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Fernando de Noronha & Pipa

On the one hand Fernando de Noronha, an island with an exotic name and on the other hand the beaches of Pipa, “as Praias da Pipa”. The island is renowned for its ecotourism is listed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Pipa beach on the other hand offers the traveler a luxury relaxing break with exceptional pousadas, some of which are part of the very selective “Road of charm”… The whole nine yards!


Geography and climate

Start from the easternmost coast of Brazil and swim east/northeast towards Guinea. After 300 to 400 kilometers, depending on your starting point, you should come across Fernando de Noronha Island. This small island, barely 13 kilometers long and 3.5 kilometers wide, is a concentration of ecosystems benefiting from a tropical climate. The two seasons that characterize this climate, the alternating dry and rainy seasons give this island its intense green color contrasting with the fiery yellow of its deserted beaches and the crystal blue of its seabed.

Praia da Pipa is located less than 2 hours south of Natal and benefits from the same climate and its refreshing tropical breeze. This is what Brazilians call the Atlantic tropical climate which takes over from the semi-arid climate found further north. The coast is greener, the temperatures warmer… Pleasurable times ahead.

Fernando de Noronha - Brésil

Pipa - Brésil

A few words about Fernando de Noronha and Pipa

The island of Fernando de Noronha needs no introduction.

Connected to the Lençois Maranhenses !

Brazil, Fernando de Noronha, coveWho would have thought that when Capuchin Claude d’Abbeville visited the archipelago in 1612, Daniel de la Touche, Lord of the Ravardière, would discover another of Brazil’s gems, the Lençóis Maranhenses at the same time?

However the coincidence and the connection end there. Or does it? As with São Luís, the name of this island is the Brazilian name of the Portuguese financier (Fernão de Noronha) who discovered it in 1503 (it was then named São João da Quaresma). When Claude d’Abbeville explored the archipelago, he gave it the French name Fernand de la Rongne… a name that would later become Fernando de Noronha. Even though the island’s history has a little bit of French influence, everything that makes Fernando de Noronha is Brazilian! Lush vegetation, Brazilian temperatures, a Brazilian village atmosphere, local cuisine….

The Fernando de Noronha Archipelago

fernando de noronha, churchIt is common to call the archipelago “Fernando de Noronha Island” as if the territory were a single island. In fact it is a series of islands that constitute the summit of a volcano whose base is located… 4000 meters deep! The peak that emerges from the water is covered with corals which attract a great diversity of species and make it a real oasis in the middle of the ocean.

It has 3000 inhabitants and consists of 21 islands and islets. It has 14 beaches called “inland sea” as well as 7 other beaches. The island can be accessed by plane from Recife or Natal.

In 1988, an 8 km² part of it was classified as a National Park in order to guarantee the protection of existing endemic species. Fernando de Noronha which is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site has always attracted many scientists including one of the most famous of all: Charles Darwin in 1832.

What makes this archipelago exceptional

Fernando de Noronha - diving with turtlesAmong the most exceptional natural sites, Fernando do Noronha is so precious that an environmental quota has been established to ensure the protection of this Brazilian treasure. This quota is entirely justified as rare natural phenomena converge here. One of them is the oceanic marine current from Africa which brings in water at a temperature of 27 degrees all year round! Direct consequences are: fantastic seabeds unusually close to land, desert and heavenly beaches ideal for swimming, even in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The show put on in this exceptional environment goes on up in the air where you can observe several species of seabirds. The trees of the islands also shelter the most diverse species which, remarkably, the visitor can approach without the animals being disturbed or frightened. It is proof that in this preserved area human beings are not considered a threat.

Finally, what would Brazil be without its people? Although it is located several hundred kilometers from the coast and attracts travelers from all over the world, Fernando de Noronha’s main island remains primarily Brazilian: the Noronhenses proudly maintain their culture and do not forget to share it with visitors.

Once all your senses are pleased, all you need is to head back to a cozy nest. Pousadas put on their most beautiful evening dresses and invite you to spend delightfully comfortable nights in atmospheres as diverse as the environment around them.

Praia da Pipa

Brazil, Praia da Pipa, ocean walkLet’s start with the essential point about Pipa beach: sunlight is abundant as the sun shines on average 330 days a year !

The village of Pipa is known to have become one of the most lively places in the region but it is still a privileged natural site where you can find your haven of peace (we are here to indicate the best accommodation). It is perched at the top of the cliffs, in the middle of a generous vegetation whose atmosphere contrasts with the beaches below. These cliffs are ever-changing sceneries with very different tones at each bay and beach. Here you will find the same situation, although certainly less adventurous, as in Fernando de Noronha. The huge natural walls overlook several other beaches as far as the eye can see. One of them has been named “the beach of love” as it is bordered by heart-shaped cliffs.

Praia da Pipa has also earned her surf spot stripes and it seems surfers around the world have spread the word….

Our expert opinion

If we have decided to associate these 2 destinations here it is because they are complementary and form an ideal combination to consider for your trip.

Pipa and Noronha are both quintessential ecological sites, true sanctuaries that can offer, according to your desires, privileged relaxation or active stays for the sports enthusiasts: surfing, diving, hiking, snorkeling, boat rides, kayaking etc… Not to mention another national and universal sport: leisure!

If you are looking for destinations that combine cosmopolitan and Brazilian atmospheres without losing sight of the possibility of enjoying quiet, deserted beaches or a welcoming pousada, these destinations will be right for you. One of our favorites in the entire Northeast region is the Toca da Coruja pousada.

A trip to Fernando de Noronha can be included in the middle of a 15-day program, it is both an active but relatively sedentary and therefore relaxing place. As for Praia da Pipa, this destination invites you to relax a little more. It is ideal with children and will allow you to enjoy the beautiful pousadas for which it is famous.

Why you should to take the time to experience Fernando de Noronha & Pipa

  • 24 diving spots, some up to 50 meters deep for the most experienced divers, with exceptional visibility conditions all year round on Fernando de Noronha
  • One of our local partners is one of the pioneers of scuba diving in Brazil, a reference in the field
  • Dolphins at your fingertips in Pipa
  • Projeto Tamar, a large-scale national turtle protection program on Fernando de Noronha
  • Diving excursions accessible to all, snorkeling spots that will delight the even most demanding divers on Fernando de Noronha
  • Stunning pictures to be taken in outstanding Fernando de Noronha
  • The meeting place for Brazilian stars! Many stars come to Fernando de Noronha for their holidays where they stay in luxurious pousadas
  • In Pipa, with its large number of bars and restaurants, Brazilian evenings can go on until sunrise.
  • Fernando de Noronha is definitely one of Brazil’s five best destinations.
  • Fernando de Noronha is home to the beach of Sancho, the most beautiful beach in the world according to TripAdvisor
  • Charming pousadas which are among the most beautiful in Brazil

Information and anecdotes

Nationally small

The smallest national road in Brazil is the BR 363 (7.9 kilometres), which is located in Fernando de Noronha.

Time travel !

At certain times of the year, given the time difference between the continent and Fernando de Noronha, it is not uncommon to arrive before leaving! Here’s a clue: the flight lasts 1 hour…

To go further…

Extend the discovery of these destinations by reading Jean-Paul Delfino’s descriptions in our “Travel diaries” section: