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The green, mountainous island of Ilhabela has always held itself apart from the mainland of Brazil. Discovered in 1502 by Américo Vespúcio, the island has served as an outpost against foreign navies, pirates, slavery and smugglers. Later attempts at taming the island for coffee production failed. Now all that remains of the plantations is a rough network of mountain trails beneath the rain forest canopy. Today, most of the island is a state park reserve where virgin beaches and rain forest are preserved. On the other side of the island, you'll find the same great restaurants and fun nightlife you'll find elsewhere in Brazil.Find Cruises Sailing to This Port
What makes Ilhabela unique is its pristine beaches and untouched rainforest. Many of these beaches are only accessible by boat, so this is your chance to experience their natural beauty firsthand . Curral and Jararaquara beach are some of the most popular and cherished on the island and we offer tours to both. Socialize with the locals on the yellow sand of Curral. Or explore Jabaquara Beach, where, according to popular belief, it's mud contains medicinal healing qualities. Explore Praia dos Castelhanos, a long, wild, stretch of beach, where you'll see the deep blue sea and the mountains rising above the beach, covered in virgin rain forest. Miles away from the more touristy beaches, this is where the locals go to get sand between their toes.
Ilhabela is famous for having the best shrimp in all of Brazil. You'll find them almost everywhere here, served in many different ways. Fresh caught tuna is another local specialty. But you'll see fish of all kinds offered, mouth-wateringly fresh and delicious.
Brazil's currency is the Brazilian real (BRL). Most stores will accept credit cards; however, traveler's checks are not usually accepted. You may get a discount if you pay with cash.
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Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.