We recently heard about this little piece of relatively unknown heaven by Adriana Schmidt Raub, an accomplished eco-tourism hospitality professional (and Sao Paolo native) who founded Your Way, an ecotourism agency, in 2001 for the independent foreign traveler interested in discovering this little secret island in the northeast of Brazil.
Why Noronha, you ask?
“Well, I noticed that international travelers would come and leave the island without fully discovering what Noronha truly had to offer simply because of the language barrier!” she smiles. So, armed with a passion for her Brazilian beauty – and a Hospitality Degree from Cornell – she ambitiously decided to move there and be the bridge between independent foreign travelers and the local tourism community of Noronha.
Over the last 10 years, Your Way has become the essential link between foreign visitors to Fernando de Noronha and the island’s local community and are 100% unbiased as they’re not directly associated with any business in town. They periodically visit and pick what’s best within each traveler’s budget. Because of their good relationship with local suppliers, oftentimes, they’re also able to offer last-minute updated tips and even better rates than what’s available. To get there, you take a flight to Recife and then from there a short flight to Noronha which costs about $550 RT. Rooms can range from $70 on the lowest end (which is modest yet clean) to $500 on the highest end (so quite a range).
Noronha’s world-class SCUBA diving originally drew Adriana to its shores as a regular tourist, but by the end of each dive vacation, she found herself spending more and more time helping foreign visitors navigate Noronha’s distinctive environment than actually diving. “There were a few local companies working with regular packaged tours back then but I was never a fan of packages as I felt they would include unnecessary items just to make it seem like clients were getting a good deal. I always preferred to pick and chose according to my own preferences, like having my own menu of options and starting from there… After my visit, I decided to move to Noronha and properly assist future travelers with the planning process of their trips to this unique island,” Schmidt reveals.
When looking for hotels and such, I definitely was definitely hard pressed to find websites and contact info for quaint rentals or B&B’s and she really does know a range of properties that often don’t have websites and range from: Budget and moderate to higher end pension-type accommodations. If you’re looking for something distinctly Brazilian and a shockingly undiscovered piece of awesomeness, this sweet island is worth your Reais.