Fernando de Noronha

Appropriately nicknamed the “Emerald of the Atlantic”, Fernando de Noronha isolated group of volcanic islands with a total area of 26 km2, located in the South Equatorial Atlantic, slightly under the Ecuator line and approximately 550km (340 miles) from Recife, Pernambuco. The main islands are the visible parts of a range of submerged mountains whose base is 4000m (2500 feet) below the surface.
Considered the most beautiful island in South Atlantic, Noronha, as the island is locally called, is an archipelago formed by 21 islands and uncountable beauties. The perfect scenario includes virgin beaches, amazing rocky formations, incredibly green and clear ocean and rich aquatic fauna.

The history of Noronha begins in 1503, when the expedition of Portuguese Capitan Goncalo Coelho, reach the archipelago. After having one of the ships sunk in one of the coral reefs around the island, Americo Vespuccio, that was member of the crew, received the order to moor in the island and return to Portugal to announce the discovery. Between the 16th and 18th centuries the island was invaded by English, French and Dutch. To impede the return of the invaders, the Portuguese built ten forts on the main possible landing sites. Some ruins still can be seen in the main island. In 1943, a federal decree declared the island Federal Territory and the island was administrated by the Brazilian army until 1987. Due to it strategic location, the island was used as base by American forces during the II World War.

Since 1988, approximately 70% of the archipelago was declared a National Marine Park and is base of several research projects such as, studying the behavior and reproduction of the dolphins, migratory bird species, sharks and marine turtles.
Today, Noronha is a perfect example that tourism can be explored with strict environmental preservation rules. The visitation is restricted by a certain number of tourists per day, who must pay a daily Environmental Presevation Fee to stay in the Park. National immigration is also forbidden, except in special cases, what produce a lack of good infrastructure in hotels and restaurants.

Noronha is a great place for aquatic sports. Due to its north-south geographic position, the island presents, at the same time, perfect places for diving, surfing and fishing.
The archipelago is considered by many specialized magazines one of the best places in the world for diving due to the clear and calm waters of the sea, rich and well preserved marine fauna and the innumerous ship-wrecks in the area. The visibility exceeds 40m (120feet) and you can easily see sharks, dolphins, turtles, stingrays and various species of multicolored fishes.

Between November and March, Noronha is also the best place in Brazil for surfing. Surfers from all parts of the world are now discovering the perfect waves of Noronha, nicknamed the Brazilian Hawaii.

Noronha is one of the last virgin refugees in the world. We are sure this will be an experience you will never forget!

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See details and pictures of each attraction of this destination.


The port beach
Conceição and Meio beaches
Boldró and Americano beaches
Bode and Cacimba do Padre
Porcos Bay
Sancho Bay
Sueste beach
Dolphin's Bay
Boat Tour


  • As mentioned before, infrastructure in Noronha is not as good as we’d like. Restaurants and hotels quality are below international standards, despite the prices may appear. Biosfera Brasil has carefully chosen the best options in each hotel level. We are sure that Noronha’s natural beauty compensates this lack of comfort.
  • Make reservations in advance, specially during the high season (December to February). Due to the limit of visitors established by the local Administration, during this period, the flights and best lodges and hotels are normally booked.
  • Due to environmental restrictions, beaches normally do not offer bars, restaurants or restrooms. Exceptions are Cacimba do Padre, Conceição, Cachorro and Sueste, that offer a small tent that sells water, beer, sodas and few snacks. Therefore, don’t forget to bring a bottle of water and something to eat.
  • Every night the IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment Protection) offers at its headquarters, lectures about one of the studies the Institute realize in the archipelago. The subjects includes marine turtles, rotator dolphins, sharks among others. Very interesting!
  • Don’t forget to visit the Dolphins Bay. The dolphins normally arrive early in the morning and stay there until 10pm. Unforgettable!
  • Snorkeling equipment is indispensable. Hotels and lodges normally rent or have contacts with people who rent this equipment. Should you prefer to uses your’s, don’t forget to bring it.
  • The sunset at the Boldró Fort, at Boldró beach, is the most beautiful in the island. Be road that takes to the beaches, called “BR”, does not have side walk. Should you decide to go to the beache or to the village, be careful and walk in the contrary side of the cars.
  • Sandals are very helpful, as you have to walk through trails to reach many beaches.
  • Don’t forget the sunblock.
  • The local electricity is 220 volts 60cycles
  • 5 days is enough to visit the island, although one week permits you to enjoy all beaches and diving spots with no rush.
  • The water consumed in the island is supplied by rain, is normally rationed specially in the high season.
  • The only local bank is a branch of the Banco ABN-Amro Real, that is able to make any transaction on line except exchange cash by credit card.

    “Noteworthy is the fact that the al a carte dining at Pousada Ze Maria on FEN is some of the best in the entire world!  We had two really world class meals there and the cost was not nearly as high as some persons would have had us believe. Also, the staff at Ze Maria is some of the best we have encountered on this trip.”

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The weather is also an attraction in Noronha. Located slightly south of the Equator line temperatures in Noronha are always high. There are no registers of hurricanes, tornados or strong seaquakes.
The average temperature is 25C (77 F), with a small variation within the year. The hottest months are from January to March. Occasional rains occurs all over the year, but long periods of rain are not common. Heaviest rains come between March and July. September and October are the driest months.
The sea has two well defined seasons: between November and March, the “internal sea” (west side) presents big waves and beaches like Cacimba do Padre, Boldró and Sancho, become the paradise for surfers. On the other hand, the “external sea” (east side) is calm and perfect for diving and snorkeling).
Between, May and October, occurs the opposite, the “internal sea” is calm and the “external sea” is shaken.
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The first men to step over Fernando de Noronha was Americo Vespuccio, who gave name to the Continent in 1503.
From that period until the 40’s decade, Noronha was forgotten by the world and just a feel families lived there. After the WW2 until the 80’s decade the island was governed by Brazilian Army and some military families lived there.
In the last two decades, some people from the continent moved to Noronha looking for peace and to explore tourism.
This new immigrants, locally called “Rauli” formed a new group that is now adapted to the native families, creating a community whose main ambition is to preserve the paradise they live.
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Fernando de Noronha   (Sun & Beach)
The perfect vacation in one of the last refugees of peace and preserved nature.

Diving in Brazil   (Sun & Beach)
More than 8000km great options for your best diving experience.

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Fernando de Noronha

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