Brazilian Atlantic Islands

Photo provided by Michael Novins

Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves comprise two islands with rich marine life off Brazil's coast.

The peaks of Fernando de Noronha are also the only known occurrence of insular Atlantic Forest - a subtype of Atlantic Rainforest.

The marine area holds large volumes of tuna, sharks, dolphins, turtles and tropical seabirds.


Community Reviews

Francineide Rodrigues - March 2009

Besides being a World Heritage Site, the archipelago of Noronha is a Marine Reserve and an Environment Protected Area.

This means that severe legal restrictions to building, living and even visiting the island. Tourists pay a daily fee to visit the island; the longer the stay, the higher (per day) the fee.

Noronha is not only a beautiful place, but it is one of the most protected and best preserved Heritage Sites in the world.

See more details at www.fernando-de-noronha.org and www.fernando-de-noronha.org/environment/

Deon Tulleken - September 2006

I spent a few hours on atol das rocas in April 1999 when we anchored our yacht offshore. We offered the researchers on the atol a bottle of whiskey and they allowed us to surf a small wave nearby and walk around for a few hours.

This is undoubtetly one of the most remote and beautiful places i have ever been !!!!!!!!!!

Would love to go back someday.

John Stark

During 1979, while sailing from south Africa to Brazil on my yacht, I and 3 crew were shipwrecked and stranded for 20 days on Atol das Rocas. With little food and water we miraculously survived. We were spotted by a passing Brazilian Airforce aircraft, reporting our mishap to the Naval base in Natal, Brazil. We were rescued the following day by the corvette 'Iperanga' which I believe had since sunk off Fernando de Noronha after running aground. When we were on the Atol there was only 1 palm tree, a recent TV documentary showed about 10, I would love to return to the Atol someday.

Share your experiences!

Have you been to Brazilian Atlantic Islands? Click here to add your own review.

Site Info

Full name: Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves

Site History

  • 2001 - Inscribed

    Reasons for inscription
  • 2000 - Requested by State Party to not be examined

    Postponement requested for Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park


The site has 2 locations.

  • Biological Marine Reserve of Rocas Atoll Rio Grande do Norte State, Brazil
  • National Marine Park of Fernando de Noronha Pernambuco State, Brazil


The site has 19 connections.


  • Lighthouses Various
  • Prison Fernando de Noronha was used as a prison for over 200 years from 1730s. Much of its vegetation was cut down to prevent prisoners from using it for hiding and making escape rafts.



Individual People

  • Charles Darwin 20 Feb 1832, the Beagle calls in at Fernando de Noronha on way to Salvador.


  • Miocene Die Pyroklastika wurden dann im Oberen Miozän (Tortonium) vor rund 9 Millionen Jahren BP von phonolithischen und trachytischen Staukuppen und Gangen unterschiedlichster Zusammensetzung intrudiert. (Wiki)


  • Built or owned by Dutch Fernando de Noronha - In 1628, it was occupied by the Dutch, who were displaced two years later by a Spanish-Portuguese military expedition. The Dutch occupied the island once again in 1635, making it a hospital for their troops who occupied Northeastern Brazil. It would remain under Dutch control for nearly twenty years, when it was reconquered by Portugal.
  • Built or owned by Portuguese Fernando de Noronha - many forts within the inscribed Natural Reserve
  • Visitor Limits 420 at any one time (Fernando de Noronha)

WHS on Other Lists