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Dive Review of Atlantis/Pousada Solar dos Ventos in
Brazil/Fernando de Noronha island

August, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Bruce Newman, RJ, Brazil
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 2721
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Roatan, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St.
Lucia, Barbados, Tobago, Dominican Republic
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy  
calm, surge  
Water Temp
78   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Two divemasters went with each group.  Divers were told to only surface
with one of the divemasters to allow those with more air to stay down
longer with the other.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
A very impressive craggy volcanic island sprouting up miles from the
seafloor hundres of miles from the coast, Fernando de Noronha is almost the
only place in Brazil where good diving is possible.  The water is warm
enough as it is only four degrees south of the equator.

It is hard to get to (only 400 visitors are allowed at a time on the
island), very well protected by IBAMA, the environmental protection agency
of the Brazilian government, and not overly developed.  There are small
inns called pousadas, most just 2-3 rooms, the largest with 10 rooms.  The
three best are Pousada Maravilha (really only for the true jet set, about
US$670/per person/day with breakfast, double occupancy), Pousada Solar dos
Ventos right next door (about US$135/person/day with breakfast, double
occupancy) and Pousada Ze Maria (more expensive than Solar dos Ventos, but
we didn't visit it).  Maravilha and Solar dos Ventos both have stunning
views of the pristine Bahia do Sueste and beach.  They are located well
away from the center of the island (taxi about US$8 or rent a buggy about
US$60/day).  Atlantis picked us up and brought us back every day included
in their price for diving.

Of the three operations running diving, Atlantis has clearly invested in
all aspects--boats, equipment, divemasters, courses, etc.  A two-tank boat
dive costs about US$93, Nitrox was an additional US$18/tank.  We asked for
Nitrox but didn't check the price in advance, and there really is no reason
to use Nitrox.  Atlantis usually does 'experienced' divers in the morning
and 'beginners' including courses in the afternoon.  The boats (catamarans)
are well organized and comfortable, great ladders, easy giant strides,
marine head.  Divemasters are knowledgeable and competent, and, once they
see that you know what you are doing, lighten up a bit.  They are clearly
used to getting too many just certified divers.  Groups were formed based
on experience.

There are no great hard or soft coral formations--this is a volcanic island
with incredible rock formations 'coated' with coral, so take a light with
you and get up close.  Dive locations are chosen based on the weather and
time of year, as well as where IBAMA says they can dive each day.  Because
of this, you probably will not want to plan more than 4-5 days diving. 
Expect to see nurse sharks, reef sharks, rays, turtles, baracudas, green
and spotted morays, schools of large fish, tropicals.

For an off-the-beaten-path diving experience, check it out.  Atlantis
Divers and Pousada Solar dos Ventos
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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