Fernando de Noronha, Brazil: where it is, when to go and what to see

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Fernando de Noronha is a archipelago located off the coast of Brazil and state district of the State of Pernambuco; the largest island is the one that gives its name to the whole archipelago. Discovered by Vespucci in 1503, it has been a natural park since 2001 UNESCO World Heritage Site, a true paradise for the eyes and the senses, with white beaches and transparent waters, caves, wonderful backdrops and unspoiled nature. This goal it is ideal for those seeking peace and tranquility, in fact, the entrance is limited and no more than 700 people can stay there per day. Admission is subject to a tourist tax and if you want to spend a holiday in this paradise you have to budget for a fairly high expense. The entire archipelago is considered a luxury destination.
Here's where it is, when to go and what to see


  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where it is
  3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  4. Which island to go to?
  5. What to do and what to see: beaches and places of interest
  6. How much does a holiday in Fernando de Noronha cost? Prices, offers and advice
  7. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 2.630
  • Capital: Recife
  • Languages: Portuguese
  • Local currency: Brazilian Real (€ 1,00 = Real 4,30)
  • Weather: tropical, warm all year round with stable temperatures. There are two climatic seasons, dry from August to January, rainy from February to July.
  • vaccinations: no vaccination required.
  • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of at least 6 months. To enter the archipelago you need to register on the official website, print it and pay it in cash in Brazil at any post office
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where it is

    On the Atlantic Ocean, about 350 km from Recife, this archipelago is the visible part of an underwater mountain range of volcanic origin. The islands that compose it are 21 and all can be visited and connected to each other, but it must be borne in mind that it takes more than 1 hour flight from Natal or Recife to reach the Fernando de Noronha airport.

    How to reach us

    • From the main European capitals: direct connections to Recife are made from Lisbon with TAP in 7 hours of flight and from Madrid with Air Europa in 9 hours of flight. From London you can fly in connection with TAP and from Paris with Airfrance for a total journey of around 13-15 hours.

    When to go? Info on climate and best time

    • Weather: given the proximity to the equator, temperatures are high and fairly stable throughout the year and even during the night the temperature almost never drops below 20 degrees. The rainy period is from March to June while the dry period is from September to December, although thunderstorm showers are possible.
    • Best time: to fully enjoy the natural offers of the archipelago, it runs from August to January, when sun and visibility for diving are guaranteed. For those who love sports such as kite and surfing, the months of February and March are recommended, when the waves are very high.
    • Period to avoid: if you want to avoid the rains and not miss a single day of sun, the months of April and May are not recommended.
    • Advice: it must be borne in mind that this is a destination of extraordinary beauty but also quite expensive compared to Brazilian standards. Even the simplest structures, bars or restaurants, have very high prices and the use of ATMs and credit cards is not widespread. Bring light and cotton clothing, the inevitable sunscreen and a mosquito repellent. The health situation has deficient state structures while the private ones are much better. It is difficult, in the islands, to find all types of medicines so if you have particular pathologies, it is advisable to bring the necessary from home. Good health insurance is highly recommended.

    Which island to go to?

    The islands of the archipelago are 21 but those of note are three:

    1. Fernando de Noronha: it is the largest island and that gives its name to the whole archipelago. Here you will find the most beautiful bays and beaches and the main services, as well as the airport. There are supermarkets, health districts and the tourist office; the accommodation facilities are all of a good standard. Over ten diving spots, very varied flora and fauna and friendly inhabitants. It can be visited by taxi or by hiring Buggys (small 4X4 uncovered cars), it has only one asphalted road. Excursions to visit the nearby islands also depart from here.
    2. Ilha Rata: it is the second largest island but almost totally uninhabited. Reachable by sea with day trips, it is possible to go trekking and bird watching. Famous for diving at Buraco de Inferno, a real paradise for the different. To visit it we recommend the support of a local guide. There are no services and nature reigns supreme in every corner.
    3. Ilha de Meio: it is a very small island between Fernando de Noronha and Ilha Rata and also this almost totally uninhabited. No service and there are also few moorings for boats but the seabed is wonderful.

    What to do and what to see: beaches and places of interest

    1. Baia do Sancho: it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world if not the most beautiful ever. On the beach of the bay you can enjoy a pristine sea and some of the most suggestive marine flora and fauna. From January to July, visitors are prohibited because turtles come to nest here.
    2. Cocimba do Padre: it is usually chosen by water sports lovers. In fact, on this beach it is possible to ride waves up to 5 meters high, snorkel or dive. Not suitable for families with children due to the deep sea and the confusion.
    3. Conceiao Beach: famous for the possibility of walking to rocks and rocks at low tide. It is not difficult to meet sharks and fish of all kinds even near the shore. The beach is very large but usually crowded and there is the possibility to rent umbrellas.
    4. Baia dos Golfinhos: breathtaking show with cliffs, tropical vegetation and a splendid beach that is almost always deserted. This beach is suitable for swimming because the waves are small, the currents are low and it is easy to find yourself swimming with the dolphins. The beach is wild and does not offer facilities such as bars, sun beds and umbrellas.
    5. Baia do Sueste: shallow water and a beach suitable for children with beautiful vegetation, clear sea and fish swimming to the shore. The small bar at the entrance can be useful, but the beach is not equipped.
    6. Baia dos Porcos: one of the most impressive beaches for the intertwining of the colors of the sea, the sky and the wonderful vegetation that sometimes reaches right into the water. Many rock formations, including the highly photographed "Dois Irmaos" rocks and absolute ban on any kind of water sport, which means peace and no noise. To get there you have to do a half hour of trekking.
    7. Forte dos Remedios: The best preserved of the Fernando de Noronha island forts, the Fort of Our Lady of Medicine was built by the Portuguese in the 1646th century, to fortify the island's defense system, over the remains of a small Dutch fort from 27. To protect the perimeter, cannons were inserted, some of which are still well preserved today.
    8. Fort Sao Pedro do Boldro: the remains of an th century fortress are in themselves an excuse to climb up here. Historically and architecturally not very relevant, this site offers, however, a beautiful and evocative view of the bay and many people visit it at sunset to admire the splendid colors and relax.

    How much does a holiday in Fernando de Noronha cost? Prices, offers and advice

    Deciding to spend even just a few days in this heavenly natural park involves estimate a high expense. Return flights to the main island from Recife start from € 168,00. The tourist tax (preservation) is approximately € 7,00 per day. There is no shortage of hotels but prices start at € 250,00 per day in double with breakfast; cheaper are the posade, local b & b, with daily rates in double from € 50,00 without breakfast. To eat, the many restaurants offer local cuisine, obviously based on fish, with prices of around € 30,00 per person. Flight + hotel packages are offered by Tour2000 starting from € 1.950,00 for 6 nights per person excluding intercontinental flight and from Promobrasil starting from € 850,00 for 3 nights per person excluding intercontinental flight.

    • Hotel and b & b starting from € 50,00 per room -
    • starting from € 614,00 -
    • 10 days / 9 nights from € 2.590,00 per person -

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