The Ilha do Mel is a pleasant surprise in Paraná´s coast and attracts people from all over the world all year long. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful beaches, the sun and the trails. But you can be sure: during the rest of the year Brazilians and foreigners travel there looking for nature in milder temperatues and mainly to leave the routine behind.
Paraná has only 98 km coast and is not famous for its beaches. But anyway, Ilha do Mel is simply a great place! The rustic and exotic island belongs to the city of Paranaguá and 90% of it is under strict environmental protection. The number of visitors is limited to 5,000 per day.
Every year the businesses in Ilha do Mel improve their services for the visitors. Many people still think that Ilha do Mel is a place for hippies, but as the service level and the services were improving (and prices increasing), it changed a lot. You will find nice guesthouses and restaurants. You can visit Ilha do Mel in only one day or overnight in a good guesthouse or even a camping place. It will only depend on your travel style. 😉
Many families, couples and young people travel to Ilha do Mel to enjoy the nice beaches. The island welcomes well everybody. Just the information we gathered about Ilha do Mel for you. We are sure you will have a great experience there!
In this post you will find:
- How to arrive in Ilha do Mel
- Tips about where to stay
- Tips about places to eat
- More about the main attractions of Ilha do Mel
- See the island´s map and know the main distances
- Practical information to enjoy Ilha do Mel
- Know the main tours in Ilha do Mel starting from Curitiba
How to arrive on Ilha do Mel
Ilha do Mel is about 120 km from Curitiba. The only way to arrive there is by boat, that can be from Paranaguá(about 2 hours boat ride) or from Pontal do Sul (more often) with only 30 minutes by boat. The boats depart in specific times. You can see schedule and prices at ABALINE´s website. (local boat association). Tickets are bought on spot. If you are travelling in a group, it is worth to hire a private boat - contact us for that.!
The road that leads to Paranaguá is BR-277. The boats from there to the island take longer, but you might enjoy seeing the landscapes.
The most reccommended way is from Pontal do Sul. The boat trip is faster and there are several departure times. The access if you travel by bus is easier as well. To arrive in Pontal do Sul by car you need to take BR-277, than PR-407 and PR-412. There are several private parking lots there as well.
"Parking lots, what do you mean?"
There are no cars or motorbikes on Ilha do Mel. You will walk or ride a bike there! The sand trails might be long, but they are easy.
After you decide if you reach the island from Paranaguá or from Pontal do Sul, another choice to make. The island is divided into two main "villages": Brasilia and Encantadas.You will know more about them later, but before you catch the boat, be sure to be riding the right one.
As the trip is by boat, the holiday experience begins before you arrive on the island. It is a great opportunity for good pictures and with some luck, even to spot delphins. Enjoy the vistas and get into the island mood. 😀
You will see much nature on the way to the island. Photo: Special Paraná
Arrival and departure pier in Brasilia. Photo: Special Paraná
Where to stay on Ilha do Mel
We mentioned before that Ilha do Mel has two main "villages". There is no big difference between them, but most attractions are easier to reach if you stay in Brasilia. There the guesthouses and restaurants are a bit away from each other, but you will find many good options. Encantadas has good options as well and walking times are shorter.
Choosing one "village', you will be able to visit both if you plan accordingly - unless you are short of time. There are boats linking both sides or if you like hiking, you can go walking.
Hot tip! If you only have time for a day tour to Ilha do Mel and wish to visit both sides, we strongly reccommend the tour Ilha do Mel Complete.You will enjoy the tour with a guide and private boat.
If you plan to stay more than one day, check the available options may help to choose between Brasilia and Encantadas. Both have budget and more comfortable options.
Take a look in these guesthouses in Brasilia:
- Astral da Ilha
- Treze Luas
- Enseada das Conchas
- Fim da Trilha
The list is much longer! Before booking, take a look in reviews at Tripadvisor to see the opinions of other travellers.
Where to eat on Ilha do Mel
Fish and prawns are the local hits on Ilha do Mel! But if you prefer something else, you can find them - even vegetarian. As everything is quite close, you can walk around and choose the restaurant you prefer. Some guesthouses serve meals as well.
Suggestions in Brasilia:
- Astral da Ilha
- Mar e Sol
- Café da Meninas
Suggestions in Encantadas:
- Fim da Trilha
- Ilha do Malte Beer n´Burger
- Estrela do Mar
What to visit on Ilha do Mel
Long beaches make Ilha do Mel a great spot for tourists in Paraná. There are five small villages - Fortaleza, Brasilia, Farol, Praia Grande and Encantadas - each of them with something special. The most visited places are: Farol das Conchas (Lighthouse), Fortaleza (Fortress), and Gruta das Encantada (Grotto),all with history and natural beauties.
The lighthouse Farol das Conchas is located in Brasilia and from there you will have a panoramic view of almost the whole island. The vista is worth the 144 steps! In this side of the island you will find also the Fortress. It has many stories and canons protected by walls, with great views to the sea. The walk there is a bit longer, but you can rent a bike for that - several guesthouses offer this bike rental.
From the lighthouse hill you can see the beaches of the island! Photo: Special Paraná
The lighthouse Farol das Conchas is one of the main attractions of Ilha do Mel. Photo: Special Paraná
Fortress on Ilha do Mel. Photo: Special Paraná
Canons in the fortress. Photo: Special Paraná
The Grotto is located in Encantadas. The beach is almost desert and the view of the grotto makes the place even more special.
You can spot the beach from the grotto! Photo: Special Paraná
The most famous beaches are Praia Grande and Praia do Farol. Some beaches of Ilha do Mel are considered the main ones in Paraná for surfing. It is possible to rent surf boards or stand-up paddle boards or even schedule a surf lesson there.
Do not worry about chairs or umbrella. You can rent it there or find some places that serve drinks and foomd on the beach. In Praia de Fora, we reccommend to stay at Astral da Ilha.
For these and other reasons, Ilha do Mel is an amazing experience. Bring your camera or cell phone to take pictures of the landscapes!
To visit the attractions of the island, besides taking a boat, you can also walk. Ask about the tides before starting the trails with rocks. See the distance chart and difficulty level of each trail:
|One way||Average time||Distance||Difficulty level|
|Encantadas - Brasilia||2 hours||6 km||Medium (with rocks)|
|Brasilia - Lighthouse||30 minutes||2 km||Medium (with steps)|
|Brasilia - Fortress||1 hour||4 km||Easy|
|Brasilia - Ponta Oeste||3 hours||10 km||Easy|
|Encantadas - Fortress||3 hours||10 km||Medium (with rocks)|
|Encantadas - Lighthouse||2,5 hours||8 km||Medium (with rocks)|
Map of Ilha do Mel
Practical information to enjoy Ilha do Mel
- Avoid trolleys
Due to the sand trails, this kind of luggage is not practical at all and it can be damaged easily. Prefer small bags, such hand luggage or backpacks.
About luggage, bring only what you might need. If you stay in a guesthouse, be sure you are comfortable with the distance. The less luggage you carry, the easier it will be. If you carry much luggage, you may hire a carrier at arrival. There is a price table and it depends on the distance.
- Prefere to bring light and comfortable cloths
During summer times, Ilha do Mel is very warm. Bring light and comfortable clothes. The same for shoes: heels are not reccommended at all! Do not forget swimsuits to enjoy the beach! During the rest of the year, bring a light jacket and trousers i case it gets cold in the evening. Do not forget sunblock and mosquito repellent
- Walk only in the trails
Walk always in the existing trails. To make new trails or walk in the woods is dangerous, bad for the environment and you might get lost. Walk with a flashlight in the evening.
- Take cash and medicine you might need
There are no ATMs or pharmacies on the island. Bring some cash with you, as well as credit and debit card. Restaurants and guesthouses accept credit cards, but boat tours, delivery service and other small expenses are paid cash. In case of emergency, you might get money paying a "fee" at the local grocery store close to the pier in Encantadas.
Do not forget the medicine you need. Cell phone signal is not available everywhere - but who cares? You are there to unwind...
- Pay attention when getting in the sea
It is a very important reccommendation! Before swimming in the sea, ask locals or your tour guide about the best places for that. Some beaches have rocks that make a sea bath something very dangerous. Safety first!
- Respect the nature
You have already noticed that Ilha do Mel is worth preserving! It is your responsability as visitor as well! Do not litter, do not feed animals and take fast showers. Some attitudes that will make your trip a responsible one.
Tours to Ilha do Mel
As Ilha do Mel is close to Curitiba, it is very common that people staying in Curitiba make a day trip to llha do Mel. As we explained before, you can make it at your own. But if you want to enjoy at most and are short in time, we have some options for you. Come with us!
Ilha do Mel Ilha do Mel Complete.
Enjoy Ilha do Mel in a day tour from Curitiba. Visit Encantadas Grotto, the Lighthouse, Praia de Fora and Praia do Farol. If you fancy walking more, the Fortress is a nice place. For your comfort, the transportation is made in a private fast boat. >> More information and booking <<
Ilha do Mel (1 day)
Private tour the day you prefer. It includes transportation from Curitiba, regular boat to Brasilia or Encantadas and tour guide. We reccommend to visit the Lighthouse, but you can visit other places of your preference, as it is a private tour. The price depends on the number of persons. >> More information and booking <<
Train tour and Ilha do Mel (1 day)
If you are short of time and wish to see as much as possible, this tour fits you. For you to have as much time as possible on Ilha do Mel, as soon as the train arrives in Morretes, we leave there and you will have a snack on the way. The price depends on the number of persons. >> More information and booking <<
Book with specialists and travel in safety. Contact us and book your tour: