by Thomas Buechler - 2 years, 7 months ago
No mass tourism, no beach erosion, no airport noise, no pollution, no prostitution, no luxury beach resorts and no tour groups, this is Fernando de Noronha archipelago, a heavenly designed group of volcanic islands 500km off the coast of Recife in Northwestern Brazil. Yes, ist true, you are charged an entrance fee, and yes, on top of that, you have to pay for the entrance to the National Marine Park. In total about 180 USD for 1 week., the longer you stay, the more expensive it gets. There are 17 beaches around the island, plus lots of marine life, from Spinner dolphins to reef sharks and green sea turtles; if you are a diver, ist one oft he great places to come as well. I hear the best in Brazil. I did go snorkling on Baia do Sueste, and was called back because I did not wear a lifejacket; then I walked about 40 minutes in the midday heat to Praia do Leao or „Lionsbeach“, one oft he most scenic beaches in Brazil. Big waves, impossible to swim into the deeper water because of dangerous currents, but nice to lay down in the inland pool or just take photos. Number One beach of course is Baia do Sanco, a stretch of ultrafine sand and quite photogeic. It has been elected No. 1 beach not only in Brazil, but in the whole world, by Tripadvisor. Ahead of famous beaches in South East Asia, The Carribean islands, and the Seychelles!To reach the shoreline however it is not business as usual. You have to climb down on aluminium ladders inside some rock formations, and this makes the acces rather difficult.Most tourist on the island are local Brazilians, mostly from the densely popoluted urban centers of SP, Rio de Janeiro and Recife.Very few foreigners, I hear almost no foreign language spoken on the islands for one week. It must be a favourite destination for honeymooners as well, I have never seen in one place so many happy looking couples! And the favourite mode of transportation are the funny beach buggies that come in all colours and all engine noises and engine problems!But ist the perfect way to reach the beautiful beaches of Fernando de Noronha, as they are mostly on side roads. The shortest highway in Brazil-BR 363- is crossing the island from Porto via Vila dos Remedios to Baia do Sueste, passing the airport, it costs only 3 R, so when you arrive, just wait in front of the terminal for the Omnibus, in case you booked one of the posadas conveniently located along the highway, if not there are taxis available for a good price. The central square in Vila dos Remedios is a bit of the island center, especially at night when the plaza comes alive with music and food stands. The islands were discovered first on August 10th 1503 by a Portuguese seafarer named Amerigo Vespucci who reported it tot he king in Lisboa in a letter. King Dom Manuel donated this newly discovered islands tot he sponsor oft hat expedition, Fidalgo Fernao de Loronha, hence came the new for these beautiful islands. Talking about history: Dont miss to climb the „ Forte dos Remedio“s with ist great views, and excellent photo opportunities, the way goes up from close to Remedios church. There is also an excellent museum here, explaining in details the history of the islands, in both Portuguese and English, and adding some interesting photos and stories. Here I learnt that English naturalist Charles Darwin has also made it the Fernando de Noronha on board HMS Beagle, and that the USA has used parts oft he archipelago as a military and observation base for air traffic to Africa, of course this was during the Cold War and when Brazil had a military government in the late 1960’s. The Remedios Fort is also a perfect place to make photos of Morro do Pico, the pittoresque basalt finger that thrones magically (at 321m) above the island, and can be seen from almost every single place. It’s to this community here, what is the Eiffel Tower in France to the Parisians!