Ilhabela. Island in São Paulo State, Brazil


Island in São Paulo State, Brazil

Ilhabela Photo © Vale Caminhão

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	007 - Ilhabela
ilhabela 007 - Ilhabela. Photo by kikesan
Ilhabela is one of the only city-archipelagos in Brazil and is located on the northern coast of São Paulo. It has one of the most rugged landscapes of the Brazilian coastal region, with all the young relief conditions.

Ilhabela is the largest maritime island in Brazil and is famous for water sports, especially sailing - the winds that blow in the São Sebastião Channel make the beaches of the north coast perfect for the activity.

The charm is also a striking feature of the region, gathering cozy inns, restaurants, craft shops and cafés in the streets surrounding the village, as it is called the “Funky Little Center” – a meeting point of all the tribes after the beach.
The tourists who visit the island find a completely beautiful setting with an excellent infrastructure, hotels, restaurants with typical food and various tour options with adventure for the braves. To get away from the normal hustle and bustle of São Paulo, without going too far, tourists and locals people opt for Ilhabela to refresh the ideas.

Main beaches

There are over 30 beaches on Ilhabela Island, among them are: Beach of the Armação, Bonete Beach; Beach of the Castelhanos, Beach of the Feiticeira; Garapocaia Beach, Itaguaçu Beach; Beach of Perequê, Beach of the Poço; Ponta Azeda Beach, Beach of the Veloso and the Viana Beach.

Activities for the Tourists

Among the activities that are offered to tourists on the island are:

Mountain Biking

Enjoy the setting of the sun while cycling through the coast is a good option, as this route is one of the most beautiful walks on the island. For those who are more adventurous, the road that leads to Pacuíba and Jabaquara Beach is also an option: approximately 13 kilometers up and down with the advantage of some beautiful scenery along the way. To get to Castelhano, it is 22 km of cycling and the highest point is 800m above sea level, on top of a large hill.


After two hours of tracking in the woods and a very steep climb, you reach the top of the Veloso Waterfall - about 66 meters high.
After much effort, the visual and the adrenaline present in the waterfall descent will cause anyone, who has courage, to feel fully rewarded.

Horse Riding

Riding on a beautiful horse on a paradise beach is the dream of many people. In Ilhabela, it can become reality. You can rent horses for tours with itineraries.

Sailing / Windsurfing

Ilhabela is well-known and thought to be the Capital of Sailing for its privileged geographical position.
The strong winds that blow in the São Sebastião Channel - which separates the island from the mainland - are constant and with more than 10 nodes within 75% of the day.
Therefore, sailing sports, windsurfing and kitesurfing are practiced in the city for most of the year, and in July the annual International Week of Ilhabela Sailing takes place, a traditional sport event in Brazil and one of the most important in America Latina.


Ilhabela is one of the most interesting dive sites in the country. It is considered to be the largest graveyard of ships along the Brazilian coast, and has 21 shipwrecks, from sailing ships and cargo to transatlantic and oil tankers.

The diversity of dives is the largest of the North Coast, with more than 129 km of coastline to explore. The fund consists of large rocks, forming several burrows and caves, where there is an abundance of marine life and beautiful underwater scenery.
The marine life is most striking in points preserved as the Ecological Sanctuary of the Cabras Island, which allows direct dives from the beach, having artificial reefs as a truck frame and a statue in honor of Neptune.

Visit to the Waterfalls

In addition to the various beaches present on the island, there is also a considerable number of waterfalls for those who prefer calm and fresh water.
Among the main waterfalls present on the island, the following stand out most: the White Water Waterfall, Waterfall Cat, Chachoeira of the Flagstone, Lobo Waterfall, among others.
All these waterfalls can be visited by the tourists by following some trails, with the company of an expert guide.

How to Get There

Ilhabela is situated 230 km from São Paulo and 350 km from Rio Janeiro.
From São Paulo, you can get here by following these routes:
  • The most appropriate route is by Ayrton Senna (rd of São Paulo International Airport), the Carvalho Pinto and the Tamoios (road from São José dos Campos Airport (Wikipedia Article)).
  • The routes for Rio to Santos and Mogi to Bertioga run through much of the southeast coastline and are good alternatives for those who enjoy the view of the beaches.
  • The ferries that make the crossing between the mainland and Ilhabela take about 15 minutes.
  • Lodging

    There are several accommodation options on the Ilhabela Island. Among them are: Hotel da Ilha, Hotel Pousada IlhaSol; Hotel Fita Azul, Pousada Vila das Velas; Suites Palmar, Costabela Apart – Hotel; Ilhabela Tenis Clube, Pousada Vila das Pedras; Pousada Lacosta, Chales Bamba; Pousada Pedra menina, Ilha Plaza Hotel and Residencial Solar Singuitta, among others.

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    Author: Laryssa Balduino. Last updated: Feb 04, 2015

    Pictures of Ilhabela

    Cachoeira da Água Branca - Ilhabela
    Cachoeira da Água Branca - Ilhabela. Photo by Robson Preto

    Praia de Bonete - Ilhabela
    Praia de Bonete - Ilhabela. Photo by Unknow

    Praia do Oscar - Ilhabela
    Praia do Oscar - Ilhabela. Photo by Viagens Ecológicas


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