By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Baía do Sancho on island paradise and environmentally protected area Fernando de Noronha has been voted the best beach in the world by Tripadvisor for the second year in a row. The bay with the crystal clear water on Noronha’s main island can be visited by boat or through a narrow staircase down the cliffs.
Baía do Sancho, or Sancho Bay, was elected for the Travelers’ Choice 2015 beach award in the yearly conducted survey by popular travel site and community Tripadvisor. The website’s user were asked to name the best beach they had visited in 2014.
Sancho Bay won the competition for the second time in a row and leading the list of the best beaches this year ahead of Grace Bay on the Turcs and Caicos islands and Rabbit Beach on Lampedusa in Italy.
User Quesia_Paz from Australia described Baía do Sancho on the site as “the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been. The view from the top of the hill is breathtaking. Certainly a place to come back!”
The beach lies on a secluded bay on the main island of UNESCO protected archipelago Fernando de Noronha, off the coast of Recife. It is best visited via boat, which will stop right in front of the bay to not destroy the corals underneath, or via a narrow staircase, which leads down the cliffs that tower around the bay.
Sancho is also described as one of the best diving spots in Brazil and visitors can enjoy a great marine fauna and flora. During the turtle spawning season from January to July, visitors are banned from the beach between 6PM and 6AM. Otherwise, it is a destination that can be visited year-round.
In total, ten South American beaches made it into this year’s ranking of the top hundred beaches on Tripadvisor, among them seven from Brazil and three from Rio de Janeiro state. Recognized were the Lopes Mendes beach on Ilha Grande, Praia dos Carneiros in Pernambuco, Praia do Forno in Arraial do Cabo, Baía dos Golfinhos in Pipa near Natal, Praia do Grumari in Rio and Galés in Maragogi.