Fernando de Noronha Travel and Tourism Information

About Fernando de Noronha

With crystalline waters and an exuberance of corals, dolphins, lobsters and colorful tropical fish, as well as wonderfully preserved beaches and virtually no pollution, Fernando de Noronha is a paradise for divers, surfers and all nature lovers. This beautiful and peaceful island is part of a volcanic archipelago of 21 islands which lie 345km off the northeast coast of Brazil. For years, a military outpost off-limits to visitors, this unspoiled island was declared a Marine National Park in 1988 and is now protected by IBAMA (the Brazilian Institute for the Environment).

To preserve the unspoiled environment, only 420 tourists are allowed on the island at any one time, guaranteeing empty beaches and tranquility for the visitor at all times, as well as the opportunity to commune with nature. The islands were discovered in 1503 by the Portuguese explorer Américo Vespucci and were for a time a pirate lair. In 1738 the Portuguese built the Forte dos Remédios, later used as a prison in this century, and a church to strengthen their claim to the islands.

A few scattered remains of the early fortifications still exist. Apart from the thousands of migratory birds that stop off at the island on their way south, the waters surrounding the island are filled with hundreds of playful dolphins, turtles, multi-colored fish, corals, sponges and other marine plants. It is no wonder, therefore, that Fernando de Noronha is the best place for scuba diving and snorkeling in Brazil.

As well as excellent underwater activities, Fernando de Noronha is also the mecca for Brazilian surfers who come to ride the 2 meter waves (sometimes reaching as high as 5 meters) on the sandy beaches facing Brazil´s Atlantic coast. The best surf beaches are Cacimba do Padre, Bode, Boldró, Conceição, and Meio. Riding, mountain biking and walking to some of the remoter beaches are also popular.

There are interesting natural rock sculptures at the Baía dos Porcos beach, a waterfall at Praia do Sancho during the rainy season and a heavenly natural swimming pool among the rocks at Praia do Atalaia. The Morro do Pico is the highest point on the island at 321 meters (1,053 ft) and offers a splendid view of the archipelago, especially at sunset. The island has warm and pleasant temperatures of around 26°C (79°C )all year round, with a refreshing rainy season from February to July.

The best time for diving is from April to November, when the waters are crystal clear and the surfing season runs from December to March.

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