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World Heritage (UNESCO)

• Ilhabela

Rising steeply from the narrow strait that divides it from the continent, the 350-sq-km Ilhabela (Beautiful Island) earns its name from its volcanic peaks, beautiful beaches, dense tropical jungle and some 360 waterfalls. Almost 85% of the island has been turned into a park and Unesco-protected biosphere, which shelters a remarkable profusion of plant and animal life, including toucans and capuchin monkeys. A haunt of pirates in the 16th and 17th centuries, its waters are scattered with shipwrecks, many of which make for excellent diving. The island also proffers jungle hiking, windsurfing and beach-lazing.

The annual mean temperature is around 18ºC – with a maximum of 27ºC, and minimum of 15ºC. The climate is humid and moderate, the wet season being from September to December, and the dry season from March to June.

How to get there
By Road: Take the Dutra Highway, then the Trabalhadores Highway (SP-170) and Carvalho Pinto Highway, to São José dos Campos; then take Tamoios Highway (SP-099) to Caraguatatuba. Continue in the direction of São Sebastião, on the Continent, along the Rio-Santos Highway (BR-101). Finally, take the ferry across the channel, heading towards Ilhabela. If you take the Rio-Santos Highway from São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, you will arrive directly at the city of São Sebastião.

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