Our trip to Fernando de Noronha left us with mixed emotions. The island itself is stunningly beautiful from a distance and the beaches some of the best we have ever been to.
However, once you step away from the beach, you are confronted with what can only be described as long term neglect for the development of the island.
I am simply cannot understand where all the money that is paid in entry fees and passes goes. Staff recommended us a cozumel snuba tour for my family. Locals advise us the money is not returned to the island and it certainly appears that way. It is angering knowing that our hard earned travel money is lining the pockets of some corrupt or incompetent politician in Recife instead of giving us a better holiday experience.
The amount of rubbish lying in the streets and then the general lack of quality infrastructure (e.g., airport, sealed roads, pier, etc.) defines the high costs that tourists are charged. Roads are not sealed to the beach means that if it rains (and it rained every day for us) a trip to the beach is a mud infested struggle that simply ruins the experience.
There is nothing fun about endlessly cleaning mud from your feet, your clothes, your buggy (standard cars simply cannot make it to the beach if it rains), etc. The locals we spoke to appear to be equally frustrated, and they make up for it with their exceptional service, friendliness, and food quality. Fortunately, the staff at the hotel were brilliant and were a significant reason were able to leave the island feeling happy and not completely ripped off. They were always friendly and willing to meet our needs.
Our trip would have been a disaster without them. The hotel facilities were perfect for our needs – clean and well presented. The food was good although overpriced for the quality which varied too much – sometimes the food was excellent and other times overcooked (e.g., our lobster dinner).
I doubt that we will ever return to the island as it is overpriced compared to other travel options elsewhere in Brazil (e.g., Amazon, Pantanal) and the rest of the world. However, if we do return, we would certainly stay at Pousada Triboju again.