Brazil, Destinations, Travel log

Under the wind in Cananeia and Ilha Comprida

Transiting by Cananeia

Cananeia is the southernmost city in the state of Sao Paulo. It is a small city (even smaller than Pariquera-Acu) located on an island between the mainland and another bigger island: Ilha Comprida. Cananeia itself is well connected to the mainland by two bridges across the Mar Pequeno (the “little sea”). Its water are known to host families of dolphins but we unfortunately did not get to see any this time.

Cananeia has this charming Brasilian architecture with streets lined up with colorful houses and a cute white and blue church. A walk towards the South of the city will give you the opportunity to see the fishermen boats and the fish market. There is not much more to see around but it is pleasant to wander for an hour or so while waiting for the next ferry to Ilha Comprida!

The endless beach of Ilha Comprida

Ilha Comprida means “long island” in Portuguese and it is an accurate name! It is a barrier island which means it is a formation made of sand dunes pushed overtime by the waves. So here you go, with over 74km of beautiful sand beach facing the Atlantic ocean, it can only be amazing.

In addition, Ilha Comprida is an environmental protected area as part of an effort to limit the negative impact of human presence and protect the dunes, salt marshes and mangroves.

We were there on a half sunny, half stormy end of winter day (Brazilian winter), which means the area was pretty empty. Good for us! What a great feeling to walk on this amazing beach and get lost in the dune vegetation around with no sight of other humans!

Only one beach restaurant remains open all year long, Quiosque do Rock (what a great name in this location!) so the choice was rather straightforward. Of course being by the sea we opted for seafood having forgotten our friend’s earlier warning: due to the law and regulations regarding public health and safety, fish must be frozen before being served; therefore most restaurants will serve the seafood dishes… fried! *sadness*.

Getting to Ilha Comprida

There are only 2 official access points to Ilha Comprida:

  • by the North, through a bridge from the city of Iguape. Therefore the main “city” of the island is in the North of it;
  • by the South, by ferry from Cananeia. This is the option we chose and we really enjoyed it.

There is one road going from North to South of the island. Although it is not that long by car, count plenty of extra-time as this is not the best road…

Is it worth visiting? Definitely, if you are in the south of Sao Paulo, don’t hesitate to swing by.

Next beer on you? Beers cheers

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