Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 Islands located 545 km off Brazil’s northeast Atlantic coast in Pernambuco. Ask any Brazilian and they will tell you that is paradise. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its ecological importance as a breeding ground for tropical seabirds and the abundant marine life, the pristine blue waters are teeming with tuna, sea turtles, sharks, manta rays and the worlds largest concentration of resident dolphins. The main island has an area of only 7.2 square miles and is movie set beautiful. Flying over head on my flight in from Recife, comparisons to Robinson Crusoe mingle in my mind with memories of Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island. Endless empty white beaches surround its central peak, two of which are considered the best in Brazil
There are about 3,000 permanent residents and a maximum of 460 visitors are allowed on Island at at any given time. Scuba Diving and snorkeling is what draws many tourists here, the visibility under water is up to 150 feet and there are over two hundred species of fish, but an equal amount simply come to relax and walk the beaches. There are excellent restaurants offering the freshest fish and sushi possible, and a few happening bars, which of course have great tropical drinks. There are almost 100 inns on the main island, most are in private homes similar to B&B’s that rent out rooms and offer food, but a few that offer high end tropical luxury with skilled chefs and swimming pools. I stayed at the Pousada Algas Marinhas, a cute, affordable and clean little place with a small cafe and good air conditioning. Even though I cannot speak a word of Portuguese they made me feel right at home. Honestly I spent very little time there, the best this amazing Island has to offer is out side, on the beach, or under the water.
For more info go to Fernando de Noronha.org
For more info on traveling to Fernando de Noronha and all of Brazil, check out BTOA, the Brazil tour operators association.