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Trip to Fernando de Noronha

One of the world’s most beautiful ecologic sanctuaries, the 21-island archipelago of Fernando de Noronha is a wonderful place to relax and to enjoy nature. It is listed by UNESCO as a Natural World Heritage site. This well preserved paradise allows no more than 450 tourists at a time, since 2/3 of the main island are part of a National Marine Reserve. There are flights connecting the main island to the cities of Natal (225 miles) and Recife (337 miles).

Its status as a Unesco Natural World Heritage Site is well deserved: the unbelievably clear waters are teeming with aquatic life – making the islands a mecca for scuba-divers – and there is also the largest western Atlantic. Nowhere in the world has a higher resident population of dolphins: going to the observation point above the Baía dos Golfinhos to watch hundreds of them at play – jumping from the ocean and spinning in the air – is an unforgettable experience.

Most tourists stay in simple pousadas owned by locals and there are a few restaurants in the main island. It is possible to walk to many beaches and attractions from the centre, but there are taxis and buses available and also the possibility of renting a buggy for a day. Most of the archipelago is protected as an ecological reserve, and visitors must pay an ‘ecological tax’ as a contribution towards conservation work.

The archipelago was officially discovered by Americo Vespucci in 1503 and was occupied by French, Dutch and Portuguese, who built forts on strategic spots. Charles Darwin, visited the main island in February 1832 .