Trek Brazil's Rainforests and Beaches (3 Days)

Explore Ilhabela, or the ‘beautiful island’ with its unspoilt rainforest and pristine beaches only accessible on foot or by boat. 3 days.

2 Nights

Hike through Atlantic Rainforest, swim in waterfalls and relax on golden sandy beaches. Visit traditional Caiçara communities where you’ll eat freshly caught seafood and learn about their unique way of life.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 2 nights accommodation
  • 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Experienced, English speaking guide
  • Local transportation

Perfect for: Travellers looking for an island escape and a mix of activities and relaxation.

Need To Know

You’ll try a variety of the very best local, home-cooked Brazilian dishes on this trip. Seafood features heavily, in particular, the fresh fish, shrimp and squid from the coastal communities with rice, beans and manioc flour that are the staple ingredients of Brazilian eating.

We are able to cater to dietary requirements - please let us know at the time of booking.

Travelling from the UK, British Airways operates direct flights to São Paulo (the closest international airport) and Rio de Janeiro, or LATAM also flies direct to São Paulo. There is a wide choice of airlines offering indirect flights via Europe.

Ilha Bela is accessed by a short ferry from the mainland town of São Sebastião, which is approximately three hours and thirty minutes drive from Sao Paulo and six hours from Rio de Janeiro. There are regular, comfortable and safe buses running throughout this part of Brazil, so wherever you are travelling from you’ll be able to get to Ilha Bela easily.

You can hike all year round, however, the best time is in the Brazilian autumn and winter (March to August) when it’s cooler, drier and sunnier. During these months temperatures are around 25°C during the day, dropping to around 15°C at night, and humidity is low.

December, January and February are the tropical summer months which are very hot (up to 35°C), very humid and rainfall is higher.

The coast does get very busy around public holidays such as Easter, when Brazilians vacate the cities for a break by the ocean, so if you prefer your trip to be quieter, it’s best to avoid these periods.

You’ll need to pack: - Swimsuit - Towel - Comfortable hiking boots and thick socks - Insect repellent - Sunscreen - Hat - Head torch with extra batteries - Anti-histamine tablets and after-bite cream in case of insect bites - Full lenth trousers and tops that are suitable for hiking in the jungle

Absolutely! The trip runs with a minimum group of four people and a maximum of twelve, so you’ll be kayaking with other like-minded travellers. Lot’s of people book our trips as a solo traveller - it’s a great way to meet people.

A good level of fitness is required for this trek as it covers around 32 kilometres over two days, much of it through jungle trails, although there’ll be plenty of breaks to rest and recover. You’ll be climbing up to an elevation of 500 metres, with some steep stretches.

The only extra costs are:

  • Travel to and from Ilha Bela
  • Dinner on night one in Ilha Bela town
  • Drinks (water is provided)


View map

The largest island on Brazil’s coast, Ilhabela is home to volcanic peaks, dense jungle, ancient shipwrecks, 38 recorded waterfalls and more than 40kms of pristine beaches. Much of the archipelago falls into the Ilha Bela State park, a UNESCO protected biosphere.

Start point?

You can check into your guesthouse in Ilhabela town anytime on day one - the rest of the day you are free to explore or relax. Your guide will collect you from your guesthouse in Ilhabela Town on Day 2 at 8:00am

Finish point?

At the end of the trek, you will be returned to Ilha Bela Town at approximately 17:30.

Getting there and away?

Ilhabela is accessed by a short ferry ride (15-20 minutes) from the mainland town of São Sebastião, which is approximately three hours and thirty minutes drive from São Paulo and six hours from Rio de Janeiro. There are regular, comfortable and safe buses running from both cities to São Sebastião and the ferry also runs frequently every day.

From the UK, British Airways operate direct flights to both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, with LATAM also flying direct to São Paulo. There is also a wide choice of airlines that fly indirect via Europe.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrive in Ilhabela

Make your own way to the island of Ilhabela and check into your pousada, or local guesthouse, for the night.

Explore the pedestrianised streets with their brightly painted houses and eat dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 2: Hike the Bonete Trail

After breakfast, drive south across the island to where the road ends and the trail begins.

Start hiking the Bonete Trail, passing through lush Atlantic rainforest filled with brightly coloured plants. You’ll be able to spot monkeys in the canopy above, before swimming in the natural pools created by gushing waterfalls in the Laje and Areado rivers.

Hike to Buraco do Cação, or Shark Hole, a deep slit in the coastal cliffs that leads to a canyon-like cavity filled with trees and vegetation and hear the waves crashing beneath you.

Arrive at the fishing village of Bonete, a traditional caiçara community. Learn about their way of life and how they live off the land and sea.

After a lunch of freshly caught, grilled fish, salad, rice and beans on the beach, you’re free to relax, sunbathe or swim for the afternoon.

Eat a traditional light meal with the local villagers, then settle down in your accommodation for the night, a simple but clean guesthouse.

Total walking time – 6 hours / 13km

Day 3: Trekking and Beaches

After breakfast, say goodbye to the locals and set off on a more challenging route with some steep stretches through pristine rainforest.

We stop to visit Enchovas Beach, covered in rounded stones that rolled down the river and accumulated all along the beach.

Continue on to Indaiauba Beach, a remote spot that you’ll usually have to yourself, then after a swim and a snack, continue on through the wildest part of the trail as your cross to the remote east coast of Ilhabela.

After walking along Vermelha, Mansa and Canto da Lagoa beaches, arrive at Castelhanos Beach and the end of the trail.

Drive back to Ilhabela town by 4x4 along a dirt trail, keeping an eye out for brightly coloured birds. Once there you can choose to take the ferry back to the mainland or stay longer on the island.

Total distance walked – 15km


You’ll stay in a variety of local pousadas, or guesthouses, during this trip. The first night is spent in Ilhabela town, on the channel side of the island, while on night two you’ll stay in a locally run guesthouse in the small fishing community of Bonete. All will be simple but clean and characterful.

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