Our trip to Ilhabela at the end of 2016 was very different from what we are used to doing. We went with a very large group, together with Paulo’s parents and the production staff. In fact, I think the beach has everything to do with galley trips, right? Ilhabela is definitely a great destination to go with friends!
There are several options for tours there and we managed to do some, even in cloudy weather. As summer is coming, and many people have a trip scheduled there, I decided to share some tips that make a difference.
When to go
Like practically all beaches, the island is very crowded during the holiday season and on long holidays. As a result, the lines for the ferry are also huge, so use the Appointed Time service to avoid having to wait too long. If you prefer to go in places when they are empty, I recommend that you go between May and June or between October and November. Even though it is not so crowded, the island has the most stable weather in those times!
Oh, don’t go with the certainty that there will be no rain, ok? We went there in November and got a few cloudy days, but nothing to stop our trips 🙂
We rented a house through Airbnb and loved the place. We enjoyed the pool a lot and the experience was even more fun because of the staff. To take a look at the house we stayed in, just click here.
If you want to stay in a hotel or inn, the choice depends on the region. If you choose to stay in the center, know that the beaches are busier. On the other hand, you will be very well located and you may not even use the car most days. But, if you are looking for a more peaceful place like us, I recommend that you stay in the most remote regions of the far north and far south.
Ilhabela State Park
Ilhabela State Park is the gateway to several walks, that is, its importance is huge for the region. It is very unlikely that you would leave Ilhabela without having passed it, I swear! Inside the park you will find several trail options, waterfalls, natural pools and access to communities of caiçaras. As several tours depend on the entrance to the park, it is essential to know the opening hours of the park. In the sense of Castelhanos, the entrance time is from 8 am to 2 pm and return from 3 pm to 4 pm.
Note: it is important that you call the park at least 15 days in advance to leave your entry marked on the site. Some car models are prohibited, so be sure to ask if yours is allowed in there!
The beaches of Ilhabela are incredible and it is even difficult to say which one is the most beautiful. I will tell you my favorites, but if you have time, be sure to explore the others. We went to Castelhanos Beach and I fell in love there. To get there you need to travel a trail with a 4 × 4 car or take a speedboat, like us.
It is in this part of the motorboat that our perrengue enters. It started to rain and wind very strong while we were at sea, but in the end everything worked out. For this not to happen to you, it is better to look at the weather forecast before, because I am sure that the tour on a day without rain is much more pleasant and beautiful 😉
Curral Beach is great for those who are going with children, because it has more food stalls. Other incredible beaches are Perequê, Bonete and Viana. It is good to plan to give yourself time to visit several places.
This is one of the most important tips that will save you during the trip. Ilhabela is well known for having several mosquitoes and, especially, rubbery ones. You already imagined what happens, right? I find it practically impossible not to take at least one bite from these mosquitoes, mainly because of the vegetation in the region!
In order not to take so many bites, spend enough repellent all day. But there is a special way of avoiding rubber. I learned on the Island how to put a lot of almond oil on my body. The bug sticks in the oil and then it is impossible to bite you. It may not be 100% effective, but it is something, right?
Ilhabela has not only beautiful beaches, but also wonderful waterfalls. It is a great option for those who want to get off the beach a little bit. On the first day, we went to the Paquetá waterfall and I was enchanted by the place. The view was amazing and it is well worth doing the trail to get there. In addition to this, some that are also worth visiting are Toca, Veloso and Gato. Ah, you better go straight with a bathing suit and a light backpack because the trails are a little tiring!
Do you like to do water sports and try new things? Then you will find even more fun in Ilhabela! Paulo, for example, took a dive and loved the experience. You can also do windsurfing, kitesurfing and other sailing sports. The options are quite varied and they are scattered around the island.
Praia combines with refreshing and tasty meals, and that’s not lacking in Ilhabela. The food there is delicious and the caipirinha is even better! One of my favorite restaurants is Viana, which has a delicious shrimp shell and super famous for the region. The food is a little expensive, but it is certainly one of the best on the Island.
It is always good to have ice cream to cool off, but there açaí is also a great choice. We went to a place called Açaí da Ilha and ate a paçoca and it was wonderful! In short, go prepared to eat well and a lot 😉
Ilhabela Historic Center
We were not very lucky about the weather, as the days were very cloudy. If this also happens to you, a good way to be distracted and not stay inside the house or hotel is to get to know the city. The historic center of Ilhabela is cute, with cute houses and shops with handmade products.
Events in the city
Several nautical events take place in July, so Ilhabela is even more agitated. In addition to tourists, competitors are scattered on the beaches and leave the region very busy. For those who enjoy music, the Jazz festival also takes place annually. Other well-known events are the Shrimp Festival and the Caiçara Culture Week.
Be sure to see when each of these events will happen! That way you can better choose the days of the trip to avoid turmoil or, who knows, enjoy something different besides the natural beauty of the place.
Who doesn’t want to go to the beach? If you liked the tips and want to know more about our trip there, just watch our vlogs 😉