Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, has some beaches ranked among the most beautiful in the world, according to TripAdvisor. This archipelago with 21 islands in the Brazilian northeast should be on the bucket list of travelers looking for dreamy tropical locations in South America. Yet, the island is not only important for its beauty.
The island is home to hundreds of dolphins, turtles, rays, sharks, and dozens of types of fish. Due to its importance, Fernando de Noronha has been declared a national marine park, and a limited number of people can enter the island daily.
The Island Was Once A Prison
When Brazil was still a colony, Portugal decided that Fernando de Noronha was a strategic location for a fort, which was built in 1737, and the remains are still on the island.
In 1800 the island became one of the most isolated prisons in the country. When Brazil declared its independence in 1822, it took two years until the news reached the island.
During the 20th Century, political prisoners were sent to the island. According to Time, it was more difficult to escape the prison there than the one on Devil's Island, and prisoners were often tortured.
The island would just start attracting the attention of tourists in the 1990s.
How To Get To Fernando de Noronha
The island has perfect weather most of the year and can be visited year-round. Tourists can only get to Fernando de Noronha by taking a domestic flight that leaves from Recife or Natal.
As a limited number of people can enter the island daily, booking the tickets in advance is essential.
Cruises have been forbidden to enter the island, as they were considered a risk to the island's environment. Travelers also have to pay environmental tax for their stay in Noronha.
- Environmental tax: starts at R$87,71 per day (approximately $17 USD).
Noronha Is Home To Some Of The Most Beautiful Beaches
When it comes to nature, Fernando de Noronha is one of the most privileged destinations in Brazil. The volcanic archipelago is home to some of the most incredible beaches anyone can visit.
Despite its popularity, they are never crowded due to the limited number of visitors allowed on the island daily, so it helps the place keep its paradisiac vibe.
It is challenging to find telephone service and internet in most spots of the island. Therefore, Noronha is a great place to slow down and enjoy the moment.
According to TripAdvisor reviews, Sancho Bay is one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. The access is not easy, as visitors have to go through carved stairs on the rocks, but the effort is worth it.
Sancho is one of the most beautiful spots on the island, and it is easy to be speechless while looking at its green waters. There are no kiosks or vendors, so it is important to remember to bring food and water.
Cacimba do Padre
Cacimba do Padre is the favorite spot for surfers, especially between November and March. This beach is home to Noronha's most famous postcards: Morros Dois Irmãos, the two rock formations that are surrounded by green waters and a must-go place for tourists.
The place is famous for its natural pools. It is possible to see different types of fish and other animals close to the shore, so bringing a snorkel is highly recommended. Tourists can access the beach during the low tide and have a panoramic view of Morro Dois Irmãos.
Noronha is also home to hundreds of dolphins, which can be seen daily at Golfinhos Bay. The best time to see them is after sunrise when many of them are jumping on the water.
There are also tours focused on looking for dolphins.
It is one of Noronha's most protected beaches, and tourists can only explore part of it. Every year, sea turtles lay eggs on the beach, and tourists are not allowed to stay at this beach after 6 pm during those months.
Conceição beach is one of the most privileged spots to watch the sunset in Noronha. Every afternoon, many tourists and locals stop to watch it, but also to play sports and enjoy the day.
There is only one bar at Conceição, so prices tend to be high.
One Of The Best Diving Spots On Earth
Spending a few hours scuba diving in Noronha is a unique experience. The place is a paradise for divers due to its excellent sea conditions, rich marine life, and countless diving spots.
Divers will likely encounter shoals, turtles, rays, and even inoffensive sharks.
There are many diving points in Noronha, and tourists can easily book them while on the island. Inexperienced divers can try the 32-foot dive that starts directly at the beach.
Tourists who aren't sure about scuba diving can still experience the marine life in Noronha with snorkeling.
Noronha Is Also Incredible For Surfers
Surfers can have a great time if they travel to Noronha between November and March. During those months, the swells travel from the North Atlantic, and the waves can reach up to 10 feet.
The place is famous among local surfers who travel to the island every year, and the best places to surf are Cacimba do Padre, Quixaba, Boldró, and Bode.
Those months are also the Brazilian summer, which means travelers have a guarantee they will have perfect summer days.