Ilhabela Tourist Attractions
Situation and CharacteristicsThe town of Ilhabela ("Beautiful Island"), founded on the Ilha de São Sebastião in 1532, is 228km/142mi east of São Paulo and (by ferry) 7km/4.3mi from the town of São Sebastião, on the mainland across the channel of that name. It has preserved from the colonial period the principal church (1532), part of the town walls, a number of old cannon and some fine sugar-cane plantations, the first to be established on the north coast of São Paulo. It is now one of the most popular tourist resorts in São Paulo state, thanks mainly to its impressive waterfalls and beautiful beaches.Bus stationRua Dr Carvalho 36
Baía de CastelhanosTropical GardenCachoeira da TocaOn the east side of the island is Castelhanos Bay, with the beaches of Castelhanos, Mansa, Figueira, Indaluba and Vermelha, which are served only by unsurfaced roads. Vermelha beach, where the slave ships used to land, is more than 22km/13.6mi from the town center.
7km/4.5mi from Ilhabela, is the Tropical Garden, with numerous waterfalls. 1km/.7mi farther on are the Toca falls, whose slippery stones form a natural slide.
Praia do Fome
Praia do FomeThe beach of Fome, on the east coast, can be reached only be boat, in 40 minutes.
Praia do Poço
Praia do PoçoThe beach of Poço, on the east coast, can be reached only by boat, in 50 minutes.
The surrounding area of Ilhabela, on Ilha de São Sebastião, has a number of beaches and natural attractions.
Engenho d'AguaIlhabela has two early 18th century sugar-mills, the Engenho d'Agua and the Engenho São Matias, which both combine the industrial premises and the owner's house under one roof. The Engenho d'Agua, a blue-painted two-story building with a mill-stream and water-wheel, has been restored by SPHAN (Serviço do Património Histórico e Arquitectónico Nacional). From here paths lead up to the summit of Mt Baepi (1053m/3455ft).
South Coast Beaches
Beaches on South CoastOn the south side of the island are the beaches of Engenho d'Agua (2km/1.3mi from town center), Feiticeira, Bonete and Enchovas. Feiticeira (11km/7mi) is the most exclusive beach on the island. On the hill opposite the beach are a number of waterfalls. The road to the beautiful Bonete beach is difficult; the journey by boat takes 1.5 hours. There is a path from Bonete to the Praia de Enchovas, an ideal base for sea-anglers.
Barragem da Agua Branca
Barragem da Agua Branca8km/5mi from the town center on the road to Castelhanos is the artificial lake of Agua Branca. 500m/550yds farther on a hiking trail, the Trilha da Agua Branca, runs through the Ilhabela State Park (area 27,000 hectares/67,500 acres; established 1958).
North Coast Beaches
Beaches on North CoastThe best beaches on the north coast are Pedras do Sino (4km/2.5mi from town center), Armação (7km/4.5mi) and Ponta das Canas (8km/5mi).At Ponta das Canas are a restored sugar-mill, a lighthouse and the ruins of a colonial fort.
IslandsAround the large Ilha de São Sebastião are various smaller islands - the Búzios Islands (1.5 hours by boat), Vitória and Serraria (2 hours) - which have good diving grounds.