The island is home to 42 beaches, all with glam-bohemian appeal. Grab "Paulada" smoothies, made from açai—the cult wonder
berry found in the Brazilian Amazon—and marvel at the scenery: miles of manicured sand, keen surfers tackling barreling waves.
At the heart of the island is the vast Lagoa de Conceição, a clear saltwater lagoon that's backed by lush Atlantic rain forest, its entire length dotted with picturesque fishing villages. The sun-dappled picture is reminiscent of the lake regions of Europe.
Sheltered between two rocky headlands and one of the island's most raved-about beaches is the coastal reserve of Praia de Galheta. The hotel scene here is still evolving, so private rentals are a good bet if you're planning to stay around the beaches.