Top Ten Brazil Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Multi-Sport on the Ilha Bela
By Shawn Blore

Located on the rich green coast north of Sao Paolo, the steep-sided island of Ilha Bela had its closest brush with civilization in the 19th century, when coffee barons chopped plantations out of the island's western slopes and made tracks through the forest. When coffee crashed, the island was largely abandoned, its cover of Atlantic rainforest intact save for a network of rough mountain trails, with a near-limitless number of almost inaccessible beaches on its outer Atlantic shore.

Just recently, one local operator has come up with a way to harness Ilha Bela's unique attributes. Take the Ilha Bela adventure and you'll travel by 4x4 to a 3,600-foot-high ridge and ride mountain bikes on a descent past waterfalls and through rainforest to a far-off beach on the Atlantic shore. And that's just day one. On day two it's into kayaks for a paddle from lonely beach to completely isolated beach. On day three the journey continues, with stops here and there for hikes up to an occasional lonely waterfall. After three or four days, the expedition arrives back at a beach close to town. Contact Maremar Tourismo, Av. Princesa Isabel 90, Perequj, Ilhabela (12)-472-1418 / (12) 472-2443;


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