Morro de Sao Paulo- it’s everything you’ve heard

No other way to say it- this place is paradise at it’s finest. Touristy? Yes. But not with the chain restaurants and upscale jewelry shops we Americans are used to. It’s island life from a few decades ago- roads made entirely from sand, isolated beaches in walking distance, prices that aren’t inflated beyond imagination. There are no theme parks, no big monster resorts, and no one handing out time share fliers at the ferry dock. Morro de Sao Paulo is the resort town you’ve been looking for. The one you thought didn’t exist anymore.

The decision to not allow cars on the island has made this place hard to get to. It’s quite possibly the reason it’s so special to begin with. Getting stuff here is difficult, and bringing in the standard mass produced resort kitsch would simply be a waste of time and money. The result is a more unique, original island experience. There is still open land, there are still unaltered beaches, and the infrastructure- while relatively advanced- is still limited.

That’s not to say that this place is Gilligan’s Island or anything. Morro de Sao Paulo is a vacation destination and has all the comforts one could possibly want. Virtually everyone is a tourist here, and there are tour packages for purchase if that’s what you are looking for. But the entire island is at the fingertips of all budgets- big spender or not you are essentially all going to get the same amount of paradise here. And there is plenty to go around.

On our first morning, we took a long walk spanning the four main beaches on the island. The first, second and third beach (as they are called) are generally the most populated. The fourth beach was all but empty, and we swam for about and hour in warm blue water, gazing at boats on the horizon and watching some horses take a morning walk on the beach with their owners in tow. We bought coconuts from a beach vendor and slowly made our way back to town. We snorkeled at the second beach for a few hours, leaving our stuff along a secluded part of the beach built up by tide pools and rock formations. We met some fellow travelers on the beach for an evening beer and then called it a night. Today is probably not going to be much more different and there is no reason to worry about that- everyone else is pretty much doing the same thing.

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