Beach Park – Because Size Matters
Travelling with children? Looking for some waterpark action? Head to Beach Park in Fortaleza, Brazil. Beach Park is not only the largest water park in South America, it is also home to ‘Insano’ the tallest and fastest water chute in the world. Insano translates into English as ‘Insane’ and insane it most certainly is, throwing those who dare to ride it a whopping 135 feet in a near-vertical drop from top to bottom at speeds of 65 miles per hour. This is not one for the faint hearted, and nor are some of the other offerings at this wild water park on the northeast coast of Brazil, though there is plenty of suitable fun for the little ones too.
Located just 10 miles outside the growing resort city of Fortaleza, the Beach Park complex sits, as its name suggests, behind a wide stretch of golden sandy beach known as Porto das Dunas. Thanks to a waterproof wrist band system, visitors can move freely between the beach area with its many bars, restaurants and watersports facilities and the main waterpark – though in reality there is so much to do here that you will want to pack as much as you can into your day. With prices at around £50 per head, getting value for money is, of course, another incentive but as waterparks go it has to be said that this one is well worth the money.
The park has been thoughtfully put together, with rides and play areas for every age and suitable for the most timid to the most daring. Take a ride in the ‘Correnteza Encantada’, (Enchanted Stream), a slow, undulating waterway in which to relax in your very own inflatable. Float through the park and enjoy the views before steeling yourself for a trip down the ‘Sarcófago’, a lone journey through a pitch-black Egyptian-inspired chute. All rides are classified as ‘Family’, ‘Moderate’ or ‘Radical’ to help you make your selections, and there are strict height criteria and safety measures in place. Do check the height criteria before visiting the park, especially if you have young children – presently 1.2 metres is the magic number for riding many of the moderate rides and there are many limitations for those who are below this height.
The huge selection of free-riding and inflatable-based chutes is complemented by wave pools, themed play areas and plenty of bars and eateries, so there is plenty to occupy those without a head for heights. A waterpark may not be your first stop for shopping but if the need for retail therapy takes over, there is plenty to spend your hard-earned Reais on here. Stock up on crocs, big-name beach wear and, of course, the obligatory Havaianas, of which there are hundreds of styles to choose from.
If one day in the park is not enough, consider staying in the attached hotel complex. A three-day stay comes with an access-all-areas pass and can make for a good option if you want to take excursions elsewhere earlier in the day before coming back to enjoy the park for the last couple of hours once the midday crowds have dispersed.
There are plenty of accommodation options elsewhere along the developing coastline between Fortaleza and Porto das Dunas, from self-catering and serviced apartments to luxury hotels and boutique pousadas. December marks the start of the high season so get booked now to guarantee some winter sun and water fun.