Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, 354 km offshore from the brazilian coast. The archipelago got its name from the Portuguese merchant Fernão de Loronha, to whom it was given by the Portuguese crown for services rendered regarding wood imported from Brazil.
It is a nationa maritime park. In 2001 UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site because of the importance of its environment.
The islands of this archipelago are the visible parts of a range of
submerged mountains. It consists of 21 islands, islets and rocks of
volcanic origin. The main island has an area of 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi), being
10 km (6.2 mi) long and 3.5 km (2.2 mi) wide at its maximum. The base of
this enormous volcanic formation is 756 metres (2,480 ft) below the
The main island, from which the group gets its name, makes up 91% of the
total area; the islands of Rata, Sela Gineta, Cabeluda and São José,
together with the islets of Leão and Viúva make up the rest. The central
upland of the main island is called the Quixaba.
The life above and below sea is the main attraction of the island. Sea
turtles, dolphins, albatrosses and many other species are frequently