Fernando de Noronha

While the Brazilian Northeast is dominated by the towering presence of Recife and Olinda, tourists to Brazil are almost certain to fall in love with another locale, located out to sea: Fernando de Noronha, a beautiful beach archipelago that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.
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Fernando do Noronha Lagoon

Widely considered the most beautiful location in Brazil, it is only accessible by plane. While quite pricy, Noronha offers unparalleled diving, snorkeling, dolphin watching, and surfing. For those more interested in land-based activities, there is excellent horseback riding, and ample nature trails that meander through a picturesque national park.

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=> A tiny community of only 3100 people, it has rapidly become the ecotourism destination in Brazil.
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While highly regulated by Brazilian environmental authorities, and considerably more expensive than other similar destinations, due to the cost of transporting goods from the mainland, few have ever regretted their decision to head to this tropical paradise. Keep in mind that during the rainy season here, February to June, you are likely to find lower prices, but you may get soaked on a regular basis.

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Activities and Attractions
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It would be a good idea to start your visit at the Centro de Visitantes, located in Vila do Boldro. In addition to finding the most up-to-date tourist information, you are treated to complimentary sea turtle and spinner dolphin exhibitions. Fernando do Noronha boasts seventeen beaches. In fact, in a recent Brazilian beach guide three of Brazil's top four beaches, Baia do Sancho, Baia dos Porcos, and Praia do Leao, were located in Fernando.

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Cacimba do Padre and Americano, on the northwest of the island, are ideal for surfing, while the Baia dos Golfinhos offers a spectacular opportunity to dolphin watch for those willing to wake up early. At 5:30am daily, head to the Mirante dos Golfinhos to take in the breathtaking sight of over 300 spinner dolphins frolicking in the shallow waters.

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If you're interested in surfing, your best bet far and away is Cacimba do Padre, which features a surfing championship between December and March. Waves have been known to reach heights of five meters. If you didn't bring your own board, head over to Restaurante do Jacare and rent one for only R$30 a day.

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Fernando is also a snorkeler's paradise, with the Baia do Sueste, where you can swim with sea turtles, the amazing tidal pool marine life of Atalia, and the rocky underwater formations of Baia do Sancho. An addition option here is snorkeling by boat, where you are gently pulled through the water behind a boat, enabling you to see more in a day. Mask, snorkel, and flippers can typically be rented for R$15 a day around the island.

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Accommodation
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Pousada Golfinho<
Single rooms start at R$90 per night, while doubles go for R$140. This is most likely your best bet for economy.
Rua Sao Miguel 144, Vila dos Remedios, Noronha, Brazil
Tel: 3619 1837
www.pousadagolfinho.com.br

Pousada Algas Marinhas
Single rooms start at R$200, while doubles go for R$280.
Alameda das Flores 514, Floresta Nova, Noronha, Brazil
Tel: 3619 1341 
www.pousadaalgasmarinhas.com.br

Pousada do Vale
Known for friendly service, as well as the all-you-can-eat pizza Sundays and fish grill on Thursdays. Singles start at around R$400, and expect to pay R$600 for a double.
Rua Pescador Sergio Lino 18, Lila dos Remedios
Tel: 3619 1293
www.pousadadovale.com

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Where to Eat
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wide variety of food options for around R$30 a kilo.

Pizzaria Namoita
This is a Fernando do Noronha take on Paulista pizza, and is considered a local favorite. Enjoy the shade of owner Mauricio Vilela's cashew trew while you sample his delicious pizzas.
BR-363, Vila do Trinta
Tel: 3619 1914

Mergulhao
This fusion Brazilian-Mediterranean cuisine joint offers superb views of the port, and great food at a reasonable price.
Porto, Noronha, Brazil
Tel: 3619 0215

Palhoca da Colina
This one of a kind dining experience happens in the backyard of a local fisherman's home, and features a selection of fresh-caught fish, grilled on banana leaves. Make sure to call ahead for a reservation
Estrada de Colina, Vila do Trinta, Noronha, Brazil
Tel: 3619 1473

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Getting There
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Sailing in Fernando do Noronha

Noronha is only accessible by plane.  As tourism is tightly controlled by the government, there is a limited supply of flights, so book well in advance, especially for the high season of December to February and July and August.

Visitors are also required to pay a daily or weekly environmental impact tax, payable either in cash or credit card at the airport, or ahead of time online.  If you end up staying additional days, make sure to clear your tax bill ahead of time, as you'll be charged a surcharge upon departure at the airport otherwise.

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=> The airport is located in the middle of the island. All flights to Fernando originate in either Recife o Natal. It is the semi-official policy of the government to enforce a 750 person per day visitor limit in the island. Flights are offered by Trip and Gol/Varig, and are expensive.
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