Welcome to Fernando de Noronha Island! A Paradise in Brazil!
The early settlers on the Fernando de Noronha islands were the Portuguese who arrived in 1503 when Americo Vespucio claimed the land for them. They built a fortress at Vila dos Remedios, which is now in ruins. Vila dos Remedios is also the most inhabited town on the island, and where you will find most of your Noronoha pousada options. The Noronha islands were initially used as a prison. Later they were used as a stopover for flights headed to Europe. During the Second World War, Noronha was also a location for an airbase, which the Brazilian Air Force still uses even today.
The Fernando de Noronha islands are teeming with all types of wildlife. However, the human population is quite small and even tourism is restricted to a mere 420 people at a time on the island. The number is further controlled by the fact that the longer one stays on the islands, the higher the permit fee. The island is also home to Brazil's shortest national highway, the sole paved road here.
It is only recently that the Fernando de Noronha islands have been zeroed in on as a holiday destination and a dream getaway. Its distance from the shore does not seem to be a limiting factor as the islands are attracting tourists with regularity, even if it is to just see the sun setting on the sea.
Formed as a result of volcanic activity of the mountains beneath the Atlantic, the Noronha islands span an area of only seventeen square kilometres and is 340km from the coast. With a population of only 2100, it is developing tourism in a sustainable way, finding a balance to preserve the beautiful ecological sanctuary.
National Marine Park
It was in 1970 that nearly three-fourths of the archipelago was included in the National Marine Sanctuary of Fernando de Noronha. Called the PN Fernando de Noronha, it is aimed at conserving and protecting both the marine and land environments of the archipelago. The conservation effort has been particularly helpful in protecting the sea turtle population.
This land is indeed Brazil's hidden treasure and today the Fernando de Noronha islands are a benchmark in environmental protection. The clear and warm waters of the equatorial region around the Noronha islands beckon snorkelers and divers and also underwater photographers . There are nearly sixteen beautiful beaches you can choose from. One can view at least two hundred species of fish, as well as sea turtles, dolphins, and sharks.
Activities and Tours
Apart from offering a range of underwater activities, Fernando de Noronha is also a great place for surfers. The beaches, especially those facing Brazil's Atlantic coast, are full of Brazilian surfers who ride waves which are nearly two metres high and which sometimes reach even five metres in height. Beaches which are superb for surfing in Fernando de Noronha include Bode Beach, Boldró, Cacimba do Padre, Meio and Conceição. There are other beaches which are more remote and you can reach them either by mountain biking, walking or riding. Trekking in the interior of the Noronha islands is another popular activity you can enjoy. This way you can partake of some of the best views in Brazil.
To delve into the past of Noronha island, a visit to the hundred-year-old chapel Capela de Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Our Lady of the Conception) and the many fortresses present on the Noronha islands are a must. A visit to the fortress also ensures that you get some of the best views of the archipelago. A visit to the museum called Memorial Noronhense - Espaço Cultural Américo Vespúcio will get you acquainted with some of the islands' stories and legends.
There are many other interesting sites on Fernando de Noronha Island. For instance, the Baía dos Porcos beach has some remarkable rock sculptures. If you are visiting during the rainy season, then do go to the waterfall at Praia do Sancho. There is a divine natural swimming pool too nestled amongst the rocks at Praia do Atalaia. The highest point on the island is a rocky structure called Morro do Pico, standing 321 metres high (1,053 feet). The sunset at this point is a real treat.
Some of our favorite activities on the island are dolphin spotting on the Baia dos Golfinhos Trail, hand-picking a secret beach of Fernando de Noronha that is perfect for snorkelling, and cruising around the island on breathtaking boat rides around Noronha. We have extensive knowledge of all the best hiking and trails to be found on the island. We love calling Fernando de Noronha our home and we can't wait to share it with you.