One of the natural wonders of Brazil, the Enchanted Cave or Gruta das Encantadas in Portoguese, is located in the southern part of the island known as the Honey Island (Ilha do Mel). The cave walls have been formed by a type of rock called migmatite. A footbridge was built to facilitate access to the cave.
Legend has it that the cave was once populated by enchanting women who would sing and dance at sunrise and sundown, charming men approaching or anchoring their ships in the proximity of the island. As in all fairy or siren stories, seduction only took place at night in the luring light of the moon.
One day, a brave Indian stepped on the island and approached the cave. Lying on the beach, half-asleep-half-awake, he heard a melody, which dim at first became clearer and clearer as the charming inhabitants of the cave approached the entrance of their mysterious dwelling. So beautiful was their dancing and singing that he couldn’t go back to sleep and fell in love with one of them with emerald-green eyes, the legend says. He joined her and the other sirens in their dance. Confessing his love, he told her he wanted to be with her forever. She warned him that he had to die in order for that to happen, to which he readily agreed. No sooner had he uttered the words than they all disappeared into the depths of the sea never to be seen again on that shore. The story further says that deep, weeping voices can still be heard today.
What’s in a name? Mystery, moonlight, fairy stories and exotic, enchanting landscape. If you wish to follow in the Indian men’s footsteps, Ilha do Mel is a must-visit destination. With no streets, the island is a cornucopia of natural, mesmerizing beauty and luring pathways leading to ever-fascinating and wild places.