By Mark Taylor
Here is the second part of Mark’s guide to Fernando de Noronha. To read previous parts click the relevant link at the end of the article.

The history of the island is quite mixed. Discovered back in the early 16th century by the Portuguese, it was then invaded in 1534 by the English, who were in turn displaced by the French in 1556. In 1628 the Dutch took the island, but weren’t there for long as they were forced out by a joint Spanish-Portuguese force. The Dutch managed to return and beat off their attackers in 1635, turning the island into a hospital for their armies occupying Brazil’s northeast. A few years later it was again taken by Portugal.

By 1736 the island was abandoned and the French East Indies company decided to occupy it, only for them to be beaten off again a year later by the Portuguese who finally decided to make a military base on the island, and to that end ten forts were built. Around this time Vila dos Remdios was founded as the first settlement on the island, and it has remained the commercial centre of until today. In 1942 the island was made into a prison, and then later in 1988 70% was declared a national park. The island had previously been a federal territory, and this was dissolved also in 1988 and the governing was handed to Pernambuco state, with the exception of one atoll which was given to the state of Rio Grande do Norte.

Those visiting the island must pay a tax for every day stayed there, which goes to the state of Pernambuco. The tax can either be paid via the Internet (and a receipt printed), or on arrival. The idea of the tax is to maintain the national park. Although both visitors and islanders alike query where this substantial amount of tax is being invested on the island.

There’s a waiting list for those who want to live on the island, and there are around 3000 official islanders. This is bypassed by the more luxurious pousadas which build accommodation for the staff and treat them as visitors as well. There’s a constant pressure by those who make their living from the island’s tourism to increase the quota for those who can live on the island, and it’s easy to see that the island’s population and accommodation is still growing. Presumably to the detriment of the natural elements of the island.

Flights to the island are from Recife and Natal, and it seems that everyone is treated to a fairly grand arrival as the planes will circle the island twice, allowing those on both sides to get a good view. Cameras at the ready for this!

Pousadas and hotels are spread across the main island, and can be anywhere from an isolated area through to the island’s capital” Vila dos Remdios, generally known as Vila.

Part 3 next week…

If you have a comment on Mark’s article or would simply like to contact him then email

Previous articles by Mark:

Brazil: An Interview with Marcia Loebick
Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 2
Brazil: Google Maps Gets an Upgrade
Brazil: A Guide to Fernando de Noronha Part 1
Brazil: 14 Bis Centenary Part 1
Brazil: Daylight Savings Time
Brazil: Carjacking and Theft
Brazil: Airport Delays Grow Among Crash Speculation
Brazil: São Paulo’s International Film Festival (and The Fountain)
Brazil: Single Gringo Beware!
Brazil: The House of Coffee Comes Home
Brazil: Film Review
Brazil: The Portuguese Language Museum
Brazil: Election Time! Part 2
Brazil: Election Time! Part 1
Brazil: Torrent TV
Brazil: Book Review
Brazil: Whistle-stop Salvador Part 2
Brazil: Whistle-stop Salvador Part 1
The PCC Shows a New Level of Organisation
Brazil: Metr-ettiquette
Brazil: Trading Places
Brazil: São Paulo’s Pinacoteca
Brazil: Don’t Forget, You’re in Another Country!
Brazil: PCC Violence Returns to São Paulo
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 5
Brazil’s World Cup Defeat Party
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 4
Brazil: Japanese Standard Chosen for Digital TV
Brazil: NET Petition Feedback
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 3
Brazil: Football Love
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 2
Brazil: A Recycled City Part 1
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 3
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 2
Brazil: 100 Things To Do in São Paulo Part 1
GPS in Brazil
Brazil: PCC Attacks in São Paulo
Brazil: Tips on Buying or Renting an Apartment or House
Brazil: A Critical Sensitivity
Cleanliness is next to Brazilianiness
Brazil: Manners
Brazil: No Change, No Sale
Brazilian TV
Brazil: Ubatuba
Brazil: Professional Children
Brazil: We deliver… everything!
Brazil: Terrao Itlia
Brazil: A Layman’s Carnival Guide
Brazil: Portunglish or Engluguese?
Brazil: Feira Food
Brazil: Bilhete Unico flexibility increases
Brazil: Finding Work
Brazil: U2 Ticket Chaos
Brazil: Finding Work
Brazil: Termites
Brazil: Queues, Queues, Queues
Brazil: Let’s Go Fly a Kite!
Brazil… the Film That Is
Brazil: The Bus to Nowhere
Brazil: Piracy
Brazil: Gestures
Brazil: Proclamation of the Republic
Brazilian Film Review
Brazilian Film Review
Brazil: Finados (Day of the Dead)
Interjections, exclamations and onomatopoeia in Brazilian Portuguese
Brazil: Halloween
Brazil says “No” to banning firearms
Brazil Humour: Phone Etiquette
Brazil’s Gun Referendum
Brazil: Scams
Brazil: Moby Review
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 5
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 4
Brazil: Avril Lavigne at Pacaembu
Moby in Brazil
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 3
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 2
Brazilian Film Review
Brazil: Keeping in touch via the Internet – Part 1
Brazil: First season of Lost repeated on AXN

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