A tropical haven over 300 miles off the coast of Brazil, Fernando de Noronha is a sparsely-populated UNESCO World Heritage archipelago that is renowned for its pristine beaches and picture postcard setting. The gorgeous blue waters that surround the cluster of 21 islands are considered among the world’s choice destinations for diving, with a visibility of over 160 feet and an intense concentration of dolphin, sea turtles, small sharks, eels, rays, and a variety of fish inhabiting the waters.

Evidence of colonization is scattered throughout Fernando de Noronha, including the remains of many charming churches, fortresses, and other structures built over 500 years ago. Occupation by French, Dutch, and Portuguese forces all took a toll on the island’s environment, but none so grave as when the archipelago was made into a correctional colony in the 18th century. To ensure that no prisoners could build rafts and escape, nearly all of the vegetation on the main island was cut down. Fortunately, much of the land has been reclaimed by shrubbery and efforts are currently being made to reintroduce endemic trees to the main island to promote the setting’s natural regeneration. The island has also seen an increase establishment of marine reserves and conservation areas to ensure its beauty for generations to come.

Among the amazing beaches to behold in Fernando de Noronha, Pig Bay and Sancho Bay are considered the most stunning. Visitors can watch dolphins from a distance at Dolphin Bay or get close to sea turtles while swimming in Sueste Bay. Volcanic rock forms natural swimming pools on Lion Beach and the shallow tidal pool of Praia de Atalaia. Snorkelling in this two-foot-deep pool is highly regulated, but patient visitors will experience an organic aquarium of lobster, octopus, and fish mere inches away in the crystal-clear waters.

Contact a Ker & Downey travel expert today to include the perfect beaches and unparalleled diving of Fernando de Noronha on your next luxury Brazil adventure.