Copyright: Toni Martins
What to know, where to go and what to visit in Ilhabela
Publicado por: Toni Martins em 2022-03-16
Undoubtedly, Ilhabela is one of the most beautiful and popular places on the coast of São Paulo, but everything beautiful also has its things, but Ilhabela does have some things you need to know.
First, access to Ilhabela is by ferry, so to get to Ilhabela, you must head to São Sebastião and from there take the ferry that takes about 20 minutes to cross, there is a 24-hour ferry with an interval of 15 minutes. minutes. Then the headaches start, but if the car has an elderly or disabled person, you must take the priority line, another option to take the priority line is to buy the ticket in advance by appointment, otherwise if it is on weekends, holidays or high seasons, be prepared to queue for hours to get in, and to get out even worse, the queue can take more than 6 hours. To take the ferry, you only pay on the São Sebastião -> Ilhabela stretch.
Second problem, the island is infested with mosquitoes, having more than one variety (the blackflies and mosquitoes are the most aggressive and the worst part is that they do not attack together, sometimes they attack some, sometimes they attack others), so if you are allergic to the mosquito bite better not to go. Regarding mosquito repellents, only one repellent you buy on the island works, the other repellents don't work and even the ones you buy on the island need to be always using.
Third problem, the island has a lot of streets, but roads practically have a road that goes from south to north with a route of 40 km, and when you enter the island by ferry, you can choose to go north or south and the ferry is about halfway. Thus, on special days such as weekends, holidays and high seasons it is practically impossible to move around due to the traffic being so great, and parking even worse. Public and free parking is very little compared to the number of cars that enter the island on these special dates, so you will have to opt for private parking when those are still available and are a little expensive.
Another important information is that you must fill up your vehicle before arriving at Ilhabela, fuel on the island is more expensive than on the mainland.
The whole island is very beautiful, very green, lots of woods, lots of birds, and you will easily see many green parrots, so the island is a wonder of nature and that's why it is very preserved. It is not possible to go around the island by car, there are only roads on the side facing the mainland, on the side facing the Atlantic, there are no roads. There is a road that crosses the island but it is only accessible by 4x4 vehicles.
To visit the Atlantic coast of the island you need to buy a speedboat ride. The most famous boat tours include a speedboat and 4x4 vehicle, you go through the north of the island to Praia dos Castelhanos and return by 4x4 or vice versa, but the most advisable thing is to go by speedboat and return by 4x4. Praia dos Castelhanos has already been classified as one of the most beautiful in Brazil
Another place worth visiting is Bonete beach, you can reach Bonete beach by boat (the most comfortable and easy one) or walk about 7 km just to go.
The villages you find on the Atlantic coast are small fishing communities that serve some meals mainly of fish and other seafood.
Another of the activities you can do on Ilhabela are the trails, there are many trails with different levels of difficulty where you will find waterfalls, viewpoints, natural pools and other interesting places to photograph.
The most beautiful beaches accessible by car are in the southern part of the island, the beaches with the longest stretches of sand are in the northern part. The southern part has less infrastructure and road conditions are worse than in the north.
If traveling without a car, it is best to stay close to the village (historic center)
Another of the island's attractions, mainly for enjoying the night, is in the historic center.

Some tours you can do in Ilhabela
- Bonete Beach in Flexboat: from R$ 200.00
- 4x4 to Castelhanos beach: from R$ 120.00
- Praia do Jabaquara (north of the Island, with access by dirt road), you can go in your own car, there is the option of taking the boat trip
- Praia dos Castelhanos (including Praia da Fome and Saco do Eustáquio) in Flexboat: from R$ 190.00
- Schooner Tour (Jabaquara and Praia da Fome): from R$ 90.00
- Paquetá Waterfall
- Juliao Beach (South)
- Ilha das Cabras (South)
- Curral Beach (South)
- Pedra do Sino Beach (North)
- Barreiros Beach (North)
- Pereque Beach (north)
And many others that you can easily find when moving to the north or south of the island, to the south many of them are half hidden and you need to go carefully to find them.
In terms of places to eat, the island has some good options, with most and the best restaurants located in the northern part. I personally really liked the Gaudi near Pereque beach.
Another restaurant I liked was Pimenta de Cheiro, about 100 meters from Gaudi.
Regarding accommodation, I recommend Pousada Catamarã, close to Praia do Curral to the south, excellent quality in all aspects and very good value for money.