Sixty five kilometers (44 miles) away from the Caravelas coast, the nearest point to the continent, the Abrolhos Archipelago is formed by five islands: Santa Barbara, Redonda, Siriba, Sueste e Guarita. Together with the Abrolhos Shoals to the east and the Timbebas reef to the northwest, it constitutes the Abrolhos Marine National Park, the first Brazilian such park, created in 1983. Tepid (between 24 C and 28 C) and crystalline waters make up the ideal environment for about 19 coral species, including brain coral (Mussismilia brasiliensis), endemic to Abrolhos. The reefs grow in columns from the bottom, forming huge mushrooms, called "Chapeiroes". Its reefs are considered one of the rarest and most interesting in South America. About 160 fish species attract birds as white-bellied boobies and frigates, together with sea turtles and other species. From July to November all visitors are granted with the visit of the Humpback whales, that come during this period for procreation.
If you go to Abrolhos on the mating season (July to November) you cannot miss a "Whale Watch" excursion. You would probably come across them on your way to Abrolhos, but it may be more interesting to go for the whale watch tour, or on a dive trip.