Parnamirim is a city in Rio Grande do Norte, located in the metropolitan area of Natal. It is frequently considered to be part of Natal by visitors, due to the conurbation between the two cities. Among its attractions are the Barreira do Inferno launch center, the Pirangi and Cotovelo beaches, and the largest cashew tree of the World.
In 1927, the Portuguese land owner Manuel Machado donated part of his lands to Compagnie Générale d´Entreprise Aéronautique, a French aviation company that installed an airport there to be used by aviation pioneers. Parnamirim grew with the airport, which was used as a base for the Americans during World War II and is now a base for the Brazilian Air Force and an international airport.
Beginning in the 90s, Parnamirim started to grow faster due to the urban expansion of Natal in toward the south, eventually leading to conurbation. The east parts of the two cities, however, remain separated by the airport and the Barreira do Inferno launch center.
Buses between Natal and Pirangi beach are operated by Viação Campos . Buses depart from either downtown or the intercity bus terminal of Natal (Rodoviária) and can be caught at Ponta Negra. A one-way ticket costs R$ 2.80. Check the company website for itineraries and other information.
By car or by bicycle
Cotovelo Beach is only 10 km from Ponta Negra, in Natal, and can be reached by taking RN-063 (Rota do Sol). A bit further is Pirangi Beach. Due to the short distance, cycling (along RN-063) is also a popular way to reach these beaches.
To go to downtown Parnamirim, take BR-101.
Parnamirim has a train station located downtown, close to the airport. However, it is not very useful to tourists, as downtown Parnamirim is quite far from the major attractions.
Augusto Severo International Airport, commonly referred as the "airport of Natal", is actually in Parnamirim.
Most visitors to Parnamirim stay at Natal, but there is a small range of accommodation at Cotovelo and Pirangi do Norte, mostly pousadas.