Fernando de Noronha: a paradise archipelago in Brazil
I woke up very early in Recife, a city on the coast of north-eastern Brazil. The sun was shining, which was a good sign, indicating that the adventure that I had always dreamed of was becoming a reality. I have always wanted to visit this paradise because, in a way, it is very similar to the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
The scenic flight from Recife to the Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site, takes about an hour. When I saw the island, I knew that I was going to enjoy this place. I was so excited because, from the air, it looked so small, green and exotic, with pearly-white beaches, turquoise waters and majestic rock formations. It was very inviting indeed.
When I was collected from the airport and taken to my hotel, the wonderful Pousada Maravilha, I was blown away by the view and the warm welcome I received. Everything about this property was amazing – from the hot tubs and hammocks in the rooms and the infinity pool to the brilliant service and excellent Maravilha Restaurant.
But the real adventure began the next day when I explored the island and picture-postcard beaches with a private guide. Some of them had palm trees and others were tucked away in small, hidden coves. One fascinating fact is that endemic fauna and flora can be found here, particularly birds. But most of all, I enjoyed snorkelling in this national marine park. I didn’t have to swim far to see the vibrant coral reef and share the ocean with turtles, friendly sharks, innumerable colourful fish and lobsters. I felt really privileged and humbled by the experience.
At the end of the day, my guide had a surprise for me. He asked me if I would like to have a drink and I said I would love a cold beer because it was very hot. He drove me to one of the highest points on the island where there is a bar. It offers magnificent vistas of the fabulous beaches and the Two Brother Islands. He told me to relax and enjoy the music, my beer and the sunset. What a spectacle! This was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen, with a fabulous backdrop. We applauded the musicians at the end because it was such a great show.
If I could have had more time at Fernando de Noronha, I would have loved to do some more snorkelling, go on another boat trip to spot dolphins or just relax on some of the most famous beaches around the world. My memories here are of dramatic rock formations, glorious beaches, pristine waters, lots of wildlife and fantastic food. I would recommend this magical destination to anyone.