Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of volcanic islands 220 miles off the Brazilian coast. Fernando de Noronha was Brazil’s first Marine Park (70% of the island is protected) and has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beaches are fantastic and largely deserted as only 420 people are permitted on the island at a time. This place has recently become a haven for Brazilian celebrities, and as a result, prices have gone up a bit. If you’re looking for a deserted island experience with a bit of luxury, then Noronha is the place for you. To me, it’s one of the most gorgeous places in South America. This travel guide will help get you to this paradise.
Fernando de Noronha
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Fernando de Noronha
1. Projeto Tamar
2. Enjoy the beaches
3. The Historical Trail
4. Go diving
5. Atalaia Beach
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Go horseback riding
For about 60 BRL per hour you can go horseback riding around the island. You’ll cross beaches, trails, and many of the islands back roads.
2. See dolphins
For the best dolphin watching, head to the aptly named Bay of Dolphins. This area is part of the National Marine Park, so the only way you’ll be able to get here is on a path along the cliff’s edge. Arrive in the morning around 6am for the best chances of seeing dolphins in the bay.
3. Try surfing
Noronha is known as the Brazilian Hawaii so you can assume the surf here is excellent. Between December and March are the prime surfing months on Fernando de Noronha. The waves get pretty rough so advanced surfers will enjoy the challenge.
4. Drive dune buggies
One of the most fun ways to explore the island is to rent a dune buggy. It costs around 200 BRL for the day and gives you the chance to check out all the secluded parts of the island that lie off the beaten track.
5. Go hiking
Hiking is extremely popular, and there are plenty of deserted beaches between the cliffs, caves, and hills that are completely inaccessible unless you’ve got your hiking books on and a healthy sense of adventure. Within the marine park, it’s required that you have a tour guide with you.
6. Forte dos Remedios
This fortress was built in the 18th century by the Portuguese as a defense point. Today, it is an awesome place to check out the sunset.
Budget hotel prices – The cheapest hotels charge about 550 BRL per night for a double room. There are also B&B type accommodations called pousadas. They are not the most conveniently located, but can run around 160-200 BRL per night for the most basic options. Use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates. There are not many Airbnb options. Most private rooms through Airbnb are about 300 BRL.
Average cost of food – The cheapest food is the “pay by weight” style you can get at buffets. These normally cost around 25-35 BRL for a meal. Most basic restaurants charge 50 BRL for a simple dish. For something nicer, expect to pay 85 BRL without drinks. You can save money by shopping at the local grocery stores. The cost will still be significantly higher (think 30%) than anywhere else, but that’s cheaper than eating out. Depending on how long you’re staying, consider bringing some food with you to the islands.
Transportation costs – A bus runs from one end of the island to the other for about 5 BRL, while a taxi costs usually somewhere around 25 BRL. Hitchhiking is also pretty common here and most locals will stop to give you a ride.
Suggested daily budget
350-500 BRL / 100-150 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating and cooking, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. If you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more, expect this to be higher!)
Money Saving Tips
- Bring cash – ATMs and money changers are virtually non-existent here so you’ll want to bring plenty of Real with you.
- Visit during low season – Noronha is always more expensive than the rest of Brazil, but traveling in the low season between April and November should provide you with cheaper accommodation.
- Comida por peso – At lunch time there are plenty of restaurants which offer the “food by weight” deal which allows you to pile your plate high for very little money.
- Couchsurf – Nothing’s cheaper than sleeping for free. Couchsurfing connects you with locals who will give you not only a free place to stay, but also a local tour guide who can introduce you to all the great places to see.
- Save money on rideshares – Uber is way cheaper than taxis and is the best way to get around a city if you don’t want to wait for a bus or pay for a taxi. The Uber Pool option is where you can share a ride to get even better savings (though you can get your own car too). You can save $15 off your first Uber ride with this code: jlx6v.
My Must Have Guides For Traveling to Fernando de Noronha
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