The Island of Ilhabela

Ecological Paradise and Preservation Area

Casa na Ilha Art Residency Program takes place in the island of Ilhabela, at the north coast of the state of Sao Pablo, Brazil. Located at 200 km from the city of Sao Pablo, is the largest island of an archipelago formed of this and other of minor dimension.  Ilhabela is an ecological paradise, covered by Mata Atlantica (atlantic rainforest) home of unique fauna and flora, with more than 73 beaches and 27 waterfalls of cristalin pure water, the highest mountains are held here. Being a unique ecological ambience, and harboring various endangered species, 84% of the island is a preservation area, protected by the Parque Estadual Ilhabela.

Being the largest island in Brazil, it is only populated on one coast, the one facing mainland, and it has 45.000 habitants that live permanently. The rest of the island is national park and protected. There are no high constructions. There is one main road that goes from the south to the north, has two main centers: Pereque, the commercial center where you can find several banks, big supermarkets, paint shops, small art shop, as well as other stores and Vila, the historical center, which was the first center when the island was colonized and still has historical buildings. There is also a museum and a small art gallery, as well as local crafts shops and restaurants, cafes and convenient stores.


Beaches are all around the island, urbanized and deserted. Some of them are only reachable by trails, boat or 4x4 vehicles.


There are many trails in the island and the walks put yourself in direct contact with nature. Waterfalls can be reached by different trails, of all levels of difficulty. In many of the waterfall you can swim in the natural pools formed by the rocks. It is also possible to hike up to the highest peak of the island, called Baepi, with a guide. The coast also counts with several shipwrecks that can be explored. 

The preservation area is also home of the Caicaras, the native community of the region. Caicaras are today a sustainable community still keeping their own tradition and ancient skills. The community is nowadays facing danger of losing their land because of economic growth and interest and local and national organization are helping them keeping their land and way of life. They fish with their own nets and with harpoon to feed their families as well as being their main economic income. The traditional know-how of is one of the main intangible assets of Ilhabela. 


The island has a rich historical background, from the original indigenous people, Portuguese colonization and settlers, sugar cane fazendas, African influences and English pirates. There is a variety of legends and stories from each place in the island originated in the history of the island and confluence of cultures.




How to get to Ilhabela

Nearest airport is Guarulhos International Airport in the city of Sao Pablo, Brasil. To get to the island you can share with other artists a private car service or  right from the airport there is a bus service passaromarron o litoralea (you can buy your ticket online to avoid delays to Sao Sebastiao. Takes from 3 to 4 hours. The bus leaves you right in the port where you take the free “balsa” service that crosses you to the island of Ilhabela in 15 minutes. 


Casa Na Ilha

Rua 3, 400  Siriuba 1, Ilhabela, CEP 11630-000, Brazil