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Ceará: between wild beaches and dunes

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Ceará is a state of Brazil famous for its long sandy beaches which stretch for almost 600 km along the Atlantic ocean. This is one of the northeastern states of Brazil (Região Nordeste), located west of the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Norte and Paraíba, north of Pernambuco and east of Piauí.

The capital of Ceará is the city of Fortaleza. This city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brazil. Other cities of some importance are Caucaia, Juazeiro do Norte and Maracanaú.


The geography of Ceará is characterized by vast coastal plains, the Sertaneja depression (Depressão Sertaneja) and an internal area of highlands. These highlands have heights between 600 and 700 meters and are part of the vast Brazilian plateau, the so-called Planalto Brasileiro.

The highest areas are formed by tabular reliefs. To the west is the Serra da Ibiapaba, to the south the Chapada do Araripe and to the east the Chapada do Apodi. In the center of the region is the Serra da Mata, where is the highest mountain in Ceará, the Pico da Serra Branca (1,154 meters).

The most important river is the Rio Jaguaribe. The predominant vegetation of the state is caatinga. This is the vegetation that characterizes the Brazilian north-east, typical of arid climates.

Ceará saw numerous attempts at European colonization since 1590, when the French, present in Maranhão, attempted to control the area. Later it was the turn of the Portuguese, supplanted for some years by the Dutch. But with the fall of Dutch Brazil in 1654, the area became a permanent part of Portuguese Brazil.

The economy of Ceará is mainly based on tourism and industry. While agriculture, which in the past was the centerpiece of the economy of the state, has been supplanted in recent years by the growing development of other economic sectors.

The climate of Ceará.

  • Area: 148,825 km²
  • Population: 8,448,055 (2010) (mulattos 63.39%, whites 33.05%, blacks 3.03%)
  • Capital: Fortaleza.
  • Time zone: UTC-3.



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