|Photo by Henrique Neto|
Two-thirds of the archipelago are located in the Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park its access is restricted. The most beautiful beaches on the island are within it and to visit them you need to buy the ticket valid for 10 days. You can buy it online here.
By paying the ticket online you will earn an extra hour without being kept at a boring line to fill out papers on arrival at the airport. These papers are compulsory both in and out of the main island.
Should you decide to stay longer, you have to pay the extra fee at the customs station. Beware! Fine on overdue stay permit is heavy.
WHAT TO TAKE:
Sunblock, mosquito repelent, sun shades, snorkelling gear and a hat. Products go to the island by boat therefore elevating their price tags, specially sunblock and repelent.
WARNING: Noronha is a volcanic island and sun rays are exceptionally stronger there. Sunblock is of the utmost importance, especially behind the ears, even on a cloudy day, which is rare.
HOW TO GET THERE:
It requires some reasearch work, for prices vary tremendously. Both domestic airlines, Gol and Azul operate daily from Natal and Recife.
WHERE TO STAY:
Accomodation in Noronha is threefold: hotels, lodges and B&B. Camping is not allowed. Daily rates at hotels and lodges are around R$700,00 (approx. $290), but the downside is you´re going to pay the price of a five-star hotel in return for a three-star service. On the other hand, locals offer rooms at their homes with air conditioning, frigobar, cable TV, hot shower, fluffy towels, a substantial breakfast, all served with a welcoming smile.
Avoid doing tours by yourself. It may end up being a nuisance; the minimum stay period recommended is 5 days, so that you do not end up feeling like you´ve been through a marathon - you will get to know all beaches without time constraints and will have saved yourself $50.
The island fits within barely 17 sq/km. The main hamlet can be stridden easily and the 16 beaches, 4 at the Outer Sea (Mar de Fora), which face Africa, and 12 at the Inner Sea (Mar de Dentro) facing the Brazilian coast are within a walking distance.
Moving from one place to another can be done by means of buses, taxis or buggies ($67 daily rent). The most expensive taxi ride costs $15 (from the harbor to southeast of the island), and the bus which fares along the island is barely $1. Hitchhiking is also very common.