Beach + Island

World's Sexiest Islands

by Jason H. Harper

FERNANDO DE NORONHA, BRAZIL

Perfect for: An exotic, return-to-Eden honeymoon

The scene: When Brazilians dream of going to an island with that special bikini-ed someone, they dream of this place, 250 miles off the northeastern coast. Reached by small plane from the city of Recife, Noronha is a remote volcanic archipelago with calm, pool-like waters on the leeward side and violent, passionate waves on the other. Along the main island's seven square miles, you'll discover more than a dozen individual beaches, each with its own character. Some visitors will also find its environmentally conscious stance sexy: Waters are so pristine that in certain areas, you are not even allowed to swim with suntan lotion.

Don't miss: The perfect, calm waters off of Baía do Sancho. You'll have to negotiate a vertiginous cliff side using slippery metal ladders. (A charm of Brazil is the absence of personal injury lawsuits—it's all at your own risk.) Back on terra firma, you'll find velveteen waters and hollow formations in the rock to indulge in private moments.

Between the sheets: There are no major hotels on the island and all accommodations are inland, so as not to spoil the sea views. But the Pousada Maravilha is a sexy little spot frequented by São Paulo jet-setters and models from Rio, with eight private bungalows, a sauna, and an infinity pool. If you're looking for more basic (i.e., cheaper) digs, the family-owned Pousada do Vale is much closer to the beach than most places—a five-minute walk—and has two-story bungalows with balconies and an outdoor barbecue.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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