There are a few places in Natal, unhealthy Rio Grande do Norte where you can go dolphin watching, sale the most popular of these are located in Fernando do Noronha Island and Praia da Pipa.
Dolphin Watching at Fernando do Noronha Island
The key attraction to a tour of the Fernando do Noronha Island is a boat trip to Baia dos Golfinhos where hundreds of playful dolphins are sighted at the same time everyday as they hunt for fish.
Baia dos Golfinhos (literally “Bay of Dolphins”) is home to these species of sea mammals known as golfinhos rotadores or spinner dolphins. On a fine morning, you can go on a dolphin watching boat excursion here to swim with the dolphins. You may also be fortunate to spot some sea turtles as thousands of them live in the waters off the island.
Baia do Golfinhos is known by different names. It is sometimes called Golfinhos Bay (Dolphin Bay), Carreiro de Pedra (Stone Creek) or Carreiro beach. Nevertheless, all these terms indicate that the place is home to the dolphins. This amazing place is a rest area and mating ground for these creatures. It is under the jurisdiction and protection of the National Marine Park to preserve the dolphins and their breeding ground.
Entering this protected area by sea is not allowed and the only allowable means is to hike the trail up a steep but your effort will be worthwhile. The cliff top is a great dolphin watching deck for various types of dolphin activities like feeding, mating and caring for the young.
These dolphins are known to exhibit amazing acrobatic performances at the crack of dawn. In order to catch them as they turn their bay sanctuary into a three-ring circus, you have to be there on or before 6 AM. A boat ride later in the day will enable you to see a different view of these creatures as they dive, spin and feed their young.
Don’t miss this dolphin watching attraction if you visit Fernando do Noronha Island. Your first encounters with these gentle animals at Dolphin Bay will be an unforgettable one. To reach the bay, your boat will take you around the island. Once there, dolphins will approach your boat and do some fancy swimming, diving and jumping at close distance.
The guide will tell you some information about the nature and behavior of these creatures, what you can do and what you cannot do in their presence. You will also discover that Baia do Golfinhos here in this island holds the biggest population of dolphins in the world, sometimes reaching up to 1,500 creatures living in this waters.
If you prefer dolphin watching by land route instead of by boat, you’ll be able to see the large concentration of dolphins living in this bay. As you take the long hike up the hill, there will be some guide who will offer to help you watch the dolphins. They can provide you tips and information as well a pair of extra binoculars so you can view the dolphins more closely.
Dolphin Watching at Praia da Pipa
In your Natal Brazil travel, you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit the very popular Praia da Pipa, a small and friendly village resort that is bordered on one side by one of Brazil’s many secondary rainforests. This is the Atlantic Rainforest which had been cut down to the ground but was restored to its natural beauty successfully. click here for my Pipa Brazil Guide
The rainforest overlooks a beach where dolphins are frequently sighted. You can book a dolphin watching excursion to have a closer look at the creatures. There are even boat tours where you can go swimming or diving and get close to these playful mammals.
Chartering a boat to Praia do Curral will enable you to view the dolphins at close range as they frolic in the water. The operator charges R$15 for the 90-minute boat ride. Charter boats are always available on the north end of the main beach.
There is an alternative way to reach Praia do Curral and that is if you’re a hiker who prefers to go on foot. Right after you get to the Nature Sanctuary, you’ll find yourself on a rocky section of the beach. It is recommended you walk this area at low tide. Your extra effort will be rewarded because the next beach will be almost uninhabited and frequently visited by dolphins. These dolphins have gotten familiar with the place and have become used to humans. This is one dolphin watching experience you won’t soon forget.
As you make your way back to Praia da Pipa, you will notice at one end of the beach that some wooden posts are jutting out of the water. They are what’s left of an old “curral” after which the beach was named. A “curral” is a fishing trap used back in the colonial period when the old way of fishing was more natural, without the use of hooks or nets, and relies more on the rising and falling of the tide. You will pass once more under the thick canopy of the Atlantic rainforest. In about a quarter of an hour, you’ll find yourself back in Praia da Pipa, tired yet satisfied after a fun day of dolphin watching.