive at breakneck speed to satisfy your thirst for excitement. Therefore, be prepared for some daredevil driving that include siding up and down the dunes like a roller coaster, driving down into an almost vertical dune, sidden twists and turns, and other stunts that will leave you breathless.
When you go on a day trip to Parque das Dunas Natal, be sure to bring sun lotion as the sun is strong here most times of the year. Bring a camera as well because you will surely bring home great photos!