Travel Theme: Curves.

Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?” asked this week’s question: “Are you ready to show off your curves?” Sometimes, the best way to see and ‘feel the curves’ while traveling, is not actually by road… what about by plane? Definitely, a different experience!

“Curving over’ the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, South AmericaMy appreciation to Where’s my backpack? for the inspiration! 😮

Weekly Photo Challenge: Active Summer

Surfing in Fernando de Noronha

This week’s WordPress photographic theme is “Summer“. Considering I had a few “pics to spare”, from our sort-of-large collection of paradisiac places in Brazil, here’s a second part of the original post… Hope you all enjoy the images as much as we did! 😮

Hiking trail
Exploring the open waters

São Cristóvão, the fourth oldest city in Brazil.


The city of São Cristóvão is located 25 km from Aracaju, capital of Sergipe, another northeastern state of Brazil, and the Praça de São Francisco (shown here) is the reason why the site is a holder of a World Heritage title.

The cobblestones are originally from the Philippines, and it’s the only city in Brazil with that type of street stone!

It was founded in 1590 and is considered the fourth oldest city in country. With fast and easy access from the state capital, what was before called he “capital of the Province of Sergipe del Rei” is now registered at the Institute for National Artistic and Historical Heritage – Iphan – preserving its colonial architecture, which delights any curious eyes and souls. A UNESCO World Heritage Site– and, so close to us! 😮

The large Praça de São Francisco presents an architectural group formed by the Church and Convent of São Francisco, during the seventeenth century, which today houses a beautiful Baroque building that was the first hospital in the province of Sergipe, as well as the Historical Museum, where the old Provincial Palace hosted Dom Pedro II, while visiting the city in 1860.

This architectural complex of Praça de São Francisco was recently recognized by UNESCO, and awarded a World Heritage Site title.

In the Carmo Square visitors will find the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of Black Men, built by the Jesuits in the eighteenth century.

The saint, who lends his name to the church, was the target of devotion of the slaves. At the Praça is also possible to find the Church and the Carmelite Convent, and the Museum of ex-votos. In the Convent, now home to Benedictine nuns, one of the attractions are the delicious cookies made by religious and fought over by tourists!

We try to travel as much as we can, work permitting! 😮

Other historical cities from the northeast of Brazil:

São Luis, Maranhão  Eyes to the world   Teresina, Piauí   Interior da Bahia    Olinda, Pernambuco   João Pessoa and Ponta do Seixas, Paraíba  Maceió, Alagoas   Igarassu, Pernambuco  Vila dos Remédios, Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco   Rio Grande do Norte

16 meters deep: Investigating marine life without getting wet! Projeto Navi in Fernando de Noronha.

Projeto Navi - The Navi Project: seeing 16 meters deep!

It’s finally here: the last post on our trip/expedition to the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago.

The husband, an avid and passionate amateur photographer. His wife, yours truly, always being reminded of her background as a Biologist and forever researcher… The perfect combination for venturing with Eng. Leonardo Veras through a private investigation trip along the open ocean waters in Fernando de Noronha.

Eng. Leo Veras takes responsibility for the Navi Project (Projeto Navi), a pioneer experiment at the archipelago – unique, and wonderful!

We were taken to observe the marine life, 16 meters deep, thanks to the ship’s glass bottom, resistant to pressure, high volume and speed. Talk about biology, math, physics, all at once! Lovely and fantastic! We were able to snap several shots, as well as, a couple of videos during our expedition. All 3 images from the Project’s Website (above) are used with permission from the Project’s Coordinator. [We are very thankful to Mr Leonardo Veras for his attention, kindness and, obviously, for the private tour!] All other photographs, (including all the videos to come!) presented below, are part of our family’s personal collection (feel free to use or share them, just remembering to mention the original source!) 😮 Thanks for the interest! 

Fernando de Noronha has caught the imagination of travelers for centuries and many urban myths are associated with this gloriously surreal island. The archipelago is made up of one 11-square-mile chunk of volcanic rock and 20 smaller islands, three degrees south of the equator, 220 miles from Brazil’s north-eastern coast. Fernando de Noronha’s claim to fame is its diverse and rich ecosystem.

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Snapshots from the Shark Museum, Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil

The "Two Brothers" hill - Morro Dois Irmãos, viewed from the Praia da Cacimba do Padre, FN. All images from

This post was promised a long time ago…It’s already been a month we came back from the archipelago, and finally, got through the last photos – the last two posts, a bit on the “scientific side”, but still, very enjoyable. Sharks and Marine investigation. Today, it’s all about the sharks. Backstory: Just like the AtlantisFernando de Noronha has caught the imagination of travelers for centuries and many urban myths are associated with this gloriously surreal island.

The archipelago is made up of one 11-square-mile chunk of volcanic rock and 20 smaller islands, three degrees south of the equator, 220 miles from Brazil’s north-eastern coast.

In Atalaia Beach, we were able to snorkel with fishes and juvenile sharks, checking out the swarms of hawksbill and green turtles, and also, witness rare island species like iguanas. Other adventure seekers like us, engaged in underwater activities, diving and snorkeling to experience the prolific marine life including albacore, barracuda, snappers, cangulos (fish)… Continuing with our experiences in Noronha, we reserved some time to visit and enjoy the company of Leonardo Veras, the curator for Fernando de Noronha’s Shark Museum (“Museu dos Tubarões”). Leo, as he prefers to be called, is a passionate engineer who lives and works at the main island, and was kind enough to take us on an unforgettable trip through the marine world! An upcoming post will share our adventures with Leo Veras and his Navi Project, investigating the deep open ocean waters. For now, you’ll be left with images we snapped while visiting the “Museu dos Tubarões” – current residence of Leo Veras, his own sculpture garden and his “front yard view”. Check them all out! 😮 

Our host, Eng. Leonardo Veras


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Fernando de Noronha’s claim to fame is its diverse and rich ecosystem. And while nature lovers throng to this eco-paradise, the volcanic island with its splendid marine life, dramatic rock formations and long lazy stretches of beaches is the perfect romantic destination as well… We’ll miss it!

333rd Post: Surrounded by marine dolphins [video]

Every year, people travel to Fernando de Noronha, a group of islands off the coast of Brazil, to meet some of the archipelago’s most famous residents: spinner dolphins:

The spinner dolphin is a tropical oceanic dolphin that lives in groups numbering three to more than two thousand individuals. Of the 37 different dolphin species, it is the third most abundant in the world and is named for its tendency to shoot out of the water and complete as many as seven rotations whilst airborne.
The dolphins usually surface during boat rides, showing off their acrobatics skills as they leap out of the water and putting on a real show. The stunts they perform are more than simply fun; they’re an important form of signalling, drawing the attention of the boat, which, in turn, protects the rest of the pod from potential predators. The communication system consists of different types of jumps and beats made with the body on the surface of the water, producing turbulence when the dolphin completes its dive.
The daily routine for the spinner dolphins in Fernando de Noronha involves feeding, primarily during the night, followed by a morning relocating to the appropriately named Dolphins Bay. They arrive in the bay at sunrise and depart for various feeding areas in the afternoon.

Dolphins Bay (Baia dos Golfinhos), located off Sancho Beach, is a top destination for dolphin spotters. The bay’s waters are the calmest and deepest in the entire archipelago, ranging from 0 to 25 metres but averaging about 15 meters in the centre. The floor of the bay is composed predominantly of volcanic sands with scattered rocks and can be accessed by a single trail that offers a good vantage point from which to observe the activities of the spinner dolphins. One ideal point from which to observe Dolphins Bay is Dolphin Lookout, set 55 metres above sea level. It can be reached via a one-kilometre-long walking trail that begins in a parking lot at Sancho Bay.

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Sunday is for food! Gastronomic event and islander cuisine.

During our visit to the Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, we were invited to enjoy the magnificent islander cuisine, through an unique gastronomic event. This event happens every Wednesday and Saturday evenings at one of the best bread and breakfast of Fernando de Noronha called “Pousada Zé Maria. Father and son run the business, and the night event we attended was hosted and presented by Zé Maria’s son, Tuca Noronha. Our appreciation to the host, as well as to the pleasant evening among friendly companions…

That said, the ecologically correct paradise of Fernando de Noronha offers opportunities for its visitors to be adventurous, without impacting the environment – and this concept is extended to its cuisine. Besides participating at Zé Maria’s Gastronomical Event, we also enjoyed typical food from the island at the Shark Museum Restaurant and Restaurante da Edilma (where I had shark for the first time!), and the perfect evening view at Pousada Maravilhas restaurant. The union of great food, good conversations and pleasant ambience, is the perfect combination for wonderful travel memories…

Gastronomic Event at Zé Maria’s:

Sea Food Specialty at Maravilha Restaurant:

A special dish at the Shark Museum, in honor of its creator, Eng. Leonardo Veras: “Camarão ao Léo”:

Enginneer Leonardo Veras, our host.

[Português/English] Marine Turtles in Northeastern Brazil – Projeto TAMAR em Fernando de Noronha

Five of the world’s seven sea turtle species are found in Brazil.

For over 20 years TAMAR project is responsible for identifying and protecting nesting beaches and feeding areas, doing research, promoting awareness and involving the local community.

Thanks to good planning, loyal sponsorship and an innovative merchandising program they are able to maintain 20 bases in Brazil. Releasing more than 600 thousand hatchlings every year, the TAMAR bases have become important tourism attractions and mean income to 1200 families.

Project: Supported by WWF
Year started: 1982
Other Partners/Supporters: Petrobrás
Address: Alameda do Boldro s/no. – Fernando de Noronha – PE
Contact: Claudio Bellini
more info:
Area: Natural
Activities: Visit a conservation unit
Equipments: sandals, shorts, t-shirts, swimming gear, towel, small backpack, sunglasses, sunscreen
Gateway: Recife ou Natal
Near airport: Fernando de Noronha – PE
Dist. from the airport: 2 KM
Max. number visitors: 15
Min. number visitors: 2
Max. Lenght: 10 day(s)
Min. Lenght: 2 day(s)
Level: easy
Activity: Enviromental, Scientific, Social
Best time to go: February, March, April, May
Attending a night-time lecture (9 pm) at the TAMAR Institute

[Portuguese] O arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha, composto por 21 ilhas e ilhotas de origem vulcânica, está situado a 345km de Natal, capital do Rio Grande do Norte/RN e a 545Km de Recife, capital de Pernambuco/PE. É sítio de reprodução da tartaruga-verde (Chelonia mydas), que utiliza as praias arenosas do lugar para desovar entre os meses de dezembro e julho. É também área de alimentação, crescimento e repouso para juvenis desta espécie e da tartaruga-de-pente (Eretmochelys imbricata).

As praias de desova apresentam características propícias a um monitoramento diário, inclusive noturno nas áreas principais. A do Leão concentra 80% das ocorrências. As demais desovas acontecem ao longo do mar de dentro, entre as praias do Sancho e da Conceição. Cada estação reprodutiva, registra em média 100 desovas, gerando 8.900 filhotes da tartaruga verde.

O TAMAR iniciou suas atividades na região em 1984, quando o arquipélago ainda era território federal administrado pela Aeronáutica (hoje é território do Estado de Pernambuco).

Em 1986, foi criada a APA-Área de Proteção Ambiental. A praia do Leão, principal área de desova do arquipélago, tornou-se o embrião do Parque Nacional Marinho, criado por decreto federal, em 1988.

Fernando de Noronha é uma das bases mais importantes para o trabalho do Tamar.

É um verdadeiro laboratório natural, pois a transparência do mar oferece excelente condição ao desenvolvimento de pesquisas sobre a biologia e comportamento das tartarugas marinhas em ambiente natural, sobretudo debaixo d’água.

Além do monitoramento de fêmeas, durante o período reprodutivo, a base mantém um programa de marcação e recaptura de tartarugas que utilizam o arquipélago como área de alimentação, crescimento e repouso, durante uma etapa do seu ciclo de vida. Desde 1990, mais de mil tartarugas já foram marcadas pelo Tamar através desse programa, em que os pesquisadores realizam mergulho livre, autônomo ou rebocado.

Além do mais, o grande fluxo turístico que o arquipélago registra é estratégico para o trabalho de sensibilização e educação ambiental, principalmente através do Centro de Visitantes-Museu Aberto das Tartarugas Marinhas, o qual tivemos o prazer e honra de visitar durante nossa recente visita ao arquipélago. Todos os visitantes do Museu-Aberto do TAMAR recebem uma palestra gratuita sobre a vida selvagem a ser encontrada no arquipélago, assim como, são instruídos a como se comportar em frente à natureza, sem causar quaisquer impacto ambiental. Todas as palestras são às 9 da noite, e seguem por cerca de uma hora até uma hora e meia. Extremamente informativas,claras, concisas e ministradas por pesquisadores e voluntários do TAMAR. É a perfeita preparação para os que irão aventurar-se a explorar as ilhas na manhã seguinte. Nós adoramos a experiência, eu enquanto bióloga, e meu esposo, agora apaixonado pela vida marinha. Um sucesso e uma oportunidade única de vivenciar, aprender e compartilhar conhecimentos.

Searching for paradise: Aerial views of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil

This is the first in a series of posts on our recent trip to the Brazilian Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha: leisure, research, adventure, photography.

Peaks of the Southern Atlantic submarine ridge form the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago off the coast of Brazil, representing a large proportion of the island surface of the South Atlantic and the rich waters are extremely important for the breeding and feeding of tuna, shark, turtle and marine mammals. The islands are home to the largest concentration of tropical seabirds in the Western Atlantic. Baia de Golfinhos has an exceptional population of resident dolphin. The Fernando de Noronha archipelago covers the majority of the main island and includes the majority of smaller offshore islands and islets. The islands are part of a large submarine mountain system of volcanic origin, which rises from the ocean floor some 4,000 m in depth. The Fernando de Noronha volcano is estimated to be between 1.8 million and 12.3 million years old. The coastline is complex, with a number of high cliffs and sandy beaches. The north-west facing shores are relatively calm, whereas the south-east shores face the predominant currents and winds and are largely rocky shores with significant wave action.

Arriving… flying along the coastline

And here, a snapshot of “who’s got an unchallengeable view” of this paradise:

The highly productive coastal waters around islands are used by many fish species for spawning and as a refuge for juvenile fish. The shallow waters also provide habitat for benthnic organisms (such as coral, sponges and algae). Oceanic islands therefore play a key role in the reproduction and dispersal of marine organisms, providing a staging point for the colonization of other coastal areas and the surrounding ocean. There are less than 10 oceanic islands in the South Atlantic and the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago represents almost 50% of the islands in terms of surface area. As the site makes up such a large proportion of insular South Atlantic coastal area, it is an important repository for the maintenance of biodiversity for the entire South Atlantic basin.

Fernando de Noronha is also the only know location for Insular Atlantic Forest – a subtype of Atlantic Rainforest. To date over 400 species of vascular plants have recorded, including three endemics. The archipelago also contains the sole oceanic mangrove in the South Atlantic. [Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC]

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