Living on the Lago Norte Peninsular
First up, I am pretty biased when it comes to Lago Norte because I have been living here for 5 years. I think it is one of the safest and best places to live here in Brasilia. Ok, it is a bit far from the embassy sector and the international schools but, in my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives. So let’s talk about living in Lago Norte.
The area of Lago Norte is not only the peninsula, but includes Setor de Mansões, Centro de Atividades, Setor Núcleo Rural and Setor Taquari. But this review is mainly about the Lago Norte peninsula.
Lago Norte is a peninsula that started to be developed around 1960 and has a population of around 36.000 inhabitants (estimated in 2020) with an average age of 39 years old and a monthly family income of R$15.000. Due to the location, with only one way in and out of the residential sector, it is one of the safest places in Brasilia.
When driving from Asa Norte into Lago Norte, you will find at the beginning the commercial sectors and the apartment blocks and one of the newest shopping centers in Brasilia, Iguatemi Shopping, one of the most expensive ones in Brasilia with brands like Calvin Klein, Bvlgari, Nike, Adidas, Armani to name a few.
Behind the Iguatemi Shopping center are the Centro de Atividades, also known as CA, areas CA 2, 5, 7, 8 and 10, where you will find apartment buildings and a lot of small shops, such as laundries, cosmetic shops, pet shops, hairdressers, etc.
Once you pass the street EPPR, between the Iguatemi Shopping center and the Big Box Supermarket, you enter the Setor Habitacional Individual Norte (SHIN), the residential housing area of the Lago Norte peninsula. It is divided in Quadras Internas (QI) and Quadras do Lago (QL), where the QI blocks are away from the lake and the QL blocks facing the lake. The even numbers of the QI and QL blocks are on the south side of the peninsula and the uneven ones are on the north side. The streets in the QI and QL areas are called Conjuntos. Most of these Conjuntos are cul-de-sac with a few having a walking ally between them.
In the residential part of Lago Norte, there are three commercial areas on the median of the main road where you can find bakeries, laundries, pharmacies, newspaper kiosks, pet shops, a butcher shop, a Banco do Brasil agency as well as a very popular bar “No Grão”. Beside the commercial areas you will find 3 gas stations as well as the famous Quituart food and arts coop.
So far to the general overview of Lago Norte. Here are some more details of the area:
Lago Norte is situated at the northern end of Brasilia, and it will take you about 20 minutes to the city center and about 35 minutes to the airport. The embassy area can be reached in about 25 minutes, depending on traffic. To reach Lago Sul you will take about 30 minutes as well.
As mentioned before, the peninsula Lago Norte is a very safe area due to its unique location and with only road giving access. If there was a crime, the police would literally close all access roads. Lago Norte has a police station (Delegacia) of the Policia Civil the 9th DP, at QI 5, as well as two Military Police stations located between QI 1 and QI 9. (Military police in Brazil has the function of preventing crime and maintaining law and order, whereas Policia Civil is the investigative or detective branch of police), In addition, there is a fire brigade station at QI3 and a public Health Center, and a public hospital.
All houses in the area are heavily protected with fencing, walls and/or alarm systems, with most of the Conjuntos having private monitoring systems. Every Conjunto has a WhatsApp group with all the neighbors included, keeping them informed what is going on. Movements of people and cars that are unusual will be broadcasted immediately to the group.
In Lago Norte you will have no shortage of opportunities to shop for groceries, with six supermarkets, three Big Box markets (CA 1, QI 5/8, QI 9/10), one Pão de Açúcar (QI 2), one Comercial Reis de Alimentos (CA 2) and one OBA (Iguatemi Shopping) available. There are also several bakeries that also serve excellent food and fresh products.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of restaurants and bars in Lago Norte. You will not have the many choices here as in in Asa Norte or Asa Sul. You will find some good bars and restaurants in the CA area, including Iguatemi Shopping, but they can be rather expensive. One of the best food outlets is Quituart (see the Quituart review in Hospitality), but unfortunately, they are only open Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday and Sunday during the day.
A good bar to go to on a Sunday night is O Grão at QI 13 where you can listen to locals performing live Samba music and you can dance the night away. People are very welcoming and friendly.
For all other shopping, there is the ever-expensive Iguatemi Shopping center as well as Deck Norte which has some shops as well as the local post office and a food court. But it is very limited, and you might want to shop in other areas.
Lago Norte has a lot to offer regarding sporting activities as well as parks. The Lake Paranoá is accessible from nearly every QL. There are 4 public parks in the area, and designated bicycle lanes on the main road. In the parks you can hire paddleboats and kayaks and go for a swim. There are also hundreds of public gymnasiums spread around the living blocks as well as the public parks and they are intensely used by the people living in the area.
Right at the beginning of Lago Norte at QL 2 you will find a small park called Parque Vivencial do Lago Norte. It has only two entries and has a nice walkway at the lake with a pier where you can go swimming or fishing.
Between QL 11 and QL 13 you will find Parque da 13 which is very popular with the locals on weekends for picnics and swimming. Unfortunately, this area can be very filthy with lots of garbage on the lake shore.
Parque Lago Paranoá is a rather small park between QL 11 and QL 15 which really not much to do.
And finally, the biggest park, Parque das Garças, is right at the end of Lago Norte near the Clube do Congresso. Here you have a great view of Brasilia and access to the lake. The park is home to over 50 different species of birds and a very popular spot for picnics and water sport activities. Here you can also hire paddleboats and kayaks. Only problem with the location is that parking is very limited and on weekends the police is mercilessness booking people for illegal parking. And the park is only open from Thursday to Sunday.
Clube do Congresso
Right at the end of the Lago Norte peninsula you find the Clube do Congresso. Now the name would suggest that only members and employees can join the club, but that is not the case. The club can be joined by everybody and offers various sport activities like tennis, beach volleyball, football. They also have steam rooms as well as BBQ areas. But the best on the club is the spectacular view of Brasilia at night.
As I mentioned, I am biased towards Lago Norte. I love the place and the people. Overall, it is a quiet place, and you wouldn’t know that you are living in the 3rd biggest city in the Brazil (The 2021 census included all the population living in the satellite cities around Brasilia as part of the Brasilia population). It offers most of what you need, so even with some downsides, it is an excellent place to live.