Maintaining a fair degree of autonomy, these islands of the Bijagos Archipelago are recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and are one of the most important propositions of Guinea - Bissau tourism. Spread over a total area of 2,624 square kilometers, the Bijagos Archipelago of Guinea - Bissau consist of 18 large islands and dozens of smaller islets dotting these areas within the Atlantic Ocean. The Orango Grande Island is famous for its population of salt-water hippos, while the Joao Vieira Island is an important sea-turtle nestling paradise and a centre for sea-fishing developed as a marine park.
Other interesting islands within the biosphere are the Bolama, Bubaque, Carache, Caravela and Formosa. Moreover, only twenty of these islands are inhabited with sparse human populations. Kere, a tiny island between Carache and Caravela is uninhabited and home to a single hotel, which is very popular with the visitors set to explore and enjoy the beauty of the Bijagos Archipelago.