Brazil's third largest island, famed for its tropical scenery and gorgeous beaches, has an unusual history. It was once a leper colony and later a prison. Today the entire island is a protected area and is home to a tiny beachfront town, Vila do Abraão, where cars are banned. With fine-grain sand and clear turquoise waters, the two-mile-long Lopes Mendes Beach is virtually a postcard. Another picture-album sight is Abraão Cove, considered the most beautiful bay on the island.