Subject: Brazil & Snorkeling
Hey Ziners and Susana,

Susana managed to create a dream with her post about snorkeling and diving in Brazil - so I went on a small researching spree online.

This email is mainly to share some of what I found.

I researched both Abrolhos National Marine park, and Fernando de Noronha, and in the process of that research stumbled onto Peninsula do Marau. Abrolhos National park and Fernando de Noronha both looks absolutely magnificent as diving destinations. However, both those places are difficult and expensive to get to - part of their charm I am sure.

Abrolhos National Marine park is on an protected archipelago and humans are not allowed ashore. Tourists stay at a few different possible nearby beaches, and then there are boat tours to the park lasting from 1 - 3 days. Abrolhos National Marine Park has spectacular reefs, excellent visibility, and different spots to dive that offers attractions like shark nurseries, spinner dolphins and in season humpback whales. For me especially the humpback whales and the shark nurseries makes me want to go, and go right now!

Fernando de Noronhas is an island, but tourists can stay on the island, although it is protected by IBAMA. Tourists have to pay an environmental tax, and IBAMA allows a limited amount of tourists there at any given time. The beaches, the snorkeling and the diving sounds wonderful at Fernando de Noronhas. Visitors all stay at Pousada's. Fernando de Noronhas also has whales, dolphins and coral reefs.

I believe we will spend 10 days or so at Peninsula do Marau either this year or next year - depending on how quickly we reach our goals. Marau seems to be a bit more accessible and a little less far off the beaten path, while still not being in a tourist haven. Who knows - if we fall as deeply inlove with it as I think we will maybe we will return the following year to one of the above national parks.

Marau looks absolutely dreamy. Off the beaten path, with magnificent snorkeling right off the shore. The coral reefs right off the shore are described as "swimming in an aquarium". I will probably do a scuba dive or two as well, but the big "thing" is the snorkeling. If I can infect my husband a little more with my love of snorkeling then maybe I can talk him into becoming dive certified as well...... My husband will love the nearby rainforest - and I am sure if I can surface long enough from the water so will I. The nearby rainforest is a major attraction in this area, and so are the secluded pools with waterfalls running into them. Marau is a little more build out with Inn's, hotel's, and even a more expensive resort. Marau does not have the humpback whales, but there is the possibility of seeing dolphins. I need to find out what if any sharks are around. I also still need to research which under water hazards to watch out for.

For anyone interested in Brazilian Ecotourism I used this web site to do a lot of my research:

Susana, or other Brazil experts I would love to hear if there is something additional I need to know as I start to plan my trip. It is no longer a question if I will choose Brazil or not. The only question is this year or next year.

It is wonderful to read how much Brazil is doing to protect their natural under water habitats.

Warm regards, Malene Sonoma CA