I’ve been to some beautiful places around this world, but this one is without doubt at the first place.
The island is not only a wonderful place with clean water and beautiful views, but it has a high animal diversity, reason why I love it so much!
About Fernando de Noronha Island
Fernando de Noronha is a Brazilian Island made of 21 small islands and volcanic origin rocks. It is found at the Atlantic Ocean 360km from the continent and has 26km² of beautiful nature.
Curiosity: Between 1737 and 1942 the Island was used as a jail. The idea was to keep the prisoners far away from the continent. During the Second World War, the USA had an Air tracking station there.
When to go (read this first, before you book your flight!)
Fernando de Noronha has basically 2 seasons, a dry (August – February) and a rainy one (March – July). Rainy season means more turbid water, therefore, less water visibility. If you really want to enjoy a nice time under water, I would suggest to go between August and October (when the water has the most likely visibility, best time to dive ever!).
The temperature is basically the same year-round (between 25°C and 30°C).
How to get there
The airlines available to book your tickets are Azul and Gol going out from either two cities, Natal or Recife, respectively . If you’re lucky, you can even get flights for cheaper prices during this time. Check out the website Decolar for some promotions.
Nice tipp: when you’re booking your tickets, reserve a sit on the left side of the airplane, so you’ll get a nice view from Morro dois Irmãos (“Two Borthers Mountains”) when you’re arriving at the Island (Very exciting moment! Surely gives you goosebumps!).
Unfortunately, traveling to Fernando de Noronha isn’t cheap. However I must say, the experience is totally worth the money! I’ve been there already two times and if I could ($$$), I would travel there every year!
As soon as you get to the airport at the Island, you need to pay the “Environmental Conservation Fee”, charged according to the amount of the days you will stay. Longer you stay, more you need to pay. That’s because the Island is small and has a limit of people per night.
If you want to live there, there are only three ways: being born there (which I believe is not your case), getting married with a native from the Island, or getting a job there. A recent fee created by the government is to visit the beaches, which is R$ 99,00 for Brazilians and R$ 198,00 for foreigners and is valid for 10 days.
The hotel we stayed was called Pousada do Biu. It’s pretty simple, the owner was very friendly (which in my point of view it’s a big plus!), had air-conditioner, a bed for two and a nice breakfast with some fruits from the season (I remember eating a lot of papaya!! Mmmm!), and scramble eggs (which for me is verz important, hahaha). Besides, the location was very good, with restaurants and agencies nearby to book the trips around the Island, so I could only recommend the Hotel.
After you arrive, Island Tour & Praia do Sancho (Sancho Beach)
Once you’re at the island, just take a cab and go to your hotel. As soon as you arrive, go for the closest company and book already some of your trips around the island.
You can also rent a buggy, is very convenient. But most of these trips take and bring you home.
For the first day I would recommend an “ilhatur” (island tour), with it you get to know 90% of the Island. It takes the whole day.
One of the places you’ll visit during this trip is commonly called “ai que lindo”, which means “what a pretty” that’s because this is the reaction of most of the people when they get there (SO TRUE!). You can get a nice view from this beach from up.
From up you can you get the view from Baía dos Porcos (Pigs Bay) and Praia do Sancho (Sancho Beach), elected the most beautiful beach in Brazil. You will have the opportunity to swimm there during this trip.
We’ve talked about the West side… what about the East side?
You will have the opportunity to visit it during the “Ilhatur. The “mar de fora” (outside sea) is located on the east side area. The sea has stronger waves. Not very suitable for diving and snorkeling, but there are still some beaches where you can practice the activity, such as “praia do Sueste”.
Still at the “outside sea”, you can also visit the “shark Museum”, which in my point of view is also pretty interesting!
Nice tipp: at the Shark Museum you will see many pictures of sharks. Take a picture of a picture and say that it was a shark you found while swimming! I did this to one of the guys that was making the trip with us. He was terrified! “I’m never gonna go inside this water again!”
More trips around the Island
Once you already know a bit the island, it’s time to dig into details. Since I’m a marine biologist, of course I booked a boat trip for one of my first days. On this trip, you get to know the West side of the Island and, most important, you have a great possibility of finding dolphins.
On this boat trip lunch is included, but if the sea is moving a bit more, and you’re like me, you might get a bit sick, so bring a medicine with you just in case. They also stop somewhere near the shore and give you the opportunity to snorkeling around. They have some equipments available at the boat to snorkel, but me and Dimi brought our own. This trip usually take a whole morning, so you’ll still have the afternoon to enjoy.
Sunset at Forte de São Pedro do Boldró
You should definitely take at least one afternoon to watch the sunset from “Forte de São Pedro do Boldró”. I’s very famous, from there you get a pretty view from “Morro dois irmãos”. Look at the picture, see how many people are there just to watch it? There are even applauses once the sunset happens (gave me goosebumps). Take a towel to put on the grass, a bottle of wine, some snacks and just enjoy the nature spectacular happens…
Other things you can do…
Something you should definitely put on your list is: diving! Of course! Although I’m a marine biologist and have done diving courses, I still feel pretty stress when I dive, but “do not let your fears choose your destiny” and go for it! You’re gonna see pretty amazing stuffs down there.
The “surfbread snorkeling” is also a nice option. The surfbread is connected by a rope to a boat. While the boat drives, you hold the surfbread and, with a mask and a snorkel, you can just enjoy the view from up.
If you’re afraid of diving, you can do the “Navi” trip, an option for those who are not so water-friendly. The Navi has a system that detects life under the water, and through a glass, you can see everything under the boat.
At the Island you can also visit the “Tamar Project”, responsible for research and conservation of marine turtle species in Brazil.
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