Exploring the Volcanic Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

From a distance, the main island of the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, about 354 kilometers (220 miles) off Brazil’s northeast coast, is recognizable by its largest volcanic peak, Pico Mount, viewed here from the west

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil is a volcanic archipelago of 21 islands about 354 kilometers (220 miles) off Brazil’s northeast coast. It is named after its largest island, a protected national marine park and ecological sanctuary with a jagged coastline and diverse ecosystems. Fernando de Noronha is renowned for its undeveloped beaches and for scuba diving and snorkeling. Sea turtles, rays, dolphins and reef sharks swim in its warm, clear waters. Fiercely protected by the local environmentalist organization, these pristine islands and ecosystem are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a peaceful haven for the lucky few who visit its tranquil shores. The quaint neighborhoods of Vila dos Remédios and nearby Vila do Trinta hold a few well-preserved remnants from the colonial period.

At Baia de Sueste (Sueste Bay) we went snorkeling and had the opportunity to see a number of turtles and lobsters (hiding in holes on the ocean bottom), along with an array of tropical fish


Our truck drove us a few kilometers (miles) from Baia de Sueste to a point overlooking Praia do Leão (Lion Beach), one of the archipelago’s most beautiful and pristine beaches


The view from the trail at Mirante dos Golfinhos (Golfinhos Viewpoint) to the southwest, with the tip of the main island – Ponta de Sapata – visible in the distance from the cliff


Coastal rock formations give evidence of the island’s volcanic origins


A tour boat in the bay off of Praia do Sancho (Sancho Beach)


The “two brothers” (Morro Dos Dois Irmãos) rock formations, just north of Baia dos Porcos and Praia do Sancho, off Praia do Cacimba do Padre, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil


The parade ground (with canons) in front of the colonial administration building

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