A small coastal state in the northeast, Pernambuco’s capital Recife is a modern city overlooked by the well-preserved colonial town of Olinda. It makes a pleasant stop-off before flying out to one of the most desirable offshore locations in the whole of Brazil: the island of Fernando de Noronha. Brazilians regard the island as the epitome of marine chic: there is a high daily tourist tax, top end accommodation and limited flights and hotel beds, all of which conspire to keep visitor numbers low and the environment unspoilt.