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

Atlantis/Pousada Solar dos Ventos, Aug, 2006,

by Bruce Newman, RJ, Brazil (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 2721.

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

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 78 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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 www.atlantisnoronha.com.br and Pousada Solar dos Ventos www.pousadasolardosventos.com.br
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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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