Ilha do Mel
Paraná’s beaches aren’t much to write home about, with the exception of Ilha do Mel, a 10-kilometer-long (6-mile-long) island that is the Baía de Paranaguá’s main attraction.
A 90-minute boat ride from Paranaguá, Ilha do Mel’s deserted beaches and rugged landscapes are protected as part of an ecological reserve, which has kept development to a minimum. Consequently, the (well-marked) roads and walking trails that crisscross the island are all sand and no cars are allowed.
Accommodations, while comfortable, are fairly basic. Although during the summer months the island’s two villages of Encantadas and Nova Brasília fill up with young surfistas and eco-hippies, a rule limiting the number of visitors to 5,000 a day ensures peace and tranquility.
Getting to Ilha do Mel
From Paranaguá, several boats make the 90-minute trip (R$21–24) from the Estaçao Nautica, stopping first at Nova Brasília and then at Encantadas. Schedules can change according to tides and weather conditions (avoid making the trip in poor weather).
For more information contact Abaline (tel. 41/3455-2616), which offers three regular ferry trips a day to and from the island with departures from Paranaguá at 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. and return trips leaving Encantadas at 8 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition