Ilhabela boasts a fantastic array of water sports. Due to the winds that blow off the northern tip, the island is considered one of the best places for sailing along the Brazilian coast. In July, it hosts Latin America’s most prestigious sailing regatta, the Semana Internacional da Vela.
If you want to take sailing lessons, or rent a sailboat or kayak, contact Maremar Turismo (Av. São João 574, Perequê, tel. 12/3896-3679, www.maremar.tur.br).
With its crystalline waters, particularly off the east coast, Ilhabela boasts excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. Beginners can get their feet wet at the Reserva Marinha da Ilha das Cabras, an island off of Perequê, where you can view coral, anemones, and a parade of colorful fish. Another underwater adventure is exploring the handful of sunken ships.
Colonial Diver (Av. Brasil 1751, Pedra Miúdas, tel. 12/3894-9459, www.colonialdiver.com.br) offers diving lessons, excursions and rents equipment. An hour-long dive for beginners costs R$200.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition