Caxadaço Beach sits prettily on the south coast of Ilha Grande, Brazil, gently curving around the tranquil and clear waters of a beautiful natural harbour. The bay itself is masked from the sea by the large rocky outcrop, seen in the photo below, and the landward side soon gives way to thick jungle vegetation. Many visitors go to Caxadaço by a trail, but it can also be reached by boat, the usual approach during the summer season.
While, today, visitors tend to make their way to the beach to savour the relaxing sensation of peace that it offers, in years gone by the beach’s privacy was favoured by those with more sinister motives. Pirates are said to have made use of the bay when striking out against merchant ships sailing up the Brazilian coast, either using the harbour as a staging ground or as a place to hide once a successful raid had been conducted.
In later years, it became a landing point for smugglers who transported slaves across the Atlantic from Africa in secret. It is a sad irony that such a beautiful location could be put to such ugly and nefarious purposes.
Nowadays, Caxadaço is largely deserted, except by those who come to appreciate its natural splendour and enjoy its tranquillity. It makes the perfect end to a tour of Ilha Grande – a fine spot to dig your toes into the sand, while looking out to sea.