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The stunning Brazilian archipelago and municipality of Ihlabela is situated on the northern coast of Sao Paulo. This secluded paradise is famous for its lush Atlantic forests, dramatic mountains and pristine beaches, which make up the regions astonishingly beautiful and vast natural landscape. In 1977, most of the archipelago was affirmed as a state park and a named as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve due to its environmental and ecological significance. The islands, which cover an area of around 130 square miles, were originally inhabited by a tribe known as the Tupinambas, until the archipelago was colonised by the Portuguese in the early 14th century. Nowadays, this tranquil paradise attracts many visitors from across the world, drawn by its incredible scenery and pristine golden beaches complimented by the region's warm tropical climate.
Ihlabela is perhaps most well-known for its many exquisite beaches and superb hiking trails which lead the enchanting Atlantic rainforests that cover most of the archipelago.
There are a total of 41 different beaches on the main island of Ihlabela, each offering a tranquil haven on which tourists can relax in the sun or play in the clear ocean waters. One of the area's most popular and pristine beaches is named Bonete beach and is often referred to as amongst the best beaches in all of Brazil. The waterfront is lined with towering and majestic trees and has an impressive width of around 600 metre, making it one of the region's largest coastal areas. Out of the many beaches found across the archipelago, some of the most remarkable and striking include Corral Beach, Santa Teresa Beach, Beach Jabalpur, Beach Eustaqulo and Castelhanos Beach.
Tracks and trails
A number of tracks and trail through the forests, along the mountains and across the verdant scenery of the archipelago offer visitors the perfect place to go hiking and discover the regions exceptional natural landscape. Whilst a plethora of trails across the islands are available, some of the most popular and spectacular include the Waterfall Trail of Stone, the Waterfall Trail of Three Tumbles, the Trail Peak San Sebastian, the Trail of White Water and the Trail Peak Baepi. A selection of trails can also be found on or near to the many beaches situated along the coastline.
Village and settlements
Despite the region's secluded ambience, several local villages and communities are located throughout the archipelago. Visiting these various settlements is a great way to learn more about the island's fascinating local culture.
Most of the archipelago's souvenir shops and grocery stores are located within the settlement of Rua do Meio, where tourists will find a collection of tourist-centric gift shops selling a range of mementos and general amenities.
Ihlabela offers visitors a fantastic range of culinary options, the majority of which are situated in the more built-up areas of the archipelago. Seafood is the island's most popular local dish, but guests will also find an abundance of international cuisine alongside pasta and meat meals served in excellent local restaurants and eateries.
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