A famed port of call for sailing enthusiasts that has one of the most astounding landscapes in Brazil, Ilhabela, an archipelago located a few miles from the São Paulo state coastline, has been enchanting Royal Holiday travelers for years. At Ilhabela, called the Sailing Capital, the breezes that gently buffet the main island, Ilha de São Sebastião, create ideal conditions for catching the wind and riding the waves, and water sports enthusiasts of all kinds will find their new home in Ilhabela. Visitors will find both tourist hotspots and remote beaches alike, as well as more than 300 waterfalls spread throughout the inland forests and over 50 shipwrecks ripe for adventurous divers dotting the underwater landscape. For Royal Holiday members looking to experience some of the most beautiful waters in Brazil, Ilhabela can’t be beat.
Hotel Ilha Flat, the Royal Holiday affiliate on the island, offers visitors easy access to everything Ilhabela has to offer. An environmentalist’s dream hotel, Ilha Flat offers green living without any of the drawbacks. Instead, the hotel provides luxury in spades, ranging from the incredible natural scenery surrounding the hotel’s grounds to the in-room amenities like servi-bars. Equipped with saunas, a gym, game room, and a laundry service, as well as tennis courts and a swimming pool, it’s easy to enjoy oneself in the considerable comforts of the Ilha Flat, especially given its excellent 24-hour room service and in-house restaurant and bar. However, with its ocean-view rooms, it will be difficult to avoid the island’s main attractions: the sea and the beach.
The hotel is situated on the island’s west coast, on the Praia do Perequê, where it’s joined by other accessible beaches like Praia Feiticeira, Praia Grande, and Praia do Curral. The beaches located near the island’s main city, Vila Ilhabela, offer sparkling water and shining sand, but generally fill up quickly during the day. Those seeking more private beaches will need to travel to the east coast, which may require hiking through the forests over rough trails. While the journey may be difficult, Royal Holiday members will find some of the most beautiful beaches in this remote corner of the world, including Castelhanos and Jabaquara, the former of which can only be reached by ATV or boat.
Windsurfing and kiteboarding are popular activities in this sailing mecca, and beaches like Pinto and Ponta das Canas offer the best place to kick off the deck and catch the waves. Royal Holiday’s divers would do well to visit one of the famed shipwrecks in the region, including the Príncipe das Astúrias Shipwreck, known as the Brazilian Titantic. A transatlantic liner that sank while the city celebrated Carnaval in 1916, it remains a haunting and beautiful diving spot. As befits a city nicknamed the Sailing Capital of Brazil, many arrive in Ilhabela to enjoy the finest boating in the world. The high point of the season arrives in July, when Ilhabela International Sailing Week starts up, featuring thousands of sailors as well as the Race Village, the land-based portion of the event.