Rio Grande do Norte2010
By Amelia Meyer
Rio Grande do Norte is a Brazilian state with a total area of 52 796.79 square kilometres (or 20 385 square miles). It has a population of more than 3 million people. Rio Grande do Norte is situated in northeast Brazil and is recognised as the north-easternmost tip of the entire continent of South America. Its capital city is Natal. The entire state is acclaimed for its exquisite beaches that stretch on for hundreds of kilometres, as well as its clean air that is, according to NASA, second only to the Antarctic air in terms of its purity.
Although the area now known as Rio Grande do Norte was officially ‘discovered’ by the Spanish explorer, Alonso de Ojeda, in 1499, it was only in 1501 / 1502 that the European navigators visited the area formally. When these Portuguese arrived, they visited an area just north of Natal and called it Cape São Roque.