You can hire boats to explore Ilha do Mel and nearby islands. Reliable boatman Isael Pereira leaves from Praia do Farol; he charges R$350 for Ilha do Superagüi, R$300 for Ilha das Peças, R$250 for Ilha das Palmas and R$150 for Fortaleza and Baía dos Golfinhos. Odara Transportes Marítimo is another dependable option.

Beaches

Ilha do Mel has no shortage of beaches. Those facing the bay enjoy warm waters gently lapping at the white sand, while those facing the ocean boast the big surf. But almost all of them are unspoiled, marked only by windswept dunes, forested hills and rocky outposts. Praia da Fora and Praia Grande are a 20-minute walk (2km) from Nova Brasília and a 40-minute walk (4km) from Encantadas. According to local surfers, in winter these beaches have the best waves in Paraná.

The Praia do Farol is the long stretch of sand between the Nova Brasília dock and the Farol das Conchas. It is backed by the swampy, grassy, protected area of the restinga (a tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest unique to Brazil), which also preserves the natural beauty of the beach. Surfers congregate at the base of the hill and ride the legendary Ondas das Paralelas.

If you didn’t bring your surfboard, you might prefer the calmer, warmer waters of the beaches that face the shallow bay. In the north, Praia da Fortaleza, often nearly deserted, allows you to bathe in the shadow of the 18th-century Portuguese fort. The best beach near the settlement of Encantadas is Praia da Fora, which has big waves and a few stalls selling cervejas (beers) and sucos (fruit juices).

Cycling

Biking is a great way to beat the heat and land on the sand faster. Note that you cannot take bikes to Encantadas due to large rocks in the path.