Air Europa Blog

The AirEuropa Blog

21 November 2019

Travel to Sao Paulo: the essence of nature of Sao Sebastiao’s island

Ilhabela, Sao Paulo

When preparing a trip to Sao Paulo you can get easily overwhelmed by so many things to do. Sao Paulo is one of the biggest metropolis in the world with more than twenty two million inhabitants, six million vehicles causing incredible traffic jams and a never ending night life.  All of this makes Sao Paulo one of the few cities that never sleeps, active 24/7. Although the city is a very attractive place to visit, we’ll focus on the natural side of Sao Paulo, bringing you a winning proposition: Ilhabela, Sao Sebastiao’s island.

Travel to Sao Paulo… ¡samba!

  • Location: Brazil, State of São Paulo
  • Currency: Brazilian Real (R$)
  • Language: Portuguese

Its countless green calm water beaches, the combination of spectacular waterfalls surrounded by the tropical flora and the wide selection of restaurants and nightlife, make Ilhabela the ideal place for an unforgettable holiday.

Practice scuba diving surrounded by the fascinating underwater life.

At just 207 kilometres from Sao Paulo and 140 kilometres from the State of Rio de Janeiro’s frontier, you can find this 348 kmisland, a true wildlife sanctuary with an incredible underwater life that fascinates and attracts all snorkel and scuba dive lovers. In any given dive you can find: couples of sergeant fish, gorgonias, sea anemones, seahorses, basses, trumpetfishes and hundreds of bluefish. Ilhabela is also the island in Brazil with most waterfalls with as many as 38 cachoeiras, as they call them.

On the other hand, this island is the most mountainous of the Brazilian coastline. It has the ten highest insular summits of the whole country and the highest peak reaches 1.375 meters and is called after the island, Sao Sebastiao. It’s an excellent choice for trekking and nature enthusiasts!

We can’t forget to mention the “borrachudo”, a small mosquito which has a clear preference for tourists’ calves and clear water. Local communities use citronella gel, a natural insecticide, to drive them away. Anyway, they are part of the experience travellers get on the island.

Visit Ilhabela: a magical island with pirates and shipwrecks

There is also a romantic part to Ilhabela. We could say that compasses go crazy in its waters with more than twenty one shipwrecks. Legends talk about famous pirates living on the island: Thomas Cavendish, Barbanegra, Sir Frances Drake and Thomas Knyvet (external links). The “Playa de Bonete” is famous for giving shelter to pirates and corsairs throughout the centuries. It is said that the inhabitants, the “caicares”, of this secluded village with a steep access, are descendants of both the pirates as well as the survivors of the shipwrecks. Their physiognomy is a mix of European eyes and skin with indigenous features. There are about seventy families that live in the jungle with practically no contact with the rest of the inhabitants of the island.

São Paulo, Ilhabela
São Paulo, Ilhabela

Ilhabela’s “musts”:

Eat: We recommend you try the authentic “feijoada”, a traditional Brazilian dish made with red beans, different meats and dressings and rice. A culinary delicacy!

Live:  Stroll around Ilhabela and go to see the Bahía do Castelhanos, considered by many as the best beach on the island. Finish your walk at the magnificent “cachoeira do Gato” waterfall.

Love: Getting married in Ilhabela’s island has gotten increasingly popular among Brazilians. It’s supposed to give you good luck and prosperity. How about a marriage in this tropical sanctuary?

We hope you are getting your suitcase ready to come and visit this incredible place yourself. We fly you to Sao Paulo every day from Madrid, connecting you as well from other Spanish or European destinations. Travel to Sao Paulo! Start your trip to Brazil!

Have a great trip!

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