Located on the north coast of São Paulo, within the municipality of São Sebastião, Ilhabela is a tourist destination full of natural wonders. Its attractions include paradisiacal beaches, refreshing waterfalls, incredible diving opportunities and stunning trails. Discover what to do in Ilhabela in 1 day on this itinerary to make the most of what this paradise has to offer.
Our day trip to Ilhabela is an enchanting experience that runs 9 km along the south coast of the island, covering the visit of 6 stunning beaches. The best part is that this tour is relatively peaceful, with most of the route on flat terrain, making it accessible to everyone.
We suggest dedicating around 30 to 40 minutes at each beach, allowing you to fully enjoy its natural beauty and have time to relax before heading to the next stop. The itinerary includes stunning beaches, in the following order: Praia da Ilha das Cabras (Goat Island), Praia do Portinho (Portinho Beach), Praia da Feiticeira (Feiticeira Beach), Praia do Julião (julião Beach), Praia Grande (Praia Grande Beach) and Praia do Curral ( Curral Beach). This way, you can explore the wonders of Ilhabela in one memorable day.
Things to do in Ilhabela in 1 day – Explore 6 beautiful beaches
1 – Cabras Island Beach
Ilha das Cabras Beach marks the beginning of our journey after disembarking the ferry in Ilhabela. This beach is truly special, situated in an Undersea Ecological Sanctuary, meaning it is protected by law against spearfishing and hunting.
What makes this beach even more fascinating is its status as a natural aquarium, inhabited by a wide variety of ornamental fish. It is no surprise that Praia da Ilha das Cabras is a favorite among amateur and professional divers looking for unique diving experiences.
2 – Portinho Beach
Our journey takes us to Praia do Portinho, the second stop of the day, which is also part of the Submarine Ecological Sanctuary. This small beach has a charming pier that complements its beauty. Furthermore, the presence of the Saint Anthony Chapel, located right in front of the beach, contributes to the charming atmosphere of this place.
3 – Feiticeira Beach
Our next stop takes us to Praia da Feiticeira, a place that stands out for its natural beauty and the presence of a beautiful colonial-style mansion, as well as a small artificial waterfall that adds to its charm. This beach is, without a doubt, one of the region’s jewels.
4 – Julião Beach
Continuing on our tour, we arrived at Praia do Julião, a recommended place for families due to its tranquility and the presence of some restaurants and stalls. A striking feature of this beach is the presence of many submerged rocks, which contribute to the formation of small natural pools. This provides a great opportunity to observe marine life, with the possibility of spotting different fish, especially with the help of a mask and snorkel.
5 – Praia Grande Beach
One of the largest and busiest beaches in Ilhabela is Praia Grande, which offers excellent infrastructure for tourists looking for comfort and services at the seaside. With several kiosks and restaurants, visitors can enjoy amenities while enjoying the scenery. Furthermore, for lovers of water sports, such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, this beach is an ideal choice, as the sea is usually calm, providing moments of fun and adventure in the water. Praia Grande is another highlight on our Ilhabela itinerary.
6 – Curral Beach
We arrived at our last stop, which is also one of the most popular in Ilhabela: Praia do Curral. This beach offers an excellent structure, with several kiosks and more sophisticated restaurants, providing a unique gastronomic experience by the sea. Near the beach, there are several hotel and guesthouse options for those who wish to extend their stay.
Furthermore, the seaside shops offer spaces with tables, chairs and umbrellas for greater comfort for visitors. If you arrived at this beach on foot, you can return by bus to the ferry boarding point. The bus stop is in front of the entrance to Praia do Curral.
If you prefer to go directly to this beach by bus, immediately after disembarking the ferry, you can take buses to Borrifos or São Pedro, which run along the entire south coast of the island. Praia do Curral ends our itinerary in Ilhabela, a place full of natural beauty and charming options for visitors.
How to get to Ilhabela?
The only way to access Ilhabela is via ferry crossing, which offers an essential connection between the island and the mainland. The average crossing journey lasts approximately 20 minutes, providing passengers with a quick and efficient experience. Ferries operate daily, departing every 30 minutes from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm. After this time, departures occur at one-hour intervals, ensuring that travelers have flexible schedules to enjoy Ilhabela.
When crossing to Ilhabela, it is important to note that pedestrians and cyclists enjoy the benefit of not paying for the ticket, while cars and motorcycles have fares that vary according to size. Furthermore, on weekends and holidays, the ticket price is a little higher. For detailed information on rates click here.
For those wishing to travel from São Paulo to Ilhabela by car, the estimated travel time is approximately 4 hours, provided traffic conditions are favorable. Alternatively, the bus option via Viação Pássaro Marron is also available to travelers, offering a convenient alternative to reach Ilhabela.
For those who want to enjoy Ilhabela in 1 day, ecotourism presents itself as a fascinating option. Exploring paradisiacal beaches, walking along incredible trails and discovering the lush Atlantic Forest are just some of the unmissable experiences. Starting at Praia da Ilha das Cabras and following a route that covers beaches such as Portinho, Feiticeira, Julião, Grande and Curral, visitors have the opportunity to experience the natural beauty and richness of Ilhabela’s ecosystem in an unforgettable day.