Brazil

Brazil's Fernando de Noronha

Baia dos Porcos and Doïs Irmaos islets, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Baia dos Porcos and Doïs Irmaos islets, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Five hundred and twenty-five kilometres from Recife on the northeastern coast of South America (or 350km from Natal as the crow flies), the minuscule specks of land of Fernando de Noronha are to Brazil what the Galapagos Islands are to Ecuador—but on the other side of the continent.

The reef appears to sprawl across more than 3,600 square miles of ocean floor at the edge of the South American continental shelf, from the southern tip of French Guiana to Brazil’s Maranhão State.

Extensive reef system discovered at the Amazon River mouth

The existence of the reef have come as big surprise because many of the world’s great rivers produce major gaps in reef systems where no corals grow. There was little previous evidence because corals mostly thrive in clear, sunlit, salt water, and the equatorial waters near the mouth of the Amazon are some of the muddiest in the world, with vast quantities of sediment washed thousands of miles down the river and swept hundreds of miles out to sea.

Fernando de Noronha

If I were to tell you about a special place where no one locks their doors at night, where crime is virtually nonexistent, where the number of tourists is intentionally restricted to preserve the ecological balance, and where each visitor must pay a daily fee of 15 Euros (approximately US$20) to protect the environment, would you think about Brazil? Probably not!

Brazil’s Ilha Grande

There are a few places on this planet where things seem to fall into place without any hesitation. Ilha Grande, Brazil, is one of these places. Even on busy weekends, there is a no-stress atmosphere. On the beach, in the garden hammock, or at 20 metres depth—it’s all laid back and lazy.

The Rio Negro’s Amazons

Pink dolphin coming out of the dark

The Inia geoffrensis, more commonly known as the pink dolphin, is nicknamed locally as ‘Boto’ and resides in the waters of the Rio Negro. Although still poorly known, this species is considered the most intelligent of the five species of freshwater dolphins.