Whenever someone tells you that somewhere you have never heard of is the best beach in the world, then you have to check it out.
When they tell you it is on an island called Fernando de Noronha and you haven’t a clue where that is, then my curiosity really is aroused.
Then they tell you that top model Naomi Campbell regularly stays on the island I decided I needed to find out more, and so what follows is the result of my enquiries.
Fernando de Noronha, a mass of dark green laced with creamy yellow beaches hemmed in by azure sea, is just 10 km long and 1.5km wide, and located off the north coast of Brazil. It is quite possibly the most relaxing, and most beautiful, place on earth, with castaway beaches lapped by turquoise waters, glorious marine life and sleepy villages.
Now that is some description!!
In fact it isn’t an island but an archipelago of 21 islands and islets 220 miles off the Brazilian coast in the Atlantic Ocean.
The beach itself is called Baia do Sancho, described by the locals as the best beach in Brazil but by visitors as the best beach in the world
This beach is more notable for what it doesn’t have than for what it does. It is a dream vision of the perfect tropical beach. There are no deckchairs, no showers, no beach bar, and no facilities of any kind. It is fairly empty, and the best beach in the world is even more secluded due to the challenges in reaching it. Trekkers have to follow a dirt trail, climb down a rickety ladder through the rock wall through a tight crevasse, down an even more rickety ladder, and finally down a few dozen uneven, slippery-sandy steps. For this reason it is best visited via boat, which will stop right in front of the bay to not destroy the corals underneath.
I know that a number of people like to find somewhere different for their honeymoon. It used to be an African safari, or the Maldives, Phuket or Bali, but if you want to be diufferent, perhaps set a trend, and certainly surprise your friends then visiting the best beach in the world off the coast of Brazil could be the answer.
Practical Hints when planning a trip to Fernando do Noronha
Few people can claim they’ve witnessed the unspoiled and breathtaking beaches of Fernando de Noronha, and it’s no wonder: This island off the northeast coast of Brazil was declared a marine national park in 1988, and now a mere 420 tourists are allowed on the island at any time.
The lucky few who do visit the island are treated to a spectacle of natural beauty, both on land and at sea. Its rugged landscape includes towering rock sculptures, rushing waterfalls and natural swimming pools. Tucked beneath jagged cliffs and caves lurk exquisite white sand beaches.
The waters off Fernando de Noronha teem with colorful fish, dolphins, lobsters, turtles, sponges and corals, making it a favorite diving and snorkeling locale. Even scientists agree the island’s watery environs are a gem: Considered a marine ecological reserve, Fernando de Noronha is protected by the government. Surfers consider the large waves at beaches like Cacimba do Padre, and Bode to be some of the best surf spots in the world.
The island was discovered by the Portuguese in 1503, and its history includes being a one-time pirate lair and the site of a political prison. Today, the remoteness of this 7-mile-wide island and the lack of crowds yield a peaceful retreat with swimming, diving and hiking as the itinerary.
Daily flights depart from the Brazilian mainland towns of Recife and Natal; flight time is about 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Remember, the island is remote, and air-conditioned taxis or shuttles are nonexistent. Instead, use the efficient dune-buggy taxi service. Though buggies can be rented, roads are very rugged and those unfamiliar with them risk accidents or rollovers.
When to Go
The island is blessed with consistently warm weather (77 degrees F), but has a rainy season from January until August. It rarely rains in October, generally the island’s driest month. Peak tourist season is from mid-December through the end of February; with the island’s limit of 420 tourists, it is more difficult to find lodging at this time.
It isn’t surprising that much of the island’s fresh fare is seafood-based, namely fish cooked in banana leaves and deep-fried shark-meat dumplings. The island lacks farms and other ingredients have to be imported from the mainland. A meal at Ze Maria (Rua Nice Cordeiro) is a must-do, where owner and local character Ze Maria hostsa Wednesday and Saturday night gastronomic festival.
At Wednesday and Saturday they run a gastronomic festival, where you can try so many different meals, form steak to sashimi followed by amazing desserts!! They trills you with dozen and dozen kind of dishes, one better than other, in a “all you can eat” service. These days, the price are not so nice, but it’s an exotic experience that had to be lived. They work for lunch and dinner, but i’m not sure if they even closed between them.
Some knowledge of the Portuguese language is helpful; English is rarely, if ever, spoken, written or understood. It’s imperative that travelers to the island bring reais, the Brazilian currency. There is only one bank branch (Banco Real) on the island and no currency exchange offices. Few establishments accept credit cards. Tap water is unsafe to drink, but bottled water is easily accessible.
Where to Stay
A collection of beach houses, in a contemporary-minimal style. Apart from the Pousada Maravilha, there are several other basic lodgings, but this is the most stylish. It is one of the most divinely situated hotels anywhere, directly in front of the hotel is a curve of a perfect bay, green-clad hills to either side and the Atlantic Ocean in front. Rooms have Japanese hot tubs, satellite TV and Internet on tap, and there is a glass-walled sauna from which you can dive directly into the beautiful infinity-edged pool. This is where Naomi Campbell came to rest after Sao Paulo Fashion Week.
We spent there some days during our honeymoon and it was just amazing. The location can’t be better, enjoying beautiful sights from any spot and having a wonderful beach just in front of the hotel (5min walk). Service was in general impeccable, always helping you to solve any problems or doubts. The restaurant was also excellent: many tourists from other hotels went there to enjoy lunch or dinner. Our room was just great: always clean, great view and a particular spa. There was no fitness center: there’s a whole island to visit, that can make it!
Of course, it is not a cheap hotel, but if you can afford it, it’s the best choice, no doubt.