The 10-km-long (6-mile-long) Ilha do Mel, a state park in the Baía de Paranaguá, is the most popular destination on Paraná's coast. It's crisscrossed by hiking trails—cars aren't allowed, and the number of visitors is limited to 5,000 at any one time—and has two villages, Encantadas and Nova Brasília, and several pristine beaches. Local lore has it that the east shore's Gruta das Encantadas (Enchanted Grotto) is frequented by mermaids. On the south shore check
out the sights around Farol das Conchas (Lighthouse of the Shells) and its beach. From Forte de Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres (Our Lady of Pleasures Fort), built in 1767 on the east shore, take advantage of the great views of the forest-clad northern bay islands. The most scenic ferry rides leave from Paranaguá between 8 am and 1 pm (2 hours; R$32). More convenient are the ferries that depart from Pontal do Sul, 30 miles east of Paranaguá, every 30 minutes. Prices start at R$27. To ensure admission in the high season (December–March), book an island tour before you leave Curitiba.
Trapiche ( Pier), Rua da Praia, Paranaguá, 83255-000, Brazil
041-3455–1129-ABALINE (ferry operators) in Paranaguá; 041-3455–2616