Noronha Main

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Brazil's Pure Beach Paradise Which sliver of paradise do sun-crazed Brazilians dream of while lying on the crowded sands of Ipanema? The 10 square miles of Fernando de Noronha. This small speck in the Atlantic protected by environmental-preservation regulations is home to Brazil's top- three favorite beaches, as well as the world's largest viewable concentration of spinner dolphins.

ISLANDS contributing editor Rolf Potts recently visited Noronha for a feature article. He writes: "Brazilians seem to imagine Fernando de Noronha as more Eden than Eden -- all splendor and no serpents -- complete with dive shops and surf rentals to enable the experience. Hoping to learn what Brazilians know about the place and to discover how much of their awe an outsider can access, I've been approaching Fernando de Noronha as the Brazilians do." Read the full story.