Ilha do Mel is paradise on earth for many people: no roads, no cars; only sandy trails linking beaches and smalls villages with the maximum capacity of 5,000 people allowed on the island. The island is divided into two main villages: Brasilia/Farol and Encantadas.
Where to sleep? View a wide selection of simple and comfortable guesthouses in our Ilha do Mel accommodation list. Want to see the best of Ilha do Mel? Check out our quality Ilha do Mel tour choices.
You will find beaches for every taste on the island! It is well known for the best surf areas in Paraná, especially the beaches Praia Fora, Praia Grande and Paralela. Surf competitions are held here throughout the year.
Before swimming, ask locals and surfers about the safety in the area. Some of the beaches have tides and currents that can change quickly and become unsafe. Be aware of your safety, as lifeguards are on the island only during summer holidays. Local surfers are trained to help in case of emergency, but caution is important to avoid problems. The Grajagan Surf Resort is located just in front of one of the most beautiful beaches of Ilha do Mel, Praia Grande. The resort is considered the most complete and comfortable Ilha do Mel hotel.
Boat tours on Ilha do Mel
Combining a boat tour around the island with time in the Baía dos Golfinhos on Ilha das Peças is a great way to spend the day. Just in front of the pier you will find Baía dos Golfinhos or Dolphins Bay; it is impressive to see dolphin pods swimming and playing only few metres from your boat. The inhabitants of Ilha das Peças are mostly fishermen and the infrastructure in the island is easy and accommodating when looking for a place to spend the night. Several families on the island work in the community kitchen, where one can find tasty, simple local food based on fish, prawns, rice, salad and beans. We recommend eating in the local kitchen to support the locals and as the Local Travel Movement says 'get under the skin' of this beautiful destination.
Encantadas Cave | Grutas das Encantadas
This cave is located in Encantadas, in the south of Ilha do Mel. The stone cave is a place of legends; it is told that beautiful mermaids attract men to the cave and they never return home. On the Encantadas side of the island, you will find many charming Ilha do Mel hotels and pousadas like Pousada Fim da Trilha and Hostel Zorro Marimar Encantadas.
Fortress | Fortaleza Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres
This is the only fortress on the Paraná’s coast and it was built between 1767 and 1769 by the Portuguese to protect the Paranaguá Bay from invasions. However, the fortress was used for protection only once in 1850. An English boat, the Cormorant, took three Brazilian boats prisoner with slaves; then, the local population from Paranaguá insisted that the captain in charge of the fortress should react. Some canon shots were fired and the Cormorant stayed in Paranaguá for several months being repaired before returning to England. After the mid 19th century, Portugal and England had an agreement and the transportation of slaves from Africa was banished.
Nowadays, you can get to see the well preserved outside area, canons and some rooms in the entrance area. It is open daily and no entrance fee is charged. The fort offers amazing views of the bay!
The Lighthouse | Farol das Conchas
The lighthouse was built 1872, as an order of the King Dom Pedro II, and it was brought from England to Ilha do Mel. The lighthouse still works by orienting boats entering in the Paranaguá Bay. From that spectacular height you get a lovely panoramic view of several gorgeous beaches of Ilha do Mel and you can also see the point where the island separates. Due to its beauty, the lighthouse has been featured in many films.
It is certainly worth the time to walk to from the top of the hill to the base of the lighthouse, especially for sundown! It is gorgeous…Close to the lighthouse you will find some lovely Ilha do Mel hotels, such as Pousada Enseada das Conchas, Pousada Treze Luas, Pousada Astral da Ilha and Hostel Marimar Farol.
The northern part the island
A great way to see the beauty of the island is to do a complete walk around the northern part, which takes 7-8 hours; this hike should only be attempted by experienced hikers, as it is demanding. You can also rent a bike and spend about 4 hours getting around the island. Please always ask locals about the tide conditions before beginning a tour on your own, and do not forget to take water and some food with you!
Trilha do Belo
Belo means beautiful. Aptly named, the Trilha do Belo is a path full of natural wonders. Starting next to the pier, it first leads you through a bushy area to the Praia do Belo beach. One is greeted by a small beach, with stones and mangroves all around. The sea runs shallow and calm and the waters soothe the senses. Returning to the trail, the path to Praia Grande presents starkly different vegetation in the form of dense submontane forest.
From Praia do Farol to Encantadas
The magic of Encantadas lies within its enchanting myths and folklore. The grotto has a legend that a mermaid charmed sailors and fishermen to lure in their ships. To reach Praia de Encantadas, you must take a three-hour hike starting at Praia do Farol; passing through other picturesque beaches like Praia do Miguel, Praia Grande and Praia de Fora. On the way to Encantadas, you will also cross the Morro de Sabãoor Soap Hill, called so because the hill gets very slippery when it rains. The tide and floods make it impossible to cross the stones; therefore, after arrival, weary travellers can rent a boat and sail along.
Walk to the fortress
There are two scenic paths to choose from when going to visit the fortress from Praia do Farol: a beach path and one through a verdant forest called the Caminho da Figueira.Though both the paths take 2 ½ hours by foot, the forest path is used when the tide is high. To get a bird's eye view of Ilha do Mel and Ilha das Peças, one must first climb to an ancient military labyrinth called the ' Morro da Baleia'. The view is breathtaking.
The walk to the labyrinth is a difficult journey, where you must brave a small river and walk cautiously on an extremely steep path which leads to the cavern nestled at the foot of the hill. But it is a challenge hikers like to take on and it is definitely rewarding.
How to reach Ilha do Mel?
The island can be reached by boat from Paranaguá or from Pontal do Sul. The bus company Graciosa has buses from Curitiba to both cities daily.
From Paranaguá the boat ride takes about 2 hours and the boat stops in Encantadas and in Brasília. Boat tickets can be bought only on spot and there are few departure times per day.
From Pontal do Sul the boat ride takes about 30 minutes, with boats leaving to Encantadas OR Brasília. Be sure to board the right boat! There are several parking lots close to the pier.
For further information regarding prices and departure times, call Abaline (only in Portuguese) or visit their website: + 55 41 3455-2616 / www.abaline.com.br
Special Paraná Turismo Receptivo – Rua Voluntários da Pátria, 262 sala 5 – Curitiba – PR – 80020-000 - Brazil – Tel.: 55 41 3232 1314 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Tourism Ministry Registration: 18.005869.10.0001-1