ABOUT ILHABELA: Ilhabela is located
in the state of Sao Paulo, 210km from São Paulo
City, and 435km from Rio de Janeiro City. It is an
island of 340km2, surrounded by 6 other islands and
crystal clear sea waters. The island is situated only
4km from the continent and one can access the island,
by ferry boat from the port in Sao Sebastiao City,
which takes approx 15min to go across the straight.
There live about 21.000 people, but during high season
the population increase three times or more. The distance
to Ubatuba is approx 85km, to Caraguatatuba 30km,
to Paraty 160km, to Guaruja/Santos 135/145km, and
to the port in Angra dos Reis 260km.
IS ILHABELA: On the Island of Ilhabela
(or the formal name, Island of Sao Sebastiao), there
are innumerous of beautiful beaches, more than 300
waterfalls and an enormous variety of the Atlantic
Rain Forest’s fauna and flora. All this are
factors that caused the island’s nickname “Ilhabela”
(the beautiful island). 85% of the island is defined
as a national park, declared by the UN (UNESCO) as
on of the last untouched areas of the Atlantic Rainforest.
Ilhabela's archipelago attracts tourists during the
whole year with its pleasant climate and beaches,
and according to good winds it is considered to be
the capital of sailing in Brazil. It is an island
of sports and activities; here it is possible to practice
sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, surfing, fishing,
abseiling (rappel), climbing, trekking and adventures
island's inside has road going along the coast, but
on the outside there is no roads and difficult to
access. The outside might be the islands most beautiful
and untouched part. It is possible to access the beach
of Praia Castelhanos, which is considered to be one
of Brazil 10 most beautiful beaches. It is possible
to go there by boat or more adventurous by Jeep Off-Road,
through the rainforest, crossing the island and its
There are many options of bars, restaurants and other
activities on Ilhabela, and most places are situated
in the village main village center, by the beach Saco
da Capela. For those that visit the island without
car, may stay in a hotel with walking distance to
the village’s center. During the day it is always
easier to arrange transports and tours to different
places / beaches. But if you have a rented car, you
will be more independent and flexible, and can stay
at any place and/or go to beaches, restaurants, etc
any were at anytime.
TO GO: By Road:
Through Dutra Highway, follow on Airton Senna Highway
(SP-170) and Highway Carvalho Pinto, until São
José dos Campos; then take Tamoios Highway
(SP-099) until Caraguatatuba. Continue in the direction
of São Sebastião City, on the continent,
through Rio-Santos Highway (BR-101). Finally, take
the ferry boat to cross the channel, heading to Ilhabela.
Coming from the cities of São Paulo or Rio
de Janeiro through Rio-Santos (BR-101), you will arrive
directly at the city of São Sebastião.
TO GO / CLIMATE: The annual mean temperature
stays around 18ºC – with a maximum of 27ºC,
and minimum of 15ºC. The climate is humid and
moderate, the summer and rain season last from November
to March, and the “winter” dry season
between March and October.
The mosquitoes known as “borrachudos”
have substantially reduced with the urban growth of
the city, but they still show up – mainly in
locations away from the city, by the end of the day.
It is advisable to take insect repellents, especially
in outings to Jabaquara and Castelhanos Beach.
Annual event that includes musical shows and gastronomical
competitions in the agenda. Usually held in August.
It is the largest sailing event in south America.
It has taken place since 1973 and gathers over 400
boats and 1,500 sailors for 10 days of the month of
July. Those who accompany the competition on land
can also watch lectures, shows and exhibitions.
The fantastic geography of the Island and of the São
Sebastião Channel provides one of the best
conditions for the practice of sailing in Brazil.
This occurs not just because the Island forms a natural
obstacle to large open sea waves, but also because
of the wind channeling effect in the channel area.
Turned to the South and forming a narrow corridor
between the high mountains of the Serra do Mar and
of the Island, with peaks that exceed 1,200 m high,
the São Sebastião Channel offers sailors
calm waters and strong winds throughout most of the
Ilhabela is the paradise of the lovers of underwater
fishing and free, autonomous diving. the clear sea
provides good visibility of the local sea life and
of over 20 wrecks, which serve as home for the vast
flora and fauna. A large variety of fish, turtles
and luckily, even dolphins and whales, can be seen
in the region. Ilhabela has diving operators that
offer courses for beginners and dives with specialized
The varied geography of the Island offers very good
locations for climbing, with several levels of difficulty.
From small rocky walls – perfect for training
beginners, to the hill sides of the Baepi Peak, with
a huge potential for exploration in Ilhabela.
The extremely bumpy relief offers many locations for
the practice of this sport – from large stones
all around the island, to coastal areas and huge rocky
walls, such as those of Pico do Baepi.
Ilhabela also attracts many off-road enthusiasts and
practitioners. The peculiar weather conditions of
the Brazilian tropical forest lash heavy punishment
on the dirt roads, with periodic rainfall and high
humidity levels, keeping the clay always “ready”
to demand the most from vehicles and pilots. A common
tour is to go to the Castelhanos beach and spend the
Ilhabela is an important competitions venue, for contests
such as the Ocean Fishing Competition, the most traditional
of the kind in Brazil, organized by the local Yatch
Club. Different fish species are found in the waters
of the archipelago, such as the blue marlin, considered
the greatest fisherman’s trophy, white marlins,
golden, anchovies, groupers and robalos.
Surf is not the sport most commonly associated to
Ilhabela. Nonetheless, the city has some of the best
points on the São Paulo coast for it. of difficult
access, these places are worth any effort to get there
due to their huge waves.
Gathers fishing farms and is a very good place for
the practice of free diving. Favorite gathering point
of youth who love adventure.
Submarine hunting location. Stands out for having
a brook on each one of the beach ends.
Its small orla has thick sand that mixes up with the
dos Castelhanos Beach
It is part of the State Park of Ilhabela. Access is
by launch or dirt road, recommending 4x4 vehicles
only. They say that it was an old pirate refuge and
today lives an Indian tribe there, that provides with
some bar / restaurant service.
It holds a picturesque fishermen’s villa where
time has stopped passing for decades. Access can be
by launch or trail of 1h 30 minutes from Laje Waterfall.
With much movement, it is one of the highest points
of the Island, with its small bars by the sea. In
front of the River bank end there is a shipwreck.
Also known as Remanso, it has a different sea scenario,
despite its short extension.
Legends about treasures hidden by a sorceress, serve
to create an enchantment about the place, made up
of Três Tombos Waterfall, with delicious natural
das Cabras Beach
Perfect for diving. A statue of Neptune is the attraction
It has a bicycle track and broad sidewalk. It starts
at the ferry’s pier, or Red Barra – as
it is known - , from where the boats and schooner
depart on outings. Coconut trees decorate the orla.
One of the most popular rendezvous of Ilhabela. Bars
and kiosks liven the place.
da Capela Beach
Joining into one place the space fishing, water sports
lovers and bathers.
It is located in the Ilhabela State Park. It has natural
pools and trails for treks that lead to a 70m waterfall.
Pools of various sizes and natural slides are the
attraction of the place.
Leaving the car at the far South of the road (Sepituba),
a 40-minute trek toward the Bonete beach leads to
the Laje Waterfall. The river course forms some falls,
slides and natural pools. Perfect outing option.
Go up to the Baepi Peak – which has over 1000m
of altitude – is a 4 hr challenge of steep trekking
through the forest. It is necessary to obtain authorization
from the Park’s administration and be accompanied
by guides. Avoid the climb on rainy days as the trail
becomes quite slippery and dangerous. On light days
and without clouds, the view from the peak reaches
the mountain range of Ilhabela, the channel and good
part of the Sea Range, forming a remarkable landscape.
This adventure requires good physical condition, and
if possible, one overnight at Bonete Beach, which
offers good accommodations. The 13 km of the trail
, starting from the Sepituba End, its is quite bumpy
and passes by three waterfalls – perfect resting
stops. Going takes 3 to 4 hours trekking.
With 2,145m of extension, it is the best signed trail
of the Island, with resting places for outdoor picnics
and identification of different tree species present
on the way. Delicious waterfalls and natural pools,
refresh the trek. It starts that the security post
of the Ilhabela State park, in the Castelhanos road.
of Igreja Matriz
Inaugurated in 1806, its floor is completely in marble
from Spain. Well preserved, it tells a little of the
history and culture of the local inhabitants.
Mill of Engenho D’água Ranch
Built in the 18th century, it keeps the characteristics
of the time and tells a little of the local history.