Beaches and Bays



Most of the beaches are located at the "Mar de dentro" (inner sea), i.e., the side that is more in direction to the Brazilian mainland . There, 10 beaches and 2 bays exist, one of them is unique in the world - the Baia dos Golphinhos, dolphins bay, that cannot be entered. The Mar de dentro is almost all the year ... and therefore the sea is more calm allowing for boat trips and long strolls on the beach.

The side that is rather facing Africa is called “Mar de fora” - outer sea. There, 4 beaches exist, one bay, two view-points and an area with several natural pools in the rocks. The sea is wilder here, apart from some places that are protected by riffs each constituting sort of a huge aquarium filled with colorful fish and other marine animals like. Learn here about the different beaches and bays in Noronha and what they offer.



1. Praia do Leão
2. Ponta das Caracas
3. Baía Sueste
4. Praia de Atalaia
5. Enseada da Caeira
6. Buraco da Raquel
7. Ponta da Air France
Mar de Dentro - Inner Sea
  8. Baía e Porto de Santo Antônio 15. Praia do Bode
  9. Praia da Biboca 16. Praia da Quixabinha
10. Praia do Cachorro 17. Praia da Cacimba do Padre
11. Praia do Meio 18. Baía dos Porcos
12. Praia da Conceição 19. Baía do Sancho
13. Praia do Boldró 20. Baía dos Golfinhos
14. Praia do Americano 21. Ponta da Sapata





MAR-DE-FORA - &Outer Sea


Photo: Jürgen Kunze

1. Praia do Leão (Rank 3 of the most beautiful Brazilian beaches)
The name is due to the rock offshore, that looks like a gigantic lying sea lion (Leão=lion). Next to it is a cliff, the Morro da Viuvinha, with uncounted birds nests on the rock. White sand, natural pool in the rocks that stop the breakers that explode into sea spray. Above is the ruin of the fort Bom Jesus do Leao, with 13 canons that have partly been digged. To this beach most of the turtles come to leave their eggs. It is part of the national park with a constant strict control by the IBAMA. During the period of egg deposition nobody can enter the beach after 06:00pm.

Photo: Jürgen Kunze

2. Ponta das Caracas
From the view-point on the hill one sees about 60 meters below a peculiar formation of rocks that separates the land from the deep blue ocean. This flat rock scenery has many natural pools that are filled with colorful fish, rayformes and unfortunately also morays. This spectacle is accompanied by fountains from the surf and by waterfalls, that pour from rock to rock. Unfortunately it is forbidden to go down from the view-point to this bizarre landscape and take a bath in one of the most beautiful pools on earth.

Photo: Renata Victor e Cecília de Sá Pereira

3. Baía Sueste
The bay / beach Sueste is located directly at the south end of the shortest “highway” of Brazil, the BR363. Here entered in 1629 the pernambucian troops to reconquer the island from the dutch. The sheltered bay with light waves and a small offshore island offers an alternative port in times when the sea is stormy. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and mainly turtles romp around. Unfortunately the right part of the was separated by buoys. There, snorkeling is only allowed in company of a guia (guide). On the left hand side you can visit the ruins of the fort São Joaquim do Sueste.

Photo: Hans von Manteuffel

4. Praia de Atalaia
It reminds of the volcanic origin of the island – black rocks, riffs and the Morro do Frade in the middle of the sea. Entrance is only possible for 30 persons at the same time that can, depending on how many people there, snorkel for 15 minutes. Waiting is rewarded! You can snorkel in a natural aquarium where you are in touch with the Flora and Fauna of the south Atlantic. The entrance is strictly controlled by IBAMA staff. On the left hand side is the rest of the Salina, that remind of the presence of the US during the world war II.

Photo: Renata Victor e Cecília de Sá Pereira

5. Enseada da Caeira
Natural swimming pools in the rocks, wandering dunes (another ecological specialty) and a steep bay, that calls for caution when climbing. In the sky you can see countless birds that cross this region.

6. Buraco da Raquel
The hole of Raquel – e place to become thoughtful. A huge rock at the beach with a big cave that is surrounded by little shallow pools overcrowded with colorful fish. As particularly protect worthy sea animals are living there, entering the cave is forbidden. The name is after the daughter of a commander that came here during crisis, which is one version of the story, or with her lovers, that's the other.

Photo: Archiv der Inselverwaltung

7. Ponta da Air France
Where the inner and the outer sea meet in the north this area has an historical meaning. There, Air France has constructed the base for the first intercontinental flights between Europe and America. You cannot swim here, but you can enjoy a beautiful view of the offshore islands (ilhas secundárias), like the Ilha Rata or São José, where the only fort outside the main island was located, the Forte de Sao Jose do Morro. From the three base buildings only one is left over, where the union of the artists of Noronha has founded the "Espaço Cultural Air France".


MAR-DE-DENTRO - Inner Sea


Photo: Hans von Manteuffel

8. Baía e Porto de Santo Antônio
Americo Vespuci called this bay a brilliant place to anchor and declared it as port, which it stayed until today. Here depart and arrive supply vessels, touristic and fisher boats and visitors of the island, that decided not to fly here. The big cruisers, however, have to anchor 500m far from the beach, because a sunken Greek frigate blocks their entrance. The name of the bay has its origin in the first fort of the island, the Forte de Sto. Antônio. The beach is the favorite place for the inhabitants to visit on Sundays. It is very suitable for snorkeling and it might happen, when one swims the 150 m to the buoy that marks the sunken frigate, that one meets dolphins. There, it was also the first time I had contact with dolphins, which put me – for half an hour – to another dimension... take care, its addictive.

9. Praia da Biboca
Its is located below the Fort Remédios and hardly suited for taking a bath as it is hard to reach and very stony. In common parlance it is called ships cemetery as the ships that are teared of the port run aground here.

Photo: Archiv der Inselverwaltung

10. Praia do Cachorro
The dog's (Cachorro) beach. It lies below the Forte Remédios and right of the Bar do Cachorro, the islands discotheque. It has its name from the huge rock on the left, that can easily be recognized as a sleeping dog. In habitants like to visit it on Sundays, because it is most easily reachable from the Vila dos Remédios. Then, also the three Baracas (beach bars with plastic chairs flair) open to make sure nobody gets hungry. Another point of attraction is the natural pool, the "Buraco do Galego", in the rock at the right border of the beach. According to the latest insider informations, a nice beach bar is about to be build here, making the beach more attractive, for sure.

Photo: Jürgen Kunze

11. Praia do Meio
Beach of the Center. A long beach between Cashorro and Conceicao with soft sands and only one disadvantage: No shadow. On the left hand side it is limited by a spit of land, where the bar do Meio invites for a drink. At low tide, the spit is connected to the ilha do Cachorro (the rock that looks like a sleeping dog). At the entrance the "Piao” serves as a guard. For me personally I renamed this rock to "Buddha" - inspired by my buddhist friend Mikel, that has once visited me here. With a little bit of fantasy you can imagine the head of the Buddha. The neck is so thin due to the surf, that you might think it falls off anytime. It doesn't, thanks to Werner, that supports it proving at the same time, that Noronha has no seismic activity at all. The courageous that dare climbing the Cachorro at low tide, will be rewarded with a lovely pool in the rock.

Photo: Ivaldo Bezerra

12. Praia da Conceiçã
It is located at the base of the Morro do Pico – our landmark, that looks like a warning finger (or rather phallic as others say) and towers 323m out of the landscape. The beach is popular for several reasons. On the one hand for the view on the Pico, the Cachorro and the Buddha, on the other hand because of its accessibility. It is in 15 minutes walking distance from the Vila dos Remédios . Further it is a nice playground for surfers and finally there is the Bar Duda Rei. They have the best music around the island. Years ago Duda started to use the water coming from the pool that serves for showering to water palm trees that reached a significant hight already offering some shadow. It's very relaxing, here. You may take a carpi, surf yourself or take a walk on the long beach towards the Boldro and visit the statue of Nª Sª da Conceição. If there is not high tide you can walk over the rocks to the Praia do Boldró. The walk takes approximately half an hour. Best is you go with one of the locals in order not to get lost. But no fear – the path can easily be accomplished also for untrained persons - my 4 year old son walks there at least 2 times a week. A Must is the Lual – the full moon party at the Bar Duda Rei. With full moon, a clear and stary night, good music and a fire, nobody returns home before dawn.

Photo: Jürgen Kunze

13. Praia do Boldró
During the cold war the Boldró was used as a cruise missiles surveillance by the US army. Apart from the bad accessibility coming over the rocks from the Conceição or a steep and stony street, the Boldró offers all you need. In particular surfers are attracted by the beach. The left part is populated. My friend Gerson has leased a part of his property to an Italian that is married to one of the islands inhabitants, who build a beautiful restaurant, there. The style is dominated by bamboo and three towers out of bamboo allow to enjoy the view from 4m height. Underneath, at one of the two bars the "Meu Paraiso" invites to stay. In addition their is a small souvenir shop and a corner for getting massages. Gerson has kept the part with his house and built another bar himself and four suites that he rents. A brilliant place to stay and just a few meters from the sea. Here, you can watch the fishermen fish for sardines, who also share sometimes with the frigate birds that eat out of the hand. Watching the sunset from Boldro is a Must! Nowhere in Brazil it is as stunning as here. Another special event are the rave parties in the "Meu Paraiso" that take part from time to time and attract not only the younger locals. Start: midnight – End: open!

Photo: Hans von Manteuffel

14. Praia do Americano
Small and lonely! Just right for lovers. It got its name from another cruise missile surveillance base of the US army during the cold war. Until 1989 it was a military base and not allowed to be entered by the islanders.

Photo: Hans von Manteuffel

15. Praia do Bode
An ancient path out of stones leads to this quiet beach with pools in the rocks. A huge rock, the Bode (wether), serves as view point and is reason for the beach's name.

16. Praia da Quixabinha
A small beach between Bode and Casimba do Padre. Exhibiting at low tide quiet and at high tide wild sea, it invites for taking a bath. It got its name from a medicinal plant, the Quixaba or Quixabera, that is used by the locals against back aching. I myself was saved from a heavy arthritis, heaps of chemistry, cortisone and doctor visitations within 5 days and until today (6 years after).

Photo: Hans von Manteuffel

17. Praia da Cacimba do Padre
One of the largest beaches of the island. On its left hand side is another landmark of Noronha, the Dois Irmãos (two brothers). The legend says that the two rocks are the breasts of a lascivious women that lies petrified in the water. The original name of the beach was Praia da Quixaba, until the prisons director found here a waterhole (Cacimba = waterhole). Above is the Vila da Quixaba with a chapel. In the end of the 19th century a part of the prison was there. At the beach you can also enjoy some food. At the entrance at the right hand side are two Barracas that served good roasted fish. The beach is the islands surfers paradise. Due to the optimal conditions, the national and international surf championships of Hang-Loose® take place here. At that time the otherwise quiet beach is transformed into an El Dorado for local, national and international visitors, participants and the press. In other times, sometimes secret lovers like to come here or locals with wood for a fire, drinks and guitars for romantic beach parties.

Photo: Jürgen Kunze

18. Baía dos Porcos - (Rank 2 of the most beautiful Brazilian beaches)
The porks bay of Noronha. Its entrance is hard to do. It can either be reached from the Cacimba do Patre via a stony and tough path across rocks - or from the Sancho, over an even tougher path, that was recently forbidden, which is not controlled strictly. It is worth the trouble. A marvelous small beach with a beautiful view to the Dois Irmaos, shady and as if it was just created for snorkeling. Due to the heaps of rocks in the water, a lot of marine animals plays around here. A description would lead to far and even trained poets had a hard time reflecting the reality. Don't come without snorkeling equipment! By the way, it can be rent at the harbour.

Photos: Jürgen Kunze

19. Baía do Sancho - the most beautiful Brazilian beach and all over the world (www.tripadvisor.com).
It defies description. Almost a half circle and protected by 50m tall walls of rock it is tough to enter. It can be reached from the Baia dos Procos, over the sea and via steel stairs in a hole in the rocks. A tiny and tough descent, nothing for overweighted or claustrophobic persons. There is only one-way traffic through this hole of down to 80 cm diameter. Again outside, approx. 60 m long stairs that were carved into the rock follow. The reward is a terrific lonely beach with soft sands and a top 360° panoramic view. In the back, the steep cliffs with countless birds nests, above the blue sky and in front an almost snow white sand beach with hardly any stones leading into a deep blue ocean. Touristic boats like to use the bay as anchor place, which is allowed as no corals are damaged by the anchors. There's only sand and fish, that are so confiding that they like to nibble people. For a visit one should definitely bring some food, as you wouldn't like to leave this paradise again, soon and as a small shop is unimaginable in this natural idyll. Those, who leave here trash, and be it only a cigarette butt, will be stoned to death publicly!




Photo: Jürgen Kunze

20. Baía dos Golfinhos
The greatest attraction in Fernando de Noronha. This bay is the mating and resting place of the Spinnerdelphine (golphinhos rotadores=rotating dolphins). They own their name to the fact that they like to rotate around their own axis when jumping out of the water. There is no place known in the world where more dolphins are “living together”. Coworkers of the Foundation Projeto GOLFINHO ROTADOR ( www.golfinhorotador.org.br – absolutely worth visiting! ), whose main sponsor is the Brazilian oil group Petrobras, monitor the bay all day and note the exact number of in- and outgoing animals. I will never comprehend how they do that, yet, a coworker reliably told me that the error rate is under 5 %. Response to the question how many dolphins are currently inside the bay: about 850 – and what was the maximum so far? More that 1000! The friendly young ladies will be happy to lent you their binoculars. Entrance to the bay is strictly forbidden and it is separated by buoys and ropes. The best time for watching those imaginary animals from the viewing platform is the early morning, when the dolphins return to the bay from hunting.

Photos: Jürgen Kunze

21. Ponta da Sapata
The outermost tongue of the island that points directly to the west towards the continent. On the map it looks like an old shoe (sapata=leather slipper). It is the point where the boat trips return to the harbour. It can only be seen from the boat, the area cannot be entered by foot and is therefore absolutely in state of nature as in times long before the island was discovered. The rock formation looks like an old mummy. An opening in the rock, a sort of tunnel, connects the outer and the inner sea. Brazilians spot the map of Brazil in the shape of the opening – I see a jumping dolphin. The region is a popular goal for divers.




Photos with kind permission of the island administration (www.noronha.pe.gov.br) and the named photographers.