Of all the coastal getaways inSouthern Brazil Ilha do Mel is probably the most neglected by foreign tourists. However, it isn’t for very good reason. The island is both a flurry of activity and a calm destination at the same time. One could spend hours surfing in the heavy waves, hiking through the forest or simply take in some sun on the beach. One of the true beauties of the island is that it manages to maintain a very Brazilian feel, probably largely thanks to the lack of major foreign interest. If you are looking for a nice place to stop between the main attractions of Southern Brazil and Uruguay a stop at Ilha do Mel is well worth your time and energy.
Things to do in Ilha do Mel
- Surfing: There are a couple of places to surf on the island but by far the best is over at a beach called Praia da Fora
- Beaches: The best beaches on the island are all on the eastern side. The aforementioned Praia da Fora is decent, but the tides roll too high into the cove. The best beach to relax on, and also the largest beach, is Praia Grande.
- Hiking: There is a very nice hike to the north part of the island which will take you to the light house, Farol das Conchas. You can also hike to the north part of the island to a small beach called Praia da Fortaleza where there is also an old fort from the 1700s.
Where to Eat in Ilha do Mel
There are a number of places to eat on the island, but don’t be expecting the most fine cuisine. Along the main strip there is a little Italian restaurant with decent food and good service. The hot spot though is a place called Toca do Abutre which has live music on weekends and in the summer. Near to Praia da Fora you will also find some sandwich and burger shops that will be easier on your wallet.
Where to Stay in Ilha do Mel
When I stayed at Ilha do Mel I was being put up and stayed at a very nice family run hotel called Las Meninas. It had a great atmosphere and the people running it were awesome. The price of a single room was about 35US$. If that is out of the price range there is also a HI Hostel a couple doors down.
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