Fly Brazil-based airlines such as Varig and TRIP to Noronha via Recife (REC) and Natal (NAT) on Brazil’s northeast coast. Flights to the island are limited, so it takes special planning. Be sure to reserve in advance. If you can, avoid high season, December- February. varig.com; voetrip.com.br
Stay at the high-end Pousada Maravilha, which boasts large, comfortable rooms, an excellent restaurant and a pool deck with one of the best views of the island. Rates from $760, pousadamaravilha.com.br. Pousada Zé Maria offers views of the iconic Morro do Pico as well as many modern conveniences (flat- screen TVs, whirlpool bathtubs), which are all solar-powered. Rates from $345, pousadazemaria.com.br. For the midrange budget, Pousada do Vale is friendly, quiet and located near Vila dos Remédios. Enjoy the brick-oven dinners on Sundays. pousadadovale.com For cheaper accommodations, hundreds of family-run pousadas dot the island. Try Pousada Monsieur Rocha, which is clean yet rustic, right down to the chickens in the yard. Rates from $145, including breakfast. pousadamrocha.com
Eat lots of seafood. Ecologiku’s (ask a taxi driver how to find it) is arguably the best seafood restaurant on the island. The specialty is moqueca, a seafood stew, which can be ordered with shrimp, lobster or octopus, 55-81/3619-1807. Palhoça da Colina re-creates traditional island hospitality by hosting family-style, all-you-can-eat seafood dinners each evening at 8:30 (reservations are recommended), palhocadacolina.com. For less-traditional fare, Bar do Cachorro makes great pizzas and features a terrific view out over Cachorro Beach. Stick around for the forro dancing, which starts around 10 p.m.
Pay the environmental-preservation tax required to visit Fernando de Noronha. It starts at about $20 for the first day and increases significantly after a stay of more than 10 days (a month on the island, for example, incurs a fee of about $1,700). The fee must be paid in advance at the airport upon arrival on the island. For a full tax schedule, visit noronha.com.br.
Book your travel through Your Way, the only English-speaking full-service travel agency on the island. Let Your Way custom- design an island journey, from lodging to special activities. yourway.com.br
Rent a five-seat buggy powered by a Volkswagen Beetle engine from JMB Bugues. Behind the wheel, you can better explore beyond the island’s one paved road to reach the lesser-known natural attractions, 55-81/3619-1267.
Learn more at noronha.pe.gov.br.