South America

Fernando de Noronha

If you are in Brazil and happen to ask about Fernando de Noronha to passer by, in all possibility he will be singing more than praises. This beautiful archipelago of Islands and beaches is the pride and joy of every Brazilian. The name is derived from a 16th century Portuguese nobleman who it is not sure even set foot on these Islands. The virgin island is kept at its virgin best , a veritable eco wonderland. Commercialization is kept at its minimum here with only one hotel and absolutely no internet. It is not only a destination for the Holywood celebrities to unwind but also a favorite spot of the marine biologists and nature lovers.. The emerald water houses dolphins and turtles in hordes. Even sharks are suppose to be very well behaved here. Can you beat it!

Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands. The largest of these islands are inhabited. If you want to ply from one Island to the other you have to take a special permit from the environmental authority. The easiest way to see the islands is by a touring bus which starts from the Port and goes back to the end of the Island at Praia de Sueste. The rainy season is very pronounced here and lasts from April to August. Torrential downpours can be expected then. Even the natural vegetation and wildlife population of the region is at sync with the climate. Green plants abounds here along with reptiles –frogs of every variety seem to be swarming the place. Lizards ,the yellow eyed ones, are quite common to the area. Don’t forget to take your mosquito repellents as the whole area is infested with them.

Geographically speaking the Fernando de Noronha is the tip of a submarine volcanic formation. The reef underground is very different from other sea reefs with many endemic species inhabiting the place. The water around the palce is very clear and the temperature is warm. You can see here manta rays, sharks, moray eels, goliath groupers, sea turtles and dolphins. It was discovered by Amerigo Vespucci in 1454. The Island was first occupied by the Dutch and then by the French in the 18th century. In 1737 the Portuguese entered it. They built about ten forts in the area the largest being the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios de Fernando de Noronha. The Island also served a s abase for US Army and a prison as well. The three most popular beaches here are the Sancho, Porcos and Leão.

The ecosystem of the place is very fragile and everything is being done to keep to the original surrounding. Hotels are few here and no internet. On top of that the tourism industry allows a total of 460 visitors on the Island at a time. An Environmental Preservation tax is also levied on the tourists.

Other then the sea, sand, and romancing, you could also try out takinh the route to Baia do Sancho which tests your hiking capabilities. There are remains of a prison nearby where gypsies and capoeira fighters were imprisoned. You might as well try fishing here. Your catch is wrapped in a banana leaf and presented to you so that you can grill the whole stuff. Diving is another activity that you must try out here. You can try this in the Praia do Leão and Baía do Sancho beaches here. Visitors are not allowed to apply sun tan lotion as it might harm the species inhabiting here.