Noronha Island is about 10 kilometers wide and 7 kilometers long. It is around 340 kilometers from the coast of Brazil. Strict restrictions protect this island from damage. For this reason, the beaches and environment have maintained their purity for centuries. With an average annual temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, the island is a lovely tourist destination.
The history of Noronha Island is rich. Discovered in 1503 by Amerigo Vespucci, the island was given as a gift from the king of Portugal to Fernando de Loronha, a wealthy businessman. Loronha never visited the island. It is unknown why the name of the island is Noronha instead of Loronha. Portugal was not very interested in the land. The Dutch and French gained control of the island for short periods of time. In 1737, however, Portugal regained control and used it as a prison for Brazilian criminals. In order to prevent prisoners from escaping, the forests were ruined in 1832. In 1972, the first tourists visited Noronha Island. By 1988, the island was such a popular tourist destination that it became a National Marine Park.
The small island contains two villages only. These are Vila dos Remedios and Vila do Trinta. With around 3,000 residents, Noronha has local old-world charm. It is not full of luxury resorts, although some new hotels have mushroomed lately. The island still has limited electricity and fuel; therefore, luxuries like huge shopping centers and such are not part of the landscape.
What this Brazilian island does have, however, is beaches. With sixteen beautiful beaches, Noronha is a sight to be seen. Five of the beaches, including Leao and Golfinhos, are restricted for preservation purposes. The most popular beaches are beaches of Conceicao, Americanos, Cachorro, Quixaba and Cacimba do Padre. The beaches have fine sand and clear, warm water. Some beaches, like Baia dos Porcos and Baia Sueste, offer natural pools that are formed by water trapped among reefs. People of all ages would love the beaches.
Further, the beaches provide great opportunities for water sports. Surfing, diving, and fishing are big here. Surfing is very hot between November and March. Noronha Island offers awesome waves. It is no wonder why its nickname is the Brazilian Hawaii. Many magazines choose the area as one of the world’s best diving destinations. The water is so clear that visibility exceeds 40 meters. Further, you can easily see dolphins, sharks, turtles, stingrays, and more. If you are a lover of dolphins, then you must visit Baia dos Golfinhos or Dolphins Bay. Home to more than 1,000 dolphins, tourists love this site. The dolphins go there to rest when the sun sets, after they have spent the day in the high sea searching for food. Curious animals, dolphins come pretty close to the boats of tourists.
Other popular outings include attending guided tours to natural spots on Noronha Island. Interesting tours take you to natural preserves and teach you about protecting the natural environment. You can see sharks and other forms of wildlife. You can also see turtles laying eggs at Praia do Leao or Lion’s beach.
At the end of the day, you can relax and enjoy the nightlife of Noronha Island. Outdoor bars along the coast make it very easy.