I was talking to some people in Belem about the places close by that I wanted to visit. They agreed that Ilha de Cotijuba is an ideal decision for those looking for unspoilt and yet undiscovered places.
All of them mentioned Vai-quem-quer beach and it was also my idea from the beginning. The beach is considered the most beautiful on the island. That was the reason that I wanted to go there and convince myself :)
The beach lies 9 km from the port of Cotijuba and offer simple infrastructura with couple of rustic accommodations and bars that serve home-made food and drinks. You will hardly meet any foreign tourists there, maybey some from Belem on the weekend. How nice!!
Pousada Sol & Lua where I was staying has also a restaurant. At my arrival I was offered by the employee that she could prepare meals. As the island lacks of places where you can eat I found it convinient to accept.
The food was simple but ok. I would only complain about the service. She was not at all interested to please me. Her main aim was to get from me as much money as possible.
(more about it in Hotels & Accommodations)
Favorite Dish: fish, accompanied with rice, beans, farofa (toasted manioc flour), salad and lime
Getting from Belem to Cotijuba might seem rather complicated because it's a combination of various means of transport.
First you take a bus to Icoaraci (a small town north of Belem, the home of many craftsmen making the famous Marajoara pottery). Frequent city buses marked "Icoaraci" leave from Avenida Presidente Vargas in central Belem. It takes about one hour.
In Icoaraci there are several boats daily that goes to Cotijuba. It takes another hour to get there. On the way you can catch a glimpse of the simplicity of houses of waterfront people who live on islands Paqueta and Jutuba.
As there are no cars on the island they had to invent other ways of transport. The main vehicle is a horse-drawn carriage.
You will most probably arrive to the port with the intention to go further around the island. There are always some horse-drawn carriages waiting for the passengers. They will take you anyway on the island (in my case it was Vai-quem-quer beach). And if you want to make a day trip on the island, you also make an arrangment with one of them.
I found it a great fun travelling with horse-drawn carriage! Somehow nostalgic...
As distinguished from charrete, a horse-drawn carriage, that they use for carrying people, goods and agricultural produce are transported by carroca, a buffalo-drawn cart.
I suppose there is no shortage of time while having holidays and traveling around...
In this case you can wait for a very special vehicle: a streetcar, pulled by farm tractor!! On Cotijuba they principally use it for transportation of school children. It has about 20 - 30 seats. And you can't imagine what all people transport with them! Eveverything from bicycle to furniture...
I've never seen such a inventive vehicle! And it's even free! The only deficiency is that the time table is adapted to school schedule and it means only a couple of times daily. But if you know about it then everything is fine.