With a lot of publicity as a "tropical paradise" teeming with marine life, and high prices including special taxes and ID cards just to be on the island, our expectations were obviously very high. After four days on the island we concluded that although it is a very nice place with very nice beaches, there are many other tropical islands with much easier access and perhaps just as good views and marine life. For snorkeling, there is no comparison with Great Barrier Reef or even with some of the well known places on the Mexican and Caribbean coasts. There is much less here.
Part of the mystique appears to be that Brazilians, without going outside of Brazil, have Fernando de Noronha as the only place to have an "island" experience. Also, the restrictions on working and living there, even for Brazilians, creates a special attraction just to go there. But it creates artificial labor shortage which is reflected in the prices and level of service that is available to tourists.
Some "island hoppers' would love it because it is exotic and hard to get to. Brazil has other beautiful spots in the north and northeast if one just wants a beach experience. And they are a lot cheaper. My advice is: go there if you have an interest in visiting a nice tropical island but be prepared to pay high prices and face some bureaucratic hassles about access to certain trails and beaches, and keep your expectations in check.