Ilha do Mel is a true hidden gem in Paraná´s Coast! The island attracts tourists all year long: in Summer mostly Brazilians come for quietness, warm temperatures and surf. During the rest of the year, Brazilians and foreigners from all over the world look for nature, milder temperatures and especially, to leave the routine behind.
The experience begins before you hit the island. The access is made only by boats that leave from Paranaguá (about 2 hours boat ride) or from Pontal do Sul (about 30 minutes boat ride). To catch a boat and leave the mainland behind is already relaxing. A great opportunity for good pictures and if you are lucky, you might spot dolphins very close to the boat! The tickets are bought directly at the pier and can not be reserved in advance. If you are a group, avoid waiting times and contact us for a private boat. There are several parking lots in Pontal do Sul and if you are travelling by car, it is better to park there and the boats leave more frequently. From Paranaguá, there are few departures times per day.
When you arrive at Ilha do Mel, you will not see a single car nor motorcycles. Mobiles do not work very well and the visitors number is limited to 5.000 per day. A truly amazing travel experience to relax!
The rustic and exotic island belongs to the city of Paranaguá and over 90% of it is under strict environmental protection. It is divided into 5 tiny villages: Fortaleza, Brasília, Farol, Praia Grande and Encantadas and each of them has a special view. The most visited places are Farol das Conchas (Lighthouse), Fortaleza (fortress) and Gruta de Encantadas (a cave). All of them have much history and natural beauty. Climb the stairs to the lighthouse to enjoy a panoramic view from almost the complete island – it is surely worth the 144 steps. The path to Encantadas cave is also great and arriving there you will find an almost desert beach – great for pictures. The fortress has many stories and it hosts canons protected by thick walls and stunishing views to the ocean.
The local structure improves every year, but many people still think of Ilha do Mel as a destination for young hippies. Truth said, the price and services level changed a lot and today the island is a relatively expensive destination. There are guesthouses and restaurants in all price levels, but none of them can be considered cheap. The visitors today are basically families, couples and young people who like to surf.
To get to know all the attractions, besides taking a boat, you can walk. Check out our distance chart with difficulty levels of each trail:
|One way||Average time||Distance||Difficulty level|
|Encantadas – Brasília||2 hours||6 km||Medium (with stones)|
|Brasília – Farol das Conchas||30 minutes||2 km||Medium (uphill)|
|Brasília – Fortaleza||1 hour||4 km||Easy|
|Brasília – Ponta Oeste||3 hours||10 km||Easy|
|Encantadas – Fortaleza||3 hours||10 km||Medium (with stones)|
|Encantadas – Farol||2:30 hours||8 km||Medium (with stones)|
Ask for the tide conditions before starting a trail with stones!!
- Important: prefer a backpack to travel to Ilha do Mel. Trolleys are not quite appropriate for a sand trail. But if you carry much luggage, you might ask for a carrier at arrival. They work with a table price according to the place you go.
The island has 24km of beaches and attracts many surfers. Some of the local beaches are among the best ones in Paraná state for surfing. It is possible to rente surfboards or boards for stand-up paddle and even have a surf lesson. Many guesthouse owners are former surfers who decided to build their living on Ilha do Mel. Most locals use bycicle. Some places rent rustic bikes and it might be worth for longer distances, such as to the fortress.
Tours to Ilha do Mel
It is possible to visit Ilha do Mel during a full day tour from Curitiba. You can book your tour with us. We leave Curitiba early in the morning and you will have time to explore the island with our guide. Click here for more information and booking!
If you want to stay on Ilha do Mel, it is better to plan at least two nights. We have packages that include the train tour to Morretes and then further to Ilha do Mel where you will stay two nights in a lovely guesthouse, close to the lighthouse and few meters from the quiet Praia do Farol and the lively Praia de Fora. It is worthwhile to spend some time more on the island! See our options:
If you like to see most in a short time, an option is to combine the train tour with Ilha do Mel in one day. In our tour that combines both things, we head straight to Ilha do Mel as soon as the train arrives in Morretes and you have some snacks on the way to the boat. We prefer to spend more time on Ilha do Mel than to have lunch in Morretes. Choose this tour only if you really does not have a complete day for Ilha do Mel. We guarantee it is worth!
Summer at Ilha do Mel is very warm, so take light and comfortable cloths. The same for shoes, as you will walk a lot. During the rest of the year, take a light jacket and trousers for the colder evenings. Do not forget sun protection and mosquito repellent! During the night, the island is almost completely dark. Take a flashlight (torch). You will not find ATMs nor drugstores on the island. Most places accept debit and credit cards, but is better to bring some cash (Reais) with you. Bring also the medicine you might need. Another important tip is about the trails: walk on the signalized trails. It might be dangerous and damaging for the nature if you walk outside the known trails. After all these tips, do not forget to bring your camera to register your moments on Ilha do Mel!
An important reccommendation: before swimming, ask the locals about the most appropriate places. There are places with many stones and flows that can turn a simple swimming activity into a dangerous situation.
Ilha do Mel´s map
Do you wish to visit Ilha do Mel? Check out several tour options for your choice, all starting from Curitiba:
- Ilha do Mel Complete: The tour includes both main villages of the island and you will see a lot: Encantadas Cave, Lighthouse, Praia do Farol and Praia de Fora. If you like to walk, a visit to the Fortress is also possible. For this tour, we use private fast boats to optimize the visit – no waiting time! >> More information and booking here <<
- Ilha do Mel (1 day): a private tour with personal service and comfort. The tour should be booked in advance and is available daily. We have guides in Spanish, English, German, French, Italian and Arab. In this tour, you will use the regular boats to and back from the island. We reccommend to visit the Lighthouse, Praia do Farol and Praia de Fora. If you like to walk longer along the beach, the Fortress will please you. The price depends on the number of participants. >> More information and booking here <<
- Ilha do Mel Intensive Economy (3 days/2 nights): it is worth to spend 2 nights on Ilha do Mel to relax and leave stress behind. This package includes the famous train tour to Morretes, a typical lunch, private transfer in the first day, boat to the island and back, 2 nights in a charming guesthouse and bus ticket to return to Curitiba. The price depends on the number of persons. >> More information and booking here <<
- Ilha do Mel Intensive Private (3 days/2 nights): it is basically the same package as before, but you will have a private transfer back to Curitiba or if you wish, to the airport. Enjoy private service from beginning to end. We have guides in Spanish, English, German, French, Italian and Arab. Check out the prices according to the number of participants, as it is a private tour. >> More information and booking here <<
- Train tour and Ilha do Mel (1 day): if you fancy to make the train ride and visit Ilha do Mel and have only one day, this tour might please you. As the goal is to spend so much time as possible on the island, we include a box-lunch in the tour and you will have it during the transfer to the island. This tour is available daily. >> More information and booking here <<
Contact our team to book your tour to Ilha do Mel or your guesthouse!