Top Ten Brazil Classic Adventures

Scuba Dive a Brazilian Island
By Shawn Blore

It's isolation, of course, that makes an island special, and Fernando de Noronha has solitude in spades. To reach this 21-island archipelago, you travel to the far northern city of Recife, then turn right and fly for an hour and a half straight out into the Atlantic. Adding to the solitude are the strict rules imposed by the Brazilian environment ministry: 70 percent of the archipelago is national park, and the number of visitors may never exceed 420 at any given time. Most times, the island's full; around Christmas and New Year's, would-be islanders have been known to wait for days for a spot to open up.

So what's luring people out there to all that splendid isolation? A fully intact ecosystem in all its tropical glory. Verdant green mountainsides roll down to sheer rocky cliffs which fall onto wide sandy beaches that have known neither condo nor cabana. And beneath the waves floats a paradise of coral, fish, manta rays, and lemon sharks. Each new dive site offers new possibilities. Laje dos dois Irmcos is known for its coral. Ilha do Frade is the place to see rock formations and manta rays. Early in the morning, if you're looking for something scenic above the surface, wander over to the Baia dos Golfinhos just after dawn to watch 2,000 spinner dolphins gather in pods to feed and frolic in the morning sunsine.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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