Background

Brazil

Brazil’s large area comprises different ecosystems, which together sustain some of the world’s greatest biodiversity.
Due to its intense economic and demographic growth, Brazil’s ability to protect its environmental habitats has increasingly come under threat.
The environment of Brazil is characterized by great biodiversity. The Amazon forest is the largest on the planet, conditioned by the humid equatorial climate. It accounts for 35% of forest areas on Earth. Around 60% of Brazil is covered by the Amazon forest, which contains around 55 000 species of plants.
The Atlantic Forest, located along Brazil’s coast, is one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. It once covered nearly 1,5 million km2.
Brazil is also home to the Amazon River Basin, the largest rainforest on Earth. Hot and humid both day and night, the Amazon River Basin is home to thousands of plant and animal species, as well as countless others that have yet to be discovered. Despite this diversity, the Amazon rainforest is also a major carbon sink, storing vast quantities of carbon dioxide.

Baia Formosa

Baia Formosa, which means Beautiful Bay, is a picturesque fishermen’s village on the southern coast of Rio Grande do Norte. It has around 9 000 inhabitants. The community was established around a fishing centre by the Atlantic Ocean and it still has the feel of a fishing village, with almost a thousand registered fishermen. Its population is young, with over a third of its inhabitants under 19. To stimulate local development through education, it has nine municipal and two state schools, including a high school and two private preschools. Baia Formosa is still a young municipality; it gained administrative independence in the late 1950s. The main economic activity is fishing (with a focus on albacore – tuna fish, lobster, shrimp and other fish), along with the sugar-alcohol industry, but the place has a vocation for tourism, especially the environmentally-focused kind. The municipality has the largest remnant of the Atlantic Forest of the State, which frames its entire coastline of idyllic beaches, wide mangrove areas, lagoons and rivers. To the north, the Curimataú river marks the border with Canguaretama/RN. To the south, the Guajú river marks the limit with Mataraca/PB.

Rio Grande do Norte - promotional movie

Eco Estrela - promotional movies

Natal City

The state’s capital and largest city is Natal, situated one hour north of Baia Formosa. Natal is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. In 2016 Natal ranked seventh among the country’s most popular tourist destinations (source: Brazilian Government).

Uniqueness of Eco Estrela Location

The project is located north of Baia Formosa, the most eastern town in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte, in the north-east of the country. This location gives the state a strategic importance, being the closest Brazilian state to Europe. 

The region is known for its attractive climate. It records over 300 days of sunshine every year and has one of the best air qualities in the world.

Originally, Fazenda Estrela was used as a coconut plantation and, as a result, 47 thousand coconut trees create the unique site landscape. The northern part of the property borders with the river Curimatau and is relatively flat, whereas the southern part is characterized by sand dunes offering attractive views of the natural settings on one side and the sea on the other. Due to the remote location and the nature surrounding the project site as well direct beach access, it benefits from unobstructed views.

The project site offers vast potential for various water sports activities such as kite surfing, surfing, sailing, etc. In addition, a diverse environment including the beach, the Private Natural Heritage Reserve Mata Estrela and the mangroves offer the possibility to organize buggy rides, horse riding, walking and kayak tours. Moreover, the clear water and relatively short distance to the edge of the continental shelf provide good conditions for scuba diving.

The “Eco Estrela” project offers a magnificent natural setting for a coastal resort. The project embraces the sites’ character and positive qualities to give residents and visitors a unique and varied experience. Restoration is key to the project as it enhancing the different landscapes that configure this beautiful property. Six Senses resort, along with non-branded luxury residences by the beach side, and a natural restoration site by the salt marshes create a dialogue between lifestyle and sense of place. The project is filled with activities that recognize the wind, the sun and the sand, the organic geometry of a coconut growth and the rolling topography that contains them, the value of preservation and the great gift of giving back to the community. The “Eco Estrela” project is to become a thriving and diverse community that will offer the best of experiences to all who want to explore.

Geographic Situation

With a humid tropical climate, Formosa Bay has high temperatures throughout the year, with predominance for humid season and constant precipitations.
The region, located near the Equator Line, has solar incidence on all facades along the year, with the sun slanting south in the summer and north in the winter, with predominant north-west wind.
Located in a coastal strip occupied by dunes partially protected by halophytic and psamophilic vegetation and arboreal / shrub in the upper portions, devoid of interdunate vegetation due to the activity of the winds.

Air Traffic and Accessibility

The nearest international airport to Eco Estrela Baia Formosa is Natal (99 km by highway). Opened in June 2014, it has high standards and capacity for up to 6,2 million passengers per year. Its proximity to Europe and Africa make it the shortest and most fuel-efficient destination for aeroplanes crossing the Atlantic. Rio Grande do Norte’s government has offered incentives to encourage airlines to choose Natal (it reduced the fuel tax to 12% for scheduled domestic flights, 9% for international flights and abolished it for charter flights in 2015). Natal airport is currently privately owned and operated by Inframerica, which also operates Brasilia International Airport and is one of the largest private airport operators worldwide. More and more airlines are flying to Brazil. For instance, in August 2018, Norwegian Air received the go-ahead to operate flights in and out of Brazil.

Road connections

The Eco Estrela project site is easily accessible by car. The site can be reached from both the Natal and João Pessoa airports via the modern and comfortable 101 Federal Highway. Natal is within a one-hour drive (in favourable traffic conditions; about 99 km). João Pessoa International Airport can be reached in 60–70 minutes (in favourable traffic conditions; about 106 km).

Natal Airport today

Located in São Gonçalo do Amarante, Natal Airport has been operating since May 31, 2014. It was the first airport in Brazil to be fully managed by the private sector – the Inframérica Consortium. This meant that it was the first to submit an infrastructure plan and was built from scratch at record speed. It even started operating seven months ahead of schedule.

Runway and boarding infrastructure:

  • 3 000m x 60m runway ready to receive the Airbus A380
  • linear terminal with two levels; 40 000 m² of built area in the first phase of implementation (2014)
  • arrivals: 6 baggage carrousels for domestic and international traffic
  • 45 check-in counters and over 10 self-service kiosks for passenger boarding
  • 6 boarding jet bridges capable of working with 8 aircraft simultaneously
  • 10 remote boarding positions across a 210 000 m² airport apron

The future expansion

Natal airport will undergo significant modernisation to increase passenger capacity.
The airport currently receives around 2,6 million passengers per year. This is expected to rise to 6,2 million in 2024 and 11 million in 2038, with investments of close to R$ 560 million.
In the second phase, its capacity will be increased to 11 million passengers per year – the expected demand in 2038. Total investment over the 28-year concession period will amount to R$ 650 million.

Planned infrastructure:

  • 40 jet bridges
  • airplane yard of up to 500 000 m²
  • runway (landing and take-off) 2 x 3 000 m x 60 m
  • 42 check-in points
  • up to 30 ATM check-in points
  • 40 million passengers
  • cargo terminal 500 000 m²

Airstrip near Eco Estrela

There is a landing strip owned by Farias Group, suitable for small jets (such as the Embraer Phenom 300) near the “Eco Estrela” project site. The runway is about 1 200 m long and 9 m wide (with an additional 6 m on either side and 13 m of safe area).
Use of the site is currently suspended as it undergoes modernisation. The airstrip will be prolonged to 1 400 m to make it suitable for larger jets, too. To make the airport more functional and use the space available, the strip will also be broadened.
Once the modernisation is completed, the airstrip will be adapted to the latest requirements of Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil).

  • Six Senses Formosa Bay
  • zone 1 color 24 Zone 2
    Residencial area
  • Natural Mangrove Reserve
    Eco Sports & Leisure Activities
    Organic Farm
  • Eco Tech Hub (46 ha)
  • Eco Staff Village
  • zone 1 color 24 Zone D
    Solar Farm (10 ha)
Zone 1

Zone 1

Six Senses Formosa Bay

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Zone 2

Zone 2

Residencial area
Zone A

Zone A

Natural Mangrove Reserve, Eco Sports & Leisure Activities, Organic Farm

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Zone B

Zone B

Eco Tech Hub (46 ha)

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Zone C

Zone C

Eco Staff Village

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Zone D

Zone D

Solar Farm (10 ha)

    Zones description

    Zone A - Natural Mangrove Reserve + Eco Athleisure Activities + Organic Farm

    It promises maximum contact with its surroundings by providing alternative lodging facilities, such as water bungalows or tree houses, and offering sports and activities linked to the surrounding nature and culture.

    Zone B - Sustainable Tech Hub

    A 46 ha technology based Eco Tec Hub and Incubation center will incorporate research, with eductional support and commercially viable projects to become a working science center. 

    Zone C - Eco Staff Village

    This area will have apartments for the resorts’ employees. 250 apartments will be built after all the phases are completed and 66 during the project’s first phase (Six Senses Formosa Bay). The employees will pay the rent.