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"Located on the rich green coast north of São Paulo, the steep-sided island of Ilhabela had its closest brush with civilization in the 19th century, when coffee barons chopped plantations out of the island's western slopes. When coffee production declined, the island was largely abandoned, its cover of Atlantic rainforest intact save for a network of rough mountain trails. By the 1960s, when Paulistas started eyeing Ilhabela as a possible vacation destination, the forest had already overrun most of the old farms. In the early '80s some far-sighted planners protected 85% of the island as state park. Ilhabela's forest and the gorgeous beaches that form its outer Atlantic shore are now permanently protected."

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