There is no shortage of those who guarantee that the Fernando de Noronha archipelago has lived happier days, when ecotourism and the fact that it is an almost untouchable paradise were the only reasons why many visited it.
In any case, it is undeniable that among the Fernando de Noronha beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil. On the archipelago are many of the best diving sites in the country - along with Abrolhos. And that UNESCO keeps Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park on the list of places classified as World Heritage Sites in Brazil.
In short, there is no doubt that Fernando de Noronha's landscape, both above and below water, is still breathtaking and worth the short plane ride from Recife.
However, it has as an obvious fact that it is too expensive a destination for the average traveler. Also because the number of visitors that come to Fernando de Noronha is controlled - and well! - by federal law to ensure the environmental sustainability of the archipelago, and a daily environmental charge is charged.
The tourist pressure in Fernando de Noronha: a real problem
Let's be clear: Fernando de Noronha doesn't need any more tourists. The island is full. Noronha is at the limit - or has probably already exceeded that limit with regard to the number of tourists. There is buggiestoo much engine noise, too many inns, too many tourists. All because the number of flights per day has increased a lot in recent years, and tourists have responded to the offer.
But the island is small, the ecosystem fragile and the resources limited; and lack of water is a real problem. Noronha does not need more tourists - I repeat - but it needs to be environmentally conscious.
That said, and at a time when the President of Brazil is considering the possibility of eliminating the Environmental Preservation Fee and opening Fernando de Noronha to the giant cruise ships, I hope to make a modest contribution to making those who dream of visiting the island aware. of their real impact - and do everything to minimize it.
Be careful with the corals and respect the rules imposed by the National Park; don't rent one buggy; limit waste produced and waste to a minimum; buy water bottles instead of smaller bottles; make conscious use of water resources. These are just some of the simple things you can do to minimize your impact on Fernando de Noronha.
If you are unwilling to collaborate, simply do not go! Noronha thanks you.
In this guide by Fernando de Noronha, and based on my experience on the island, I share all the tips for organizing a smooth trip to Noronha.
From Environmental Preservation Rate to Cost of Living and the Best Fernando de Noronha beachesGoing through the scheduling of the trails or the best time to visit, I will try to explain everything in as much detail. I hope it is helpful.
When is the best time to visit Fernando de Noronha?
The Fernando de Noronha archipelago can be visited throughout the year. The average temperature on the island, for example, is 28ºC, with slight variations over the months. There are, however, two more or less defined seasons: the dry season (from September to March) and the rainy season (from April to August).
Now the best time to visit Noronha depends on the purpose of the trip. So, to decide when to visit Fernando de Noronha, write down the following:
To travel with children
For those traveling with children and would like to find beaches with a calm and transparent sea, September is unanimously considered the best month to visit Fernando de Noronha. The second half of August or October is equally good.
To do diving
It is also at this time - September and October - that the visibility under water becomes most impressive (can reach 50 meters of visibility), making it the ideal time for those who want to dive in Noronha.
For those who surf, instead, the best time is from December to March. It is the so-called big wave season, when Mar de Fora gets very busy and gets waves that can reach six meters. It is at this time of year that Cacimba do Padre Beach hosts surfing competitions.
To go hiking
Walking and hiking the Noronha trails any time of year is good. Note however that the vegetation of the island gets more lush in the rainy season.
For fun and nightlife
Finally, the festive seasons of the New Year's Eve and Carnival attract a crowd of devotees from Fernando de Noronha, especially Brazilian travelers with well-packed wallets, since at that time the inns (and services like buggies) even quadruple the prices. If it is your wave, consider seriously; otherwise, run away at seven feet.
How to get to Fernando de Noronha
There is only one way to get to Fernando de Noronha: by plane. Azul and Gol have several daily flights between Recife and Noronha (just over an hour's flight) - and there are also flights from Natal. From Portugal to Recife, the most direct way is to fly from Lisbon with TAP.
How to get from the airport to your hostel
Most Fernando de Noronha Bed and Breakfasts offers transfer free for your hostel. Were one transfer private and disinterested and it would be all right. The problem is that most of the time, they are shared trips made available by local operators, used to sell tours (or at least to present tours and motivate newcomers to take tours with the agency concerned). Think twice before accepting.
For me, an independent traveler by definition, the best - and cheapest - way is to take a bus ($ 5 per person). This is true if your hostel is near BR or in Vila dos Remedios - that was my case. It may or may not stop at Project Tamar midway, but we'll be right there.
Alternatively, a taxi straight to your hostel in Vila dos Remédios, New Forest, Old Forest or Vila do Trinta (tabulated price of R $ 30).
I think any of the options is better than one transfer “Free” disguised as sales. Thus, you can still enjoy to enjoy a beach such as Conceição or Cachorro, and enjoy the first sunset in Fernando de Noronha. In summary, outside the airport:
- taxi (R $ 30) or bus (R $ 5 per person) to the hostel, leave luggage and go to a beach;
- Alternatively, take a bus to the Tamar Project and buy the park ticket (see below); Half an hour later, take a new bus to your hostel, drop off your luggage and head to the beach. I landed around 12: 30 and that was my choice.
How to get around the island
The most environmentally friendly way to get around Noronha is by public bus (bus) and walking. I spent nine days in Noronha this way, and I never missed having a rental car.
By the way, I beg you to resist the temptation to rent a buggy in Fernando de Noronha. In my opinion, they are a plague that should be eliminated from the island - not only for unnecessary fuel consumption, but also for the absurd noise they make. Do Fernando de Noronha a favor and use the bus.
Accommodation in Noronha (where to stay)
For more detailed information on the different regions of the island, see the post specific where to stay in Fernando de Noronha, in which I explain the advantages and disadvantages of each location.
In summary, my main choice when looking for accommodation in Fernando de Noronha is to Remedies Village, followed by New Forest and Old Forest. Note, however, that price can strongly condition your choices.
In particular, in Remedies Village I like the inns Corvette e Flamboyant Residence; in the New Forest of the inns Naiepe e Dry Stones; and in the Old Forest of Pousada Filó and from Noronha 350, among others. Alternatively, the Conceição House it's a rare hostel Foot on the sand and it's an absolute charm. It is located at Conceição Beach.
Finally, if you want to spend a few unforgettable days (and are willing to pay for it), I recommend without hesitation the extraordinary Pousada Maravilha, Pousada Morena e Teju-Açu Ecopousada, three of the most luxurious inns of Fernando de Noronha. Gonna love it!
For other accommodation options, for all tastes and prices, please see link below. Surely you will find a hostel in Noronha with your face. Just don't think it will be cheap!
How many days to stay in Fernando de Noronha
I recommend a minimum of five days but ideally seven days (or more) to calmly explore the island and truly enjoy the island, take a few walks and repeat the beaches of Sancho and Baía dos Pucos.
If you want to do several of the trails that require scheduling at the park and are subject to availability, I recommend staying even longer in Fernando de Noronha.
In Fernando de Noronha there are two automatic withdrawal boxes: one at the airport, and one at Banco Santander in Vila dos Remédios. Both allow the use of international cards to withdraw money, but charge fees for the transaction (in my case, 20 reais).
The strategy I recommend is to raise some money beforehand, before traveling to Fernando de Noronha (Recife airport has several boxes); or ultimately on arrival at the airport. The important thing to know is that you will need money because some restaurants and services, such as the bus and one or the other mini market, do not accept card payments.
Use Revolut card (if you do not have a bank account in Brazil)
Otherwise I always used mine Revolut card in Fernando de Noronha. I loaded it with enough money and, like most services in Fernando de Noronha - hostels, restaurants, travel agencies and stores - accept card payments, I almost always used Revolut to make payments. No fear of paying exorbitant fees and commissions.
All in all, I have saved dozens of euros in the nine days I was in Noronha. Even for surveys carried out in Recife and Fernando de Noronha, it was very worthwhile to use the Revolut (due to the absence of fees and the use of the most favorable exchange rate).
Note: on arrival in Recife, I could not raise money with Revolut. The reason was this: for security reasons, since this was the first survey of my Metal card in different geographies, the system blocked the movements until I confirmed that I was the author of these survey attempts.
At first it was frustrating because I thought the card was not working; only when I arrived at the inn and accessed the app I noticed the problem, confirmed the authorship of the attempts and the card was automatically unlocked.
Tips to save on Fernando de Noronha
- Choose a bed and breakfast (Breakfast) or perhaps even cheaper, take it yourself (buy bread, eggs, milk, butter and cheese, for example from one of the island's supermarkets and bakeries).
- Dine at good, inexpensive local restaurants such as Jacaré (Vila dos Remédios) or Valdénio (Vila do Trinta).
- Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Bureaucratic procedures on arrival in Fernando de Noronha: 3 fundamental steps
1. TPA - Environmental Preservation Rate
Upon arrival at Fernando de Noronha Airport, even before collecting luggage, you must pay the Environmental Preservation Fee. This is a high value, which depends on the number of nights spent in Noronha and is applied “in the management of public services on the island”. Alternatively, you can pay the fee on-lineat least three days before you travel.
And what is the best option? From what I saw at the airport, most visitors paid in advance and honestly seemed the right choice. I chose to pay on arrival, but this meant filling out a longer form and procedures at counter. The TPA prep line, though bigger, was much faster.
As for values, in August of 2019 I paid R $ 573,44 (about 125 €) per person for nine nights stay. Out of curiosity, a five-night trip was for $ 361,71. see the price table No. website official of the Pernambuco State Government.
2. Admission to the Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park
Card is not required (but is critical)
It is theoretically possible to visit Fernando de Noronha without entering the area protected by PARNAMAR - Fernando de Noronha National Marine Park; but that would mean not knowing the most emblematic places of the island, such as Atalaia Beach, Sancho Beach or Porcos Bay.
In the park's words: “You will need to buy the unique, personal, non-transferable National Park ticket valid for 10 days to visit the beaches, hike, as well as dive and boat trips within the National Park. The beaches and trails of the Park are: Sancho, Southeast, Dolphin Bay, Bay of Pigs, Lion Beach, Atalaia Pool, Dolphin Trail; Abreu, Capim Açu, Pontinha Pedra Alta, Fort São Joaquim, Morro São José, as well as Ponta das Caracas and Caieira. ”
That is, after making the financial effort to reach Fernando de Noronha, it makes no sense to be deprived of access to the park, which covers 70% of Fernando de Noronha's territory.
The ticket has another key difference from TPA: it is not sold at the airport. You must pass the Visitor Center or an Information and Control Post (PIC).
How to buy
The card can be acquire online or in person in Fernando de Noronha. I did not buy on-line because I would have to lift it in person - so it would do the same work.
Now, as the park advises that the face-to-face purchase be made at the Projeto Tamar building, halfway between the airport and Vila dos Remédios, you can leave the airport and stop right there to buy the card (the alternative is to go to the PIC Sancho, PIC Sueste or PIC León).
My strategy was this: how did I dismiss the transfer shared and chose to go on my own, took a bus from the airport to Projeto Tamar (has a stop across the street), dealt with the card, and half an hour later took the next bus to Vila dos Remedios, where I stayed.
The card costs $ 106 for Brazilian citizens and $ 212 for foreigners; and is valid for 10 calendar days from card withdrawal. Children under 12 and older than 60 are exempt from payment.
3. Trail Scheduling
The third step is to schedule trails. There are five trails in Fernando de Noronha that have daily space limitation “due to the fragility of the environment and also the tide conditions”. These trails can only be visited by prior appointment. Are they:
- Trail Morro São José (16 vacancies per day);
- Trail of Open (24 vacancies);
- Trail Pontinha Caieira (40 vacancies);
- Trail Watchtower (6 groups of 16 people, totaling 96 people per day - number that may vary depending on tide and siltation of the natural pool);
- Trail Acu Grass (40 vacancies).
If you want to do any of them then you have to schedule at ICMBio Visitor Center, which shares the facilities with the Tamar Project, in an inefficient process that forces you to lose a few precious hours.
- Scheduling must be done in person (cannot be done online), on the three totems available for that purpose, daily between 17: 00 and 20: 00. Note that from 16: 00 passwords are distributed on a first come, first served basis, with a lecture on the island's attractions;
- Trails can be scheduled up to six days in advance;
- Each person can schedule the trails they want, as long as there are spaces available for up to six people (provided they have all their park cards with them);
- Some of the trails - the so-called Long Trails - can only be done “with compulsory driving” (ie accompanied by an accredited guide). They are Pontinha-Caieira (Atalaia Longa), Morro São José (in the swimming version) and Capim-Açu. Note that the guide naturally has to be paid, so consider this extra expense when booking the trails.
In short, the scheduling process has the following dynamics:
- 16:00: distribution of passwords for scheduling in the TAMAR Project Auditorium and video projection about Fernando de Noronha;
- 16:30: talk about attractions scheduled with a Ranger;
- 17:00: start scheduling, following the order of distributed passwords
- 20:00: end of schedule.
I just did the Watchtower Trail.
Fernando de Noronha Tours
Island Tour: Worth Doing?
For those who have only three or four days in Fernando de Noronha, I believe that taking a tour like Ilha Tour may be a good option. It is a day-long tour of the island's main points; and I believe it can work very well as an introduction to the island for those who have little time.
In my case, as I spent nine nights on the island, I could explore Fernando de Noronha's main attractions at my own pace, without fuss, with time to contemplate the landscape whenever I wanted, and without having to watch numerous photo shoots and selfies. For all that, I didn't do the Island Tour - Noronha's most famous tour.
That is, I think it will be worth it on a short trip, and is unnecessary for those who stay more than a week in Noronha. THE Receptive Watchtower It's one of the most popular companies - but there are several.
With so much offer, decide Things to do in Fernando de Noronha It is not always an easy task. But I will help. In my experience, one of the most interesting activities on the island is board boating.
Basically, it's like doing snorkelling pulled slowly by a boat, usually between Porto beach and Morro Dois Irmãos. With the advantage that dolphins often follow the boat; or better yet, as it happened to me, with the dolphins joining us as we did snorkelling with the board, literally swimming with us. It was beautiful - from the high moments of the whole trip.
In the end, as a bonus, there was a delicious fish and picanha barbecue on board.
There are several companies that offer the same tour. I booked with the Noronha Reservations and it went well.
Hawaiian Canoe Tour
I was recommended to go on a Hawaiian canoe trip, especially at sunset; but I ended up not doing it. It is reported that early in the morning it is possible to see many dolphins during the tour, off Fernando de Noronha; and that in the late afternoon the light is unbelievably beautiful. Here's the tip. I was recommended the company Noronha Canoe Club.
There is no where to do it snorkelling in Fernando de Noronha. In fact, I consider it one of the best water activities on the island. With the added bonus of being free.
Among the places where I tried to do snorkelling, highlighting the wildlife I found at Porto Beach, including several turtles and sharks. Moreover, both in Praia do Cachorro and Praia do Sancho I found many different species of fish, but in none saw sharks.
As for the Bay of Pigs, it is my favorite beach of Fernando de Noronha - and even under water does not disappoint. Just don't expect the chromatic exuberance of Pacific corals!
Finally, regarding the famous Atalaia Beach, the snorkelling it was a disappointment to me. The day I visited there were not many animals “trapped” in the natural pool - it was unlucky.
Fernando de Noronha is a fantastic place to go diving. I have the PADI Advanced course, taken during my first world tour, but I haven't been diving for a few years. Because of this and being with my daughter, I ended up not diving in Noronha.
That said, several companies offer dives in different dive sites off the archipelago; and diving baptisms for inexperienced divers - usually in the shallow waters of Porto beach. Try it.
Where to eat in Fernando de Noronha
During the nine days I spent in Fernando de Noronha, I tried restaurants of all kinds. From the best home-made restaurants to kilo restaurants, through more biological environments and even a space dedicated to sushi. In fact, there is no shortage of food in Fernando de Noronha. Just there is not many cheap restaurants.
Note that, except for sushi, I did not go to expensive and reputable restaurants such as Xica da Silva, Mergulhão, Beijupirá, Cacimba Bistro, Varanda or Zé Maria. That said, here are some reasonably priced Noronha restaurants that I can recommend.
- Alligator's Restaurant. Probably the best value for money on the whole island, with buffet Free at lunch for $ 37. The food is homemade and of quality. It is in the center of Vila dos Remédios.
- Valdénio Restaurant. Another of the great budget options, serves generous dishes for $ 35. You can choose a protein and three side dishes, plus salad. Excellent value for money. The only criticism is the little variety on offer, although a couple of specials change depending on the day of the week. It is in Vila do Trinta.
- Manaka Sushi. One of the best sushi and sashimi mixes I've had the chance to try, with price acceptable by island standards (combined generous 50 pieces for 230). It is in the New Forest. Choose dinner on a day when at least two distinct “island fish” are available (such as tuna and mackerel).
- All natural. I went to All Natural specifically to eat acai, considered the best of Fernando de Noronha. I really liked it, although it is a bit expensive. The meals are reported to be equally delicious. This hotel is located in Colina.
- Acai Roots. I only tasted the acai berry and, although beaten with guarana and banana, I really enjoyed it. The price is nice. It is in the New Forest, in front of the BR.
Finally, to say that I had good references from the Bio Bistrot NoronhaBut I didn't try it.
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