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First stop on the list for visiting Natal is the Centro de Turismo de Natal. The building itself has handicraft stalls, a restaurant and a folkloric show at night. In fact, in its history it was an Orphanage and also a Prison. However, this is a good place to pick up information about sites all around town.
Forte dos Reis Magos was built in 1598; its construction symbolized the beginning of the city of Natal. It was built of wood, stones, sand and whale oil by Gaspar de Samperes, who modeled it like a typical maritime fortress, shaped with a five corners stars. On the 12th of December 1633, the Dutch captured this fortress and the surrounding city, and inhabited until January of 1654 when the Portuguese reclaimed the fort with assistance from the native Indians. Today it is an intriguing site to visit to understand the early history of Natal.
The lighthouse, called Farol da Mãe Luíza, which is nearby the Areia Preta beach, is still in use today, having been built 50 years ago. It provides a nice view of the shore.
In the city, the Catedral Nova Cidade on Avenida Marechal Deodoro is a interesting site. It is still under construction, though its construction began 30 years ago. Still, it is the largest catholic worshiping place in Natal.
Also, a good break for the day is to go visit the Aquarium Natal, which is the largest aquarium in Northeast of Brazil. The aquarium shows many of species of fish, as well as sharks, penguins and dolphins.
As an interesting and intriguingly random fact, Natal also is home to the largest cashew tree in the world, located on Rua do Cajueiro Pirangi. Registered in the Guinness book of World records, this tree covers 8,400 square meters which is bigger than a football field. The branches of this tree grows sideways and when a branch touches the ground, it doesn't create roots, but a new ramification starts to grow. It is an impressive sight.