Before there was a town there was an impressive star-shaped fort, begun by Portuguese colonizers on the Feast of the Epiphany, and named Forte dos Reis Magos (Fort of the Three Wise Men). This prophetic event was followed by the founding of the town itself on December 25, 1599, hence the name Natal (Christmas). Natal today remains a popular place for holidays, when visitors celebrate the towering sand dunes and crystal blue waters that surround it. A dune buggy ride is just the thing for an adrenaline rush, and Dunas Ecological Park, rich in flora and fauna, is crisscrossed by trails just waiting to be explored.
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