So perfect they don’t even need a name. They are just The Islands, “As Ilhas”. They lie just a five-minute boat ride off Praia do Barra do Sai which is one of many beautiful beaches in the São Sebastião region of the Paulisa coast. Some of the resorts are heavily built up and being just a few hours drive from São Paulo it’s a favourite weekend getaway destination. There are many expensive holiday homes here and a lot of money washing around, but there are still several unspoilt parts.
Last weekend I visited the islands on a day trip from where I was staying in Praia do Juquehy. There are some agencies there which run larger posher boats, but I think the best way to do it is make your way to Barra do Sai and chat to one of the boat owners who wait for customers at the far left hand side of the beach.
It’s quite expensive to charter a boat unless you’re in a group, but as I can speak Portuguese, I was able to chat to a family and tag along with them. I spent the whole afternoon lying on the pristine sands and swimming in the clear waters, a real luxury considering it’s officially winter here. There’s no restaurant to speak of, but the boatman’s mum and brothers run a little drinks stall and can whip up a fantastic whole barbecued fish. All in all, it was one of the most relaxing Sundays I’ve ever had.