In the middle of the Atlantic, 350km East of Brazil is the little island of Fernando de Noronha, less than a third of the size of Manhattan.
The beaches here are the best of South America, and the most beautiful ones of Brazil. But you need to earn the pleasure to spend time on Praia de Leao, Ponta das Caracas or Baia do Sueste, the three most beautiful beaches of Brazil.
The island is a National Park, with a limit of 400 tourists welcomed per day. Most will arrive by plane from Recife. There are a lot more than 400 beds available on the island, so you will always have the feeling to have the place to yourself. Nothing is cheap on Fernando, as most products need to be fly-in or brought by boat, your travel agent will advise you to bring as much as you can with you. No big hotel here, you will either stay in a Pousada, or rent a room from one of the 3000 inhabitants.
The best way to explore the island is by renting one of the beach buggies! You are in Brazil after all, surrounded by cool people and amazing music. No need for shoes or shirt here, this is beach time at his best! Just don’t forget your sunscreen!
Your days will be spent on beaches, diving with amazing rays, or even watching dolphins from a boat. You can also trek the National Park to places you only thought Darwin had been dream of. This place does exist! Most Brazilians will tell you this is the place to visit in Brazil, even if themselves, never set foot on the island.
So pack a flight from Joburg or Addis to Sao Paolo, and you are just few hours from paradise! On the way back, you may want to spend some time in Rio…but forever, some of the best beaches you will have visited, will remain, uncrowded…on Fernando de Noronha!
Text and photos Pierre-Alexandre Van de Walle