Giant Turtles in Fernando de Noronha

One of the best places in the world to see and swim with giant turtles is in Fernando de Noronha, an island off the Northeast coast of Brazil and a separate country on the TCC list. You can get right up to them and actually touch them but with the crystal clear water it makes for great pictures and a lot of fun.

The giant turtles swim around very slowly and aren’t afraid of people so you can get a long look at them and photograph them very nicely. It is also really cool because they continually come up for air so every now and then you see their little heads pop out of the water.
Fernando is an amazing place and one of my all time favorite places that I’ve been. I will remember it for many reasons but swimming and snorkeling with turtles was certainly one of the highlights.

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  1. How far is this place from Rio? Are there flights from Rio that do 1-2 day trips there?

  2. You can only fly to Fernando from Natal and Recife. Those are both much further north than Rio is (check the map) and would be very difficult and time consuming to get to for a day or two-plus its expensive-you would want it on your original airpass. I did tell you about this place before you booked your trip.

  3. He is sooooo cute! I wanna go.

  4. You want atleast two full days due to the expense of getting there. The Turtles are massive, although the day i went the water was a little murky, probably because i went sometime after lee. So you didn’t see them till literally about two feet from you. Fernando is a beautiful place but certainly not a party like Rio, best to take a date.

  5. Sharon N says

    I love your turtle pictures, they are excellent

  6. Yes now I remember. It was quite expensive to get there. And yes the water was most likely murked up by Lee.

  7. these turtle pictures are really good!thanks for the info.

  8. Fernando is a special place, enjoy!

  9. Fernando de Noronha, or simply “Noronha” as it is often known in Brazil (not “Fernando”) is a dream destination and a favorite of Brazilians, especially young people and honeymoon couples, but relatively few people actually go there because of the cost. The island has many B&Bs ranging from a simple backyard room in a fisherman’s house to posh exclusive places with private terrace and pool, but even the simplest accomodations can be very expensive.

    Most of the island is a national park, and *all* of it is a special nature protection zone, which requires a hefty and geometrically progressive “environmental tax” to be paid in cash on arrival according to the length of stay. One week is a usual stay and nobody complains that it’s too long or boring – they always find something new and unusual to see and do every day.

    It’s best to buy a package at a Brazilian travel agency, including flights, stay, sightseeing, and of course the “environmental tax.” Flights leave from either Natal or Recife (usually an hour or less flight to Noronha). Those cities themselves are about a three-hour flight from Rio (and both beautiful and interesting cities well worth a visit, which Europeans have already discovered and visit in big charter flights, but Americans not yet). If you’re afraid of small planes, no problem: the smallest plane flying to Noronha is an ATR-72, which is a turboprop but a very modern one made by an Airbus subsidiary, but flights on Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A320 jetliners are also usual. The airport (IATA code: FEN) takes up a considerable part of the island’s area, as you can see on Google Earth.

    But I was surprised and amused with two things. First, you focused on the turtles. What’s famous in Noronha is swimming with the dolphins, everybody does that. Second, that it is a separate “country” for the TCC. Noronha is not even a municipality, being administered directly as a special district by the government of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco. So, it is below the theoretically lowest level of local administrative unit in Brazil and very far from being a “country”….

  10. I forgot to mention that most roads on Fernando de Noronha are covered on Google Street View and you can have a virtual tour of the island.

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