From 22 September visitors of the Maritime National Park of Fernando de Noronha will have to pay a fee to visit it.
Foreigners will pay R$130 while the cost for Brazilians will be R$65. The entrance is valid for 10 days, which is a bit of a cheeky period of time, given that most visitors to Noronha remain on the archipelago less than a week.
At a new infrastructure for Noronha: two different island experiences in the making? we explained how the management of the national park had been handed in to a private company – the same firm running the Iguaçu National Park. Once the first stage of improvements at the park has been completed, the new payment is being implemented right away.
And no. Forget it. Travelling to Noronha and not visiting the National Park is not an option.
You will have to budget the new charge on top of the payment of the environmental tax. Thus, a foreigner staying in Noronha for 5 days will have to pay an environmental preservation tax of R$211,68 and a park entrance of R$130.
Bad news for limited bugdets. When I think of a family of four, we enter a nightmarish realm. Travelling to Noronha is becoming more and more of a financial ordeal.
We are not here to argue whether the trip is worth the money you will have to pay for it (for us, Noronha is still a paradise). But the truth is that there are many other far more affordable similar paradises in other corners of the world. Noronha faces a tall order selling itself to foreign tourists. Who are likely to struggle to understand why they have to pay a hefty environmental tax and, on top of that, the National Park entrance fee.
Having said all that, Fernando de Noronha is probably our favourite destination in the entire Brazil. Start reading about it on destination: Fernando de Noronha.
It wasn’t that long ago that we mentioned how the national park of Fernando de Noronha was going to be run by a private company: news from Noronha: paradise to be run by private company and off goes a year of accumulated garbage.
The first results of that move can now be seen, with the construction of the first catwalk leading visitors to the different points of interest on the main island (there is more detailed information, in Portuguese, as well as photographs at Nova estrutura turística do Parque Nacional Marinho Fernando de Noronha é pioneira no país).
If all the announcements made become a reality, the experience of visiting the national park will be improved bit time for many visitors. Of particular importance is the construction of three Information and Control Centers (one on the high end of Sancho Beach, another one at Sueste Beach and the third one at Leão Beach). Visitors will find at those centers maps, restooms, lockers, bike and diving gear hire.
The question I added to the title of the post occurred to me while reading the following dialogue at the Facebook profile of the company running the park:
The tourist observes:
The beaches of Boldró, Conceição and Porto are covered with garbage, beer cans and so on.
The responsible for the company replies:
Those beaches belong to the Environmental Preservation Area and are not under our responsibility. Get in touch with the administration of the Noronha District, who are responsible for garbage collection and maintenance of the beaches.
Just picture the scene. The tourist arrives in the most expensive destination in Brazil. Pays two hefty taxes, the new entrance fee to the National Park and the environmental tax. The benefits deriving from the National Park entrance fee soon become obvious. While the use being made of the money paid on the environmental tax becomes a mistery (we gave some hints to help you decipher the mystery at the dark side of Fernando de Noronha)
During their stay in Noronha, the tourists will move between two different domains. One clean and well-preserved and the other one leaving a lot to be desired. It will have a smashing time visiting the National Park but God forbids they should have an accident while on the other side of Noronha (a Brazilian tourist suffered a traffic accident in Noronha. As the local “hospital” is not prepared to deal with serious cases, a hospital airplane had to be called in from the continent. Problem is, when the plane reached the island, several of the lights signalling the airport’s runway were not working and the plane had to return to the continent. The tourist died the following day as a results of his serious injuries: Turista de SC morre em acidente em Fernando de Noronha).
There will be two types of beaches. The ones within the National Park, full of facilities, and the ones outside the National Park, where cans of beer might form part of the landscape.
And the tourist will not understand a thing.
It is time for pressure being put on the administration of the island of Noronha to reveal where the money collected through the environmental tax goes. And it is also time for the local administration to ensure tourism in Noronha doesn’t become a tale of two different experiences. The most beautiful and expensive Brazilian destination deserves a little more care.
Our main blog post on the Brazilian paradise is destination: Fernando de Noronha.
the dark side of Fernando de Noronha
Noronha: ready to fork out a further R$130?
five days in Noronha for R$900 total – how we did it
pay your tax online… not!
news from Noronha: paradise to be run by private company and off goes a year of accumulated garbage