Fernando de Noronha...
Brazil's best hidden treasure

Fernando de Noronha. Dolphins
Fernando de Noronha: Dolphins - © Embratur

The archipelago Fernando de Noronha is situated four degrees south of the Equator line, around 200 miles off the northeastern coast of Brazil, in front of the city of Recife.

Its discovery is assigned to Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512), Italian merchant and cartographer.

In 1503, he wrote in a letter..."Paradise is here"..and this is the first document regarding the island, called Sâo Laurenço back then.

Throughout its 500 years history, it's been temporarily occupied by the Dutch (17th. century), by the French (18th. century) and Portugal took over it definitively from 1737 onwards.

For its strategic location, it has the biggest fortress system of 18th. century in Brazil. Furthermore, several forts were built in areas where possibility of disembarking existed...

  • São Antonio
  • São Pedro do Baldro
  • Nossa Senhora dos Remedios
  • Nossa Senhora da Cenceição
  • San't Ana Redoubt
  • São João Batista dos Dois Irmãos
  • São Joaquim do Sueste
  • São Jose

The island is today one of the most important ecologic sanctuaries in the world, and without doubt, the most beautiful marine park in Brazil. It is also a brilliant example of sustainable tourism, with an almost perfect interaction between man and nature.

To help to preserve this balance, tourism is restricted to 420 visitors at a time.
Upon arrival, each visitor is charged an Environment Preservation Tax that increases progressively with the length of the visit. Please give yourself at least 5 days to discover it.

Apart from contemplation and relaxing, you can enjoy as well...

  • swimming
  • surfing
  • diving. There are 2 versions of it: scuba and skin diving.
  • boat rides
  • kayak guided tours
  • buggy rides
  • trekking
 Fernando de Noronha. Divers
Fernando de Noronha: Divers - © Embratur

It's home to two of the most famous Brazil beaches, among the top beaches in South America...

With visibility up to 50 meters, the archipelago is a Mecca for divers and snorkelers at any level of expertise. It has more than two hundred species of fish, five shark species, sea turtles and dolphins. Awesome! Somebody called it "a heavenly retreat to underwater treasures". It certainly is.

As an introduction to this and other top spots in the continent, have a look at the following photo gallery...

South America's Best Beaches - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Download PDF version

Surfing is another sport that attracts many visitors.
Some options include...

  • Cacimba do Padre
  • Laje da Cacimba
  • Laje de Bode
  • Boldro
  • Cachorro
  • Biboca
  • Ruro and Abras

There are also many different trails to choose from, but some restrictions apply.
All trails in the National Marine Reserve (Parnamar/FN), can only be visited with authorization and with accredited guides.

The ones inside the Environment Preservation Area (Apa/FN) have free access.
The National Marine Reserve was established in 1988, the same year when Fernando de Noronha was reintegrated to the State of Pernambuco.

In 2001, UNESCO listed Fernando de Noronha and the Rocas Atoll as a World Heritage Site...

How to Get There:

You have 2 daily flights from the city of Recife (1.20 hours) and Natal (55 minutes) respectively.
You can fly with Gol Linhas Aereas or Trip Linhas Aereas. Alternatively, you could take a boat from Recife.

Where to Stay:

The island has about 70 Inns or Pousadas.
They are private residences more or less adapted for this type of service, something like an B&B but offering all 3 meals.
Find and compare best hotel rates in Fernando de Noronha.

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