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Ilha Grande in Rio de Janeiro – Discover Paradise

Ilha Grande in Rio de Janeiro – Discover Paradise

The state of Rio de Janeiro besides the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema offers other beautiful beaches. Ilha Grande is one of the beauties of the south coast of the state, in a region known as Costa Verde. Be sure to read our text that explains better about this magical place! Check out.


The Ilha Grande archipelago is located in the municipality of Angra dos Reis in Rio de Janeiro, 150 km from the state capital. It’s the largest island in the Bay of Angra dos Reis. This area offers more than 193 km² and more than 100 beautiful blue water beaches! The vegetation found is formed by typical Atlantic Forest vegetation.


The territory of Ilha Grande was inhabited by the indigenous people when the Portuguese Gonçalo Coelho saw the region in 1502. The history of Ilha Grande has a lot to do with the history of Rio de Janeiro. The colonization of the region took place through the agriculture of sugar cane and later coffee, on large farms.

One of the results of agriculture was the intense deforestation in Ilha Grande. When the workforce was mainly formed by African slaves, many of them landed on Ilha Grande and were then distributed throughout the region.


In the 19th century, the emperor Dom Pedro II decided to visit the region. Dom Pedro was enchanted by the region and decided to acquire a farm, called Fazenda do Holandês (currently known as Vila do Abraão).

There, the Lazaret was built. The lazaret was a sorting and quarantine center for sick passengers disembarking in Brazil. It was fundamental for cholera cases.


Did you know that Ilha Grande was a foothold for pirates? They used this region as a base and post for the robberies! Even in Ilha Grande, a maximum-security prison was built.

In the twentieth century during the government of Getúlio Vargas, the Ilha Grande prison received political prisoners, one of them was the writer Graciliano Ramos. It was during this period that Graciliano wrote: “Memórias do Cárcere”.


With the abolition of slavery and the decline of agriculture, the region became very precarious. Sometime later, the fish industry began to give economic strength to Ilha Grande. With the deactivation and demolition of some areas of the prison, Ilha Grande began to invest in the recovery of vegetation and tourism, which moves the city to the present day.


Nowadays Ilha Grande is one of the natural wonders of Rio de Janeiro. It offers a variety of activities for visitors, including trails, beautiful beaches, boat trips, diving and you can also visit Vila do Abraão, which is considered the “capital of the island”.


It’s in Vila do Abraão that the largest number of inns, restaurants, residents (about 3,000) and tourism and leisure activities companies are concentrated. If you want more comfortable places, take a look for accommodation in Praia da Bica or Praia Pequena.

See the best options for Accommodation in Ilha Grande 


When is the best time to go to Ilha Grande? In summer, as in the city of Rio de Janeiro on Ilha Grande, it rains a lot and the city is crowded.


One option is to visit the place in March and April when it is still hot and the city will be calmer. From May to October is the low season in the city, little rain and pleasant weather.


The entry of cars on the Island is prohibited. Only bicycles are allowed. So you already know, all by bike, on foot or by boat! No traffic jams here.😊 

Another thing, there are no ATMs in Ilha Grande. Bring the necessary cash for your stay.


You can still find many animals on the island, including marmosets, turtles and dolphins, can you imagine? Do you like adventure? On the island, you can rappel in waterfalls, camping, trekking and some water sports like kayaking, stand up paddle, surf and even diving.

Some of the main places on the island:  

Praia Vermelha, Praia Lopes Mendes, Lagoa Azul, Lagoa Verde, Ilha de Jorge Grego, Enseada de Araçatiba, Enseada do Bananal, Enseada do Sítio Forte, Enseada das Estrelas, Praia de Provetá, among others.  


Access to the Island is only possible by boat, which leaves Angra de Reis or Mangaratiba and disembarks at Vila do Abraão, which is the center of the Island.

– From the center of Angra dos Reis, catamarans leave Cais de Santa Luzia at 8 am, 11 am and 4 pm; and a ferry from Cais da Lapa on Mondays and Fridays at 3:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 pm;

– A ferry leaves Mangaratiba only at 8 am and on Friday at 8 am and 10 pm. This is the closest option if you come from Rio de Janeiro.

If you would like to go to other locations look for information on the transport needed for your destination. As there is no regular line of navigation routes, the cost is very high in traveling to other regions.

More information: HOW TO GET TO ILHA GRANDE  

General information about Ilha Grande 


Have you heard of the Super Island? Some companies offer a tour to the Super Islands in Angra. This tour includes the most beautiful beaches and islands of Angra dos Reis, by boat. There are several stops, so you can enjoy the places, take beautiful photos, swim, among other activities.

You can choose for a tour that includes some activities like diving and can include professional photos, or more basic tours, just passing by the beaches. Both usually offer a buffet lunch included.

The great advantage of these tours is that they have transportation included. So if you are in Rio de Janeiro, just make your reservation informing the place of accommodation and the company picks you up.


Do you want a reliable and well-recommended company option for this type of tour? We have one for you! S2 Rio is one of the best companies in this activity.


Use the code FWKIG20 and get a discount when booking your trip to the Super Island with S2Rio.

See the link for the tour description and the information needed to make your reservation: S2 RIO Super Ilha  

If you are already on the Costa Verde and would like to take this tour, just search for the companies that offer the tour leaving the center of Angra dos Reis. The activities offered are basically the same, including a lunch break.

Choose the best option for you and enjoy this paradise!

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