Fortaleza is Brazil's fifth-largest city, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the northeast with or without the World Cup.
The city has 34 kilometers (21 miles) of beautiful beaches and will host six matches at this year's World Cup at the revamped Estadio Castelao. The stadium has a seating capacity of 65,000 fans, but that will be reduced to 59,000 for the World Cup.
Already tested at last year's Confederations Cup, the stadium will first host Uruguay vs. Costa Rica on June 14. That will be followed by: Brazil vs. Mexico on June 17; Germany vs. Ghana on June 21; and Greece vs. Ivory Coast on June 24.
Matches in the round of 16 and the quarterfinals will follow.
Fortaleza means "fortress" in Portuguese. The city owes its name to a period in the 1600s when the Dutch established a fort there.
The weather is hot and tropical. The rainy season runs into June with high humidity, but after that it's very dry through December.