Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Brazil's Top 5 Beaches: Ilha do Campeche

In complete contrast to yesterday’s beach choice of Ipanema, Ilha do Campeche (“ilha” means “island”) in Florianopolis in the south of Brazil is a peaceful paradise. Before heading to this beach, the owner of the pousada I was staying in gave me an important piece of advice: go there early. In order to appreciate the beauty of Ilha do Campeche, you need to be there alone, or with as few people as possible. It has a shipwrecked feel to it, with its soft white sand and beautiful turquoise sea fringed by rich vegetation. The beach is protected from any form of development and only 400 visitors are allowed at any one time – but even that many would fill every inch of the sand. Luckily, I was there out of season (peak season is December to February), but I still made sure I got to the quay at Armação around 9am. Fishing boats take you across to the island and the journey takes about 35 minutes. Take lunch with you as, in low season, there are no bars or restaurants. And if you get sea sick - the sea was pretty rough on the way out to the beach - try to ride the journey out as it’s worth it. I felt dreadful, but totally fine once I got off the boat. The sea at the beach is calm and the snorkelling is pretty good if you stick to the rocks. But you’ll spend hours just admiring the scenery.

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