World’s Most Secret Islands (4)

by The Real Estate Faction on December 1, 2011

Fernando De Noronha

Location: Western Atlantic, 220 miles off Brazil’s coast
Size: Seven square miles
Population: 3,012

Peaks of a submerged mountain range rise up out of the sea to form this beautiful Brazilian 21-island archipelago. The largest island is the only one populated, but throngs of vacationers never clog its perfect coves of white-sand beaches. The government restricts tourism to 420 visitors at a time. Yes, this is the kind of place you want to (and can) be left to your own devices with a little motorbike: There’s just one traffic light.

Island time
Two major ocean currents meet here, making it one of the world’s best places to see a diverse range of marine life while snorkeling or scuba diving. All visitors stay in small pousadas whose owners take a personal interest in guests—a bit like having your own valet.

Getting here
Fly from Natal (70 minutes) or Recife (100 minutes), two Brazilian cities accessed by direct flights from major U.S. airports. Save with a Brazil air pass.

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