Just being on a tropical island is a special thing in itself, yet Fernando de Noronha has much more to offer. The volcanic archipelago is made up of 21 islands and takes its name after the largest one – a symbol of paradise getaways in Brazil. If you’re lucky enough to go there, here are some of the best unique experiences to have in Fernando de Noronha.
In the aptly named Baia de Golfinhos – Dolphin Bay – hundreds of spinner dolphins gather on a daily basis to feed on the rich source of fish and to socialize. This species of dolphins get their name from their unique habit of leaping out of the water and spinning on their axis up to seven times before diving back into the ocean. You can watch them from the shoreline or take a boat trip to get close and swim alongside them.
More experienced divers can take a 20-minute boat trip from the island and dive to the depths of the ocean to visit a shipwreck known as the Corveta Ipiranga which sank back in 1983. It is a wonderland of marine life including crustaceans, tropical fish and about 15 species of sharks. There has never been a reported shark attack at this shipwreck so it is considered safe to explore.
Between December and June, certain beaches of Fernando de Noronha become the nesting ground for hundreds of turtle eggs that are left under the sand until they are ready to hatch. These beaches are strictly protected by law and local projects such as Project TAMAR work hard all year round to ensure the baby turtles have the best chance as possible of survival. By contacting the conservation organization in advance, you have a chance of witnessing the unique moment when the turtles hatch. If you arrive outside the nesting season, you can always head south of the island for a chance to swim with adult turtles in the wild.
The Guia Quatro Rodas Praias, Brazil’s most highly-regarded guide to gorgeous beaches, lists three of Fernando de Noronha’s beaches as among the top five best beaches in the country. With snow white sand, turquoise oceans and dramatic rocky backdrops being the key features of Noronha’s coastline, it’s not hard to see why. Make sure you add Praia de Leão, Baia do Sancho and Baia de Porcos beaches to your list of places to visit for picture-perfect moments and days of relaxation with barely a soul around.
Fernando de Noronha is a marine national park and its ecosystem is carefully protected by law and strict conservation efforts. As a result, the biodiversity there is incredible with several endemic species and a perfect balance between the plants and wildlife. The waters that surround the island are among the most marine-rich in the world and set the scene for an unforgettable snorkeling experience where you can see turtles, lobsters, rays, sharks and dozens of tropical fish.
Sunsets can be stunning whether they are in a bustling city or a vast desert, yet there is something special about the sunset at Fernando de Noronha. The best place to see it is at Boldro beach where the small peak that bookends the beach offers the perfect viewpoint to watch the sun dip behind the calm ocean and where the crystal clear sky provides the ideal canvas for all the vibrant colors.
Some of the best beaches on Fernando de Noronha are the ones that are the most difficult to access. Take a boat trip to some of these untouched beaches – among the wildest shorelines you can ever see – or visit the other, smaller islands that are completely uninhabited by man and teeming with dozens of different species of birds.