On arriving in Fernado de Noronha you will be required to pay a fee called Taxa de Preservacao Ambiental. The tax is calculated according to the number of days you will be on the island. There are two ways to pay: at the airport or online. At the airport you may pay by credit card or with Brazilian reais or US dollars. The website below is a form you can fill out to pay online. The webpage also contains a link to a table with the fee structure.
Make sure to keep the slip of paper proving you have paid. You must surrender this slip at the end of your stay. If you overstay your taxed days, you can pay at the airport on your departure.
As you talk to the locals you will hear many interesting legends about the island...some very ancient, others remoting to the time of exile.
Those are some of the legends i´ve heard:
First of all, as you might have already seen in the photos of the island, Morro Dois Irmãos and Morro do Pico, in a certain angle, reminds a lot specific parts of the body....you know....hehehe. What the locals used to say is that in ancient times, two giants fell in love without permition and as a penitence the gods transformed them into stone....
The most modern story is that the breast of stone is the monument of a brazilian singer called Fafa de Belem, with very large breast =P
Other legend is quite real (don´t know how much of it is...hihi) about an habitant of the island that used to dive without any equipment and reach incredible depths....he also used to fish without any equipment....the locals say he went some ten years ago for another "swim" and never returned...
Another story, spooky, is about the ghost a blond, extremely beautiful woman that used to walk on the beach at night, dressed in white, to tempt the fishermen. Anyone who surrendered at her attempts would loose their lives... A local told me a funny story about this legend.... his sister is a very blond girl, one night she went for a promenade at the beach, and accidentaly frightened some people heheheheh
Not to mention the story of hidden treasures, pirates, and curses that every island have....
While this may seem to be a blatant case of stating the obvious, for non-Portuguese speakers it is important to keep in mind that relatively few people on Fernando de Noronha speak anything but. The upside is that the locals are extremely accommodating and will make every effort to ensure that communication takes place even if it comes down to drawing pictures or if you're lost leading you to your destination.
If you are hoping to learn to dive while on Noronha and do not speak Portuguese fluently, consider doing your theory and confined water training in your home country where the materials will at least be printed in a language you have mastery of. You can easily complete the open water portions while in Brazil since many instructors speak more than one language.
With the preponderance of family inns or guesthouses, it's likely that you will not be able to pay your lodging bill with plastic. If in doubt, call ahead and ask. Similarly, the casual restaurants and sidewalk bars expect cash on the barrelhead. Dive operators do, however, accept credit cards, as well they must given the high bills a diver can rack up in a week!
When deciding how much money to take along, keep in mind that most things cost about double on the island as compared to the mainland.
If you are a foreign visitor, be aware that there are no foreign exchange facilites on the island--not even at the local bank! Change your money on the mainland before your flight to Noronha. In a pinch, you can exchange cash (US$) at the office of the dive operator Atlantis, around the corner from the bank.
Locals are extremely friendly,but,english is practically non-existant-spoken or written.Than,if you're not a portuguese speaker,be prepared to smile and use hands language!
Water is precious here,than,don't abuse,short showers are well apreciated,drinking bottled water is available everywhere!
Don't expect for Gourmet restaurants,the food is simple but great,ask for the best restaurants for foreign visitors and good luck with the menu,if you don't speak portuguese.One of our friends from the guesthouse,Suzy,were from Canada,and when she tried to understand the menu (she was alone at the restaurant),the waitress got so upset both could not comunicate,that he invited her to the kitchen and showed her all the things they use to prepare the diferent plates!!!
Bring plenty of REAIS (brazilian currency) as we heard exchange rates are terrible and credit cards practically not aceptable,and if aceptable,you need a minimum purchase or an added percentage!!!
HISTORY:In an expedition in 1503,Americo Vespuccio found the archipelago.The king Manuel,from Portugal,gave it as a present to his very rich friend,Fernando De Noronha,who promised,instead,to finance further expeditions to the portuguese crown.
Noronha never had time to improve the place,and it was abandoned for a long time.
The archipelago has a long history of invasions,first England,than France,than Holland,over & over again.
The first small village was built around the only church in the place,NOSSA SENHORA DOS REMEDIOS.
During the years 38-42,the place was a prison for political prisoners.
During the 2nd war,it was an American Army base,and today,the base houses the only hotel in the archipelago.