Imagine yourself standing on the white-sand beach of a secluded island, feeling the warm sand between your toes and the cool sea breeze in your hair. While admiring marvelous landscapes, you take a stroll along the untouched beach, observe the turquoise waters of the Atlantic ocean, and a flock of seabirds flying above you in the cloudless sky.
It’s all about Fernando de Noronha, also known as Brazilian Hawaii, a veritable paradise on Earth for globetrotters striving to find an exceptional travel destination and explore it to the fullest. It’s time to draw up a perfect plan for your trip of a lifetime so you can visit the most notable landmarks and get a one-of-a-kind experience!
Welcome to Fernando de Noronha!
Fernando de Noronha is located 350 km (217 miles) from Brazil’s northeast coast. It’s a secluded archipelago dotted with 21 fantastic islands to explore. This coveted travel destination is renowned for its surfing and snorkeling spots, untouched nature, gorgeous beaches, and the highest concentration of dolphins worldwide. Besides tropical fish, sea turtles, and dolphins, the archipelago is home to such endemic birds as the Noronha elaenia and the Noronha vireo.
Thanks to the tropical climate, it’s hot all year round here, but if you are a surfer longing to catch some perfect waves, visit Noronha from December to March to avoid a flat sea. There is also the rainy season from April to June, so keep it in mind if you don’t want rainfalls to ruin your plans.
Fernando de Noronha has a fascinating history as from the XIX to the XX century the main island was used as a prison for the most violent criminals in Brazil. In 1957, the prison was closed and the archipelago became one of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sites. Today, the islands’ population is just about 3000 people, and the locals are dedicated to tourism promotion.
You can get to Fernando de Noronha by air from Rio de Janeiro, Aracaju, and Recife or by cruise ship, and here is where your unforgettable journey begins! Once you step ashore and check into a comfortable hotel, you are all set to explore this stunning archipelago and reveal its secrets!
Top 6 Reasons to Visit Fernando de Noronha Right Away
- Unique travel experience
You won’t find overcrowded beaches in Fernando de Noronha or restaurants you need to book a good six months in advance to try the local cuisine. Here you’ll get a perfect chance to relax away from the crowds and feel the vibes of tropical paradise.
The secret of it is that the archipelago is a natural reserve and the government is trying to protect the unique ecosystem by limiting the number of globetrotters allowed to visit the islands per year. Only 500 people per day can visit Fernando de Noronha with a total area of 26 square kilometers (10 square miles).
It’s a huge place to explore, so let’s dive deep into some of the top things to do while you are in Noronha!
Start your epic journey with a mind-blowing diving session. Whether you are a thrill seeker striving to swim with sharks or prefer to observe marine life in the traditional way, Noronha will impress you with its dive sites in no time. Thanks to great visibility up to 30 meters (98 feet) and over 20 must-dive destinations, both novices and seasoned divers can explore the fantastic marine life of Fernando de Noronha.
Morro de Fora near the Conceicao Beach is a great spot for beginners. With depths of up to 16 meters (52 feet), you will meet such marine inhabitants as queen angelfish, moray eels, bearded fireworms, damselfish, and eagle rays. Don’t forget to keep your camera ready to capture this mysterious underwater world!
If you are a pro able to dive up to 40 meters (131 feet), welcome to Macaxeira, one of the most coveted dive sites located on the island’s north end. Besides observing vivid schools of horse mackerel, anchovies, and tomtate grunts, you can spot Lemon sharks that can grow up to 3 meters (98 feet) in length.
- Epic surf spots
Once you are done with observing the underwater world, grab your surfboard and head to one of the fantastic beaches of Noronha to catch a perfect wave and feel the ocean’s spirit. If surfing is one of your major reasons for visiting the archipelago, remember that the best time to visit Fernando de Noronha for surfing is from December to March. If you are not sure how to stand up on a board yet, any season will do just fine to learn the basics.
Praia do Bode is a peaceful and secluded beach perfect for beginners. You won’t find high waves here, so it’s a stunning place to start your surfing adventures. The beach isn’t overcrowded with tourists, as you can get there only by taking an old stony pathway. You will also spot a huge stone here. Don’t miss it—this stone is a perfect place to admire the island’s jaw-dropping sunsets!
The Boldro beach is a wonderful surf spot for advanced surfers, as the waves here can reach up to 5 meters (16 feet). The azure waters of this beach are full of vivid tropical fish and beautiful coral reefs, making your experience even more gripping. The Boldro beach is so relaxing and peaceful you can always take a nap here after your surf session.
- Dolphin watching
Aren’t you tired of watersports yet? If so, let’s get some rest and take a dolphin-watching tour. Trovao dos Mares organizes captivating and informative tours so you can relax and have a look at beautiful dolphins in their natural habitat.
Your tour starts at the Santo Antonio Port, a great place to visit beach cafes and observe sea turtles, ray fish, and even reef sharks. Then, you will sail around Morro de Pico, the highest point of the island, and Morro Dois Irmaos, the notable rock formation you might have seen on the Brazilian postcards.
The catamaran will stop in the pristine waters of the Baia do Sancho, one of the most picturesque beaches in Brazil, so you can have lunch and observe dolphins swimming around your boat. You will savor mouth-watering baked fish, rice, vegetables, salads, and fruit cooked by a seasoned chef. Finally, you will be transferred back to the port.
- Amazing hiking trails
After watching dolphins aboard the comfortable catamaran, what about exploring the archipelago on foot? Fernando de Noronha offers lots of amazing hiking trails of various lengths and difficulty levels.
We recommend you start your adventures with the less challenging trails, so you can enjoy your walk while admiring stunning landscapes. The hike from the Baia do Sancho (the one from the dolphin-watching tour) to the Baia dos Porcos (the Bay of Pigs) is easy and has numerous eye-catching views.
It’s a stunning place for snorkeling with barracudas and schools of tropical fish. Make sure to find the Two Brothers rock formation to enjoy one of the most fascinating views of the Morro Dois Irmaos.
- Stunning boating destinations
A boat tour is a great way to complete your exploration of Fernando de Noronha! Such tours usually last from three to five hours, so you’ll have enough time to relish mesmerizing seascapes.
FDino Noronha offers a three-hour Sunset Boat Tour from 3 PM to 6 PM. Fernando de Noronha is renowned for its jaw-dropping sunsets, so don’t miss out on a chance to treat yourself to this exceptional view along with a lip-smacking grilled fish served aboard a vessel.
Your outstanding adventure starts at the Santo Antonio Port with a scuba diving session. Then, you will sail to the Praia da Biboca and get 30 minutes of water skiing for each guest. Once you enjoy water skiing to the fullest, you will get to the Morro Dois Irmaos to admire the sunset and savor grilled fish and tropical salads. At the end of the tour, you will be transferred back to the port.
The Paradise on Earth Is Waiting for You
Fernando de Noronha is a mind-blowing travel destination full of unique wildlife, perfect spots for diving and surfing, marvelous hiking trails, and amazing boating destinations, so everyone can find something they like.
The limited number of travelers allowed to visit Brazilian Hawaii per day makes it a fantastic place for those who are tired of mediocre and overhyped tourist attractions and longing to find a special place to explore. It’s time to pack your backpack and embark on the most exciting and memorable trip ever!