The Campeche island is located 1,5 km east from Santa Catarina island and it is a nacional heritage site for its superb collection of archeological sites, ancient rock art and magnificent natural beauty on its 500.000 m2 of surface. On the west side you find the Enseada beach, a protected white sandy beach with clear waters that impress the visitors on arrival. On the east side the island has a rocky shoreline where you find the misterious drawings.
During summer it is a popular day trip getting hundreds of people per day, officially 800 visitors being the maximum allowed to reduce the impact of tourism on the local environment. To see the archeological sites and Rock Art you need to book a guided tour with local ambiental monitors. It costs R$5 for a short tour and R$ 10 for a long one.
Despite being a protected reserve, there is a simple local restaurant and bar where you can have snacks, meals as well as drinks.
To get to Campeche island the most common way are the fisherman boats that depart from Armação beach in a pier organized by the local fishermen association. The trip costs R$ 25 per person and last about 30 minutes. Visitors are allowed to stay only 4 hours.
If the sea conditions aren’t good , the visits are suspended. You might also book a Scuna trip departing from Barra da Lagoa but the trip is longer.
Due to the great water visibility, Campeche island provide a great snorkeling experience, but you need to be guided by monitors as well. There are snorkeling equipment for rent in the local beach.
During April and November visits to the island are only allowed with a permit from IPHAN ( tel. 48 8417 7102 ).
It is important to understand that the island is a protected reserve and a fragile ecosystem. The impact of tourism can be overwhelming if visitors don't colaborate. Bellow are some guidelines to help on preserving this treasure:
- Take all garbage back with you.
- Don't feed local animals because you change the feeding behavior of them and impact on the population control.
- Fishing is not allowed.
- Do not touch the rock paintings.
- Walk on the trails only with guides.