Abrolhos is Brazils first Marine Park, created on April 06, 1983 with the objective of preserving the most important formation of reefs of corals of South Atlantic Ocean.
The park covers an archipelago 80km offshore from Caravelas, Bahia. (Caravelas is situated about 155km south of Porto Seguro). The archipelago consists of five vulcanic islands and harbours the greatest chain of coral reefs in the South Atlantic spreading across more than 9 million square yards. The only approach is by boat, and staying on the islands is prohibited.
Abrolhos is a paradise for divers with some of the richest coral in Brazil, and one of the rarest in the world. All the existing species of fish in the South Atlantic can be found in the surroundings of the archipelago. The best time for diving is from December to April, due to higher transparency and temperature in the waters.
Between July and November, Abrolhos is visited by Humpback whales, who give their own spectacular performance leaping from the water and emitting a variety of sounds. One of the rarest species of endangered mammals, they measure up to 50 feet and weigh around 30 tons. Abrolhos is the only area in the South Atlantic to which the whales go in order to mate, give birth and escape the Antarctic winters. They are in the archipelago for their entire mating season. The male whales meet the females again and try to attract them by serenading the ladies with all kinds of sweet songs. The Humpbacks are considered to be the most docile of all whale species, and are also known for their highly-developed communication and acrobatics. That makes for a perfect whale-watching-or-hearing opportunity, whether it be while touring on the topside or diving down under. In the interest of preserving the whales privacy and ensuring their annual return, tourists must maintain a distance of 330 feet from the whales.
The town of Caravelas on the mainland is the most popular gateway to the park. Caravelas has well equipped hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agencies, which organize tours to the islands, not only over a day but also stop overnights on a boat.