Ilhabela

Portuguese-colonial architecture
Azure seas and attractive beaches
An exclusive and luxury island

Find South America Cruises

Ilhabela

Immersed in tropical vegetation

Without a shadow of a doubt, Ilhabela is one of the most beautiful spots on the Brazilian coast between Santos and Rio. When you step ashore from your MSC cruise ship you’ll feel surrounded by nature.
Of volcanic origin, the island’s startling mountainous scenery rises to 1370m and is covered in dense tropical foliage. With 83 percent of the island protected within the boundaries of the Parque Estadual de Ilhabela, the dozens of waterfalls, beautiful beaches and azure seas have contributed to the island’s popularity.

Old or new, most of the buildings are in simple Portuguese-colonial styles – as far removed from brash Guarujá as you can get. The island is a haunt of São Paulo’s rich who maintain large and discreetly located homes on the coast, many of which have mooring facilities for luxury yachts or helicopter landing-pads.

Almost all of the island’s 30,000 inhabitants live along the sheltered western shore, with the small village of Vila Ilhabela (often referred to as “Centro”) serving as the main population centre. On an MSC South America cruise excursion you can visit Vila Ilhabela, which has a few pretty colonial buildings, dominated by the Igreja Matriz, a little church completed in 1806. Situated on a hill, the white-and-blue wedding cake-like building has a Spanish-marble floor and provides both a cool retreat from the sun and a good view over the area.

Following the coastal road south from Vila Ilhabela along the mainland-facing shore, the beaches are small, but pleasant enough, the calm waters are popular with windsurfers, and bars and restaurants dot the roadside as far as Perequê, the island’s second-biggest town, about halfway south along the island and the location of the port. There are more attractive beaches on the further-flung coasts of the island, most of which can be reached by schooner and/or jeep.

Must see places in Ilhabela

  • A beach

    A beach

  • Snorkeling expedition

    Snorkeling expedition

  • Bike Tour

    Bike Tour

Discover our excursions

5 results found

  • CURRAL BEACH ADVENTURE TOUR BY JEEP 4X4

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    ILA14

    Embark on this exciting adventure! On board of 4x4 vehicles we will follow in the south of the island seeing the most beautiful landscapes. Our first stop will be at the most famous beach of Ilhabela “Curral beach”, where you will find an excellent infra-structure of bars and restaurants in this beach with its green tone waters are ideal for a swimming, but that is not all! After the beach we will head to the interior of the island for about 30 minutes until we reached the Ilhabela State Park, where is located the “Agua Branca” waterfalls, where we can take pictures or dive in for a refreshing swim, where we can appreciate the exuberance of the Atlantic forest. Please note: 16 seats available only, we advise guests to book early to avoid disappointment. The beach destination may be altered due to sea conditions to be decided by the driver/guide during the tour. In case of rain, the excursion will not be cancelled and the itinerary changed for sightseeing through the island. Due to the protect ecosystem environment in the island and many clean and running water from waterfalls, it is common in the island a small insect called “Borrachudo”. This excursion is not advisable for guests with any type of insect allergy. This tour is not advisable for guests with physical disability. Guests will have a chance to buy repellent at the pier prior to the departure of the excursion. The vehicles Jeep used are with individual seats and safety belts are adapted to be off road 4x4 using brands such as; Rural, Toyotas, Land Rover, Chevrolet and Jeeps and all are certified by the transit department and INMETRO. Jeeps maybe open version with individual seats and seat belts. In case of rain, some models may use portable covers and the beach destination may be altered due to sea conditions to be decided by the driver/guide during the tour. Driver is the tour guide himself and only speaks Portuguese. For all other languages please consult the on board Shore Excursion office for availability.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults$75.00Price per person

    • Children$65.00Price per person

  • WATERFALL 3 TOMBOS & CURRAL BEACH BY JEEP 4X4

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    ILA09

    The best excursion in Ilhabela! After disembarking you will board 4x4 jeeps reserved for all MSC guests and waiting for you and your family, where your driver will be your tour guide. Heading towards the south of the island, you will reach one of the most famous beaches of Ilhabela “Curral beach”. One of the most famous beaches in the state of São Paulo where you will have free time for swing, relax under the sun or enjoy one of the many bars and restaurants at the beach. After the beach we will head to one of the 360 waterfalls of the island, the “3 tombos waterfalls”, located close to Feiticeira beach, three falls in a natural setting of which the largest has a height of more than 20 meters. Enjoy some free time in this natural pools where you can swim and do not forget to take unforgettable pictures. Please note: Jeeps are open version with single or joined seats and seat belts. Due to the protect ecosystem environment in the island and many clean and running water from waterfalls, it is common in the island a small insect called “Borrachudo”. Repellents are available at the local stores. This excursion is not advisable for guests with any type of insect allergy. This tour is not advisable for guests with physical disability. We advise guests to book early to avoid disappointments as this tour offer extremely limited seats. If it rains and the path to 3 Tombos waterfalls is slippery, the itinerary of the tour may be changed to a different waterfall (Água Branca or Park of Waterfalls) where guests will not be able to enter the water and it will photo stop only. If it rains to a point where no waterfalls can be visited, the tour itinerary may be changed to a guided tour of the main touristic points of the island. Guests will have a chance to buy repellent at the pier prior to the departure of the excursion. The vehicles Jeep used in Ilhabela with individual seats and safety belts are adapted to be off road 4x4 using brands such as; Rural, Toyotas, Land Rover, Chevrolet and Jeeps and all are certified by the transit department and INMETRO. All family members or friends wishing to stay together in the same jeep must be together in the meeting lounge and inform the shore excursion staff whom will do all their efforts to have everyone in the same jeep depending on the jeep capacities available. It is not guaranteed that everyone will be in the same jeep. In case of rain, some models may use portable covers. Driver is the tour guide himself and only speaks Portuguese, for all other languages please consult the on board Shore Excursion office for availability.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults$75.00Price per person

    • Children$65.00Price per person

  • SNORKELING ADVENTURE

    NATURAL WONDERS

    ILA22

    SNORKELING ADVENTURE
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults$72.00Price per person

    • Children$62.00Price per person

  • TRANSFER TO CURRAL BEACH

    NATURAL WONDERS

    ILA16

    Embark on a van or Micro-bus (with or without air-conditioning), for a transfer of 30 minutes to the famous "Curral Beach." On the beach, you will have approximately 2 hours to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the island, with complete infrastructure for food, chairs, tables, umbrellas. Upon returning to the pier, you can explore the historic center for shopping. Please note:: This is a transfer without guide and the duration of this tour may vary depending on traffic, Limited seats. The excursion will not be cancelled due to rain. Due to the protect ecosystem environment in the island and many clean and running water from waterfalls, it is common in the island a small insect called “Borrachudo”. Repellents are available at the local stores. This excursion is not advisable for guests with any type of insect allergy. The length of free time at the beach will be approximately 1,5 hours. Most of the bars and restaurants in the beach may require consumption for the use of tables and chairs. Major credit cards are accepted.
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults$72.00Price per person

    • Children$69.00Price per person

  • DISCOVER ILHABELA & CURRAL BEACH

    SCENIC ROUTE

    ILA18

    In this amazing combination tour, you will visit the most famous beaches and yet see the best that the island has to offer. You will board air-conditioned vans or Minibus to visit the Vila and downtown. It includes a photo stop at the Barreiro's view point for a fantastic view of the channel and your ship before heading to Ilhabela main church "Nossa Senhora D'Ajuda" built in 1806 for an inside guided visit. Continuing the tour passing by the “Princess’ House” before arriving at the "State Park”, to visit t hydroelectric Power Station Museum to learn all about the old electric system in the island. After the tour you will be able to enjoy approximately one and a half hour for swimming and relax in one the most famous Beach in the island “Curral Beach”. Please note: Limited seats. The excursion will not be cancelled due to weather condition (rain). Due to the protect ecosystem environment in the island and many clean and running water from waterfalls, it is common in the island a small insect called “Borrachudo”. Repellents are available at the local stores. This excursion is not advisable for guests with any type of insect allergy. The length of free time at the beach will be approximately 1,5 hours. At the beach major credit cards are accepted.
    • Long route by bus

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

    • Adults$75.00Price per person

    • Children$65.00Price per person

The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

 

Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

South Brazil

Past Christ the Redeemer
Past Christ the Redeemer

In Brazil’s south-east, the three largest cities – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte – form a triangle around which the economy pivots.

All are worth visiting, but the must-sees during your cruise to Brazil are Rio, which really is as beautiful as it seems in the pictures, and the ravishing colonial relic of Paraty which lies between here and booming São Paulo. North of here, the city of Belo Horizonte sits at the heart of Minas Gerais, where the old Portuguese towns of Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and Diamantina drip with colonial history.

The south, encompassing the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, boasts the spectacular Iguaçu Falls on the border with Argentina – one of the great natural wonders of South America. From Curitiba the scenic Serra Verde Express snakes down to the coast, where you can chill out on Ilha do Mel or beach-hop around Florianópolis.

Despite its proximity to the city, São Paulo’s 400km coast has sometimes been overlooked in favour of more glamorous Rio. North-east, towards the border with Rio state, the area is developing rapidly, but still offers great contrasts, ranging from long, wide stretches of sand at the edge of a coastal plain to idyllic-looking coves beneath a mountainous backdrop.

 
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