Nicknamed the Caribbean of Brazil, the reef offers some of the country’s best snorkeling conditions, especially at low tide, as well as opportunities for scuba diving. Most travelers visit Maracajaú by boat tours taking them from the beach to floating platforms—jumping off points to the reef, but also handy rest stops for coming up for a breather. Most tours include access to snorkels, fins, and masks.
Things to know before you go
- Maracajaú Reef is a must-visit for snorkelers, scuba divers, and other outdoors enthusiasts.
- Day trips to Maracajaú from Natal can last upwards of eight hours and often include hotel pickup and drop-off.
- Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit, beach towel, sun protection, and a change of clothes.
- The diving platform at the reef is equipped with free Wi-Fi, USB sockets, and a snack bar.
How to get there
Maracajaú is located about an hour's drive north of Natal near the city of Maxaranguape, a 15-minute boat ride from Maracajaú Beach. The easiest way to get there is by joining a guided snorkeling tour with hotel pickup.
When to get there
The reef is best visited during the dry season (August to November) when water visibility is at its best for snorkeling and diving. March tends to be the wettest month.
Maracajaú for sports lovers
While Maracajaú is best known for snorkeling and scuba diving, this town also offers wind conditions ideal for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Active travelers can also kayak or stand-up paddleboard in the warm waters, or try some sandboarding on the Morro da Prazinha dune.
- Manoa Park
- Praia de maracajau
- Praia de Jacumã
- Catedral Metropolitana de Natal
- Forte dos Magos (Forte dos Reis Magos)
- Lagoa Pitangui (Lagoa de Pitangui)
- Parque das Dunas
- Via Costeira (Avenida Senador Dinarte Mariz)
- Morro do Careca
- Praia de Ponta Negra
- Cajueiro de Pirangi
- Praia de Pirangi
- Praia de cacimbinhas
- Praia da Pipa