Sancho Bay: The Secluded Bay of Fernando de Noronha

If there is one Brazilian archipelago that best exemplifies natural beauty, it would probably be Fernando de Noronha. This UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site is composed of 21 islands that is situated on the Atlantic Ocean. Fernando de Noronha has the stunning beaches, rich marine life and an incredible landscape, that will make other island destinations green with envy.

Sancho Bay, Fernando de Noronha

Although there are a number of beaches found here, there is no doubt that one of the most prized jewels of the archipelago is Sancho Bay. Overlooking the coast of Brazil instead of the Atlantic Ocean, Sancho Bay is often regarded as the most stunning beach in Fernando de Noronha. Standing side by side with another gorgeous beach Pig Bay (Baia dos Porcos), Sancho Bay is even made more hauntingly beautiful because of its remote location, thick vegetation and rocky cliffs.

Just like a number of secluded sandy stretches that do not enjoy mass tourism, seeking out Sancho Bay makes a challenging yet adventurous the journey. One way to reach this paradise is to take a small boat from Porto Beach. If you get lucky, aside from getting scenic views of the other island, you may even see dolphins swim alongside your boat. The other way is to hike to a cliff and climb down a 40-meter long ladder built in between a rock opening. If you decide to do this route, take note that wearing hiking shoes is safer for your feet than just wearing flip flops when descending the rocky steps.

Sancho Bay

Once you reach Sancho’s sandy shore, you will soon be mesmerized by its crystal clear emerald water, which contributes to making the beach one of the most desirable swimming spot in the entire archipelago. If you want to do something other than relaxing on the beach, consider going for a diving excursion. Sancho Bay makes a great spot for diving because of its abundance of coral reefs and marine life. Here you will enjoy the excellent visibility because of the impressively clear water.

Being in Sancho Bay, even for a couple of hours, gives you the feeling of being away from it all. Its unspoiled environment is simply refreshing. There are no tourist facilities and services in the beach area. So, if you plant to spend the day on the beach, make sure to bring food and drinks and other essentials. You will also enjoy two lovely waterfalls whose water cascades beautifully into the ocean and from the cliffs. Travel experts believe that the best month to visit the bay is January.


Even though, there are no tourist accommodations on Sancho Bay, you can easily find lodging in other places on the main island. In addition to top hotels, there are about 70 reasonably priced “pousadas” to choose from. You may visit Sancho Bay at any time of the year, but the rainy season usually starts in April and ends in July. Sea turtles still come to Sancho Bay to breed. The breeding season is from January to July. During these months, the beach is closed to visitors from 6 pm to 6 am.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!