Ilha Grande, a paradise in Southeast Brazil. You must visit this amazing place!
Ilha Grande is located in Rio de Janeiro’s green coast, a paradise in southeast Brazil made up of almost 200 islands, forming an archipelago.
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There are more than 100 beaches and many waterfalls that can be explored on foot when taking trails, by speedboats or by the boats that work as a local transport around the entire wonderful island.
Read What to do in the state of Rio de Janeiro?
Who am I?
Let me introduce myself.
I’m Rodrigo Schmiegelow, an advertiser specializing in Digital Marketing, today I live as a Digital Nomad (what is it), in other words, that I have geographic freedom and can work from anywhere in the world.
That’s why I can have amazing experiences like this.
I started a trip around the world to get to know places, cultures and regional cuisines and I will bring great surprises from these experiences.
I’m on the Farofa expedition, getting to know regional cuisines from all over Brazil.
Follow the O Mundo em Lanches Project (The world in sandwiches) blog on Instagram.
Where is Ilha Grande?
Ilha Grande is located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, about 150 kilometers from Angra dos Reis and is only accessible by boats.
How to get to this paradise in Southeast Brazil?
There are three well-known options.
Mangaratiba: closest to Rio de Janeiro; transport by a CCR Barcas (ferry routes);
Conceição de Jacareí: which is a neighborhood in Mangaratiba, a municipality that borders Angra dos Reis; it has the greatest schedules offering schooners and fast boats;
Angra dos Reis’ downtown: closest option to São Paulo; transport by a CCR Barcas (ferry routes), schooners and fast boats.
When I visited Ilha Grande, I went by a small boat in Port of Angra dos Reis that I managed to get a ticket when I got there.
In addition to me and my sister, there was another couple with us.
Crossing this stretch is very easy as it passes through a basin, avoiding a lot of waves in the sea – of course, it depends a little on the weather.
How to get back from Ilha Grande
Even more important than going is knowing how you are going to get back. Depending on which beach you stay at, there aren’t many options, so it’s good to schedule it before you go or as soon as you arrive.
I ended up delaying my departure because I didn’t book in advance and the boat that the owner of the inn scheduled took a while to arrive.
Where to stay in the region?
On several beaches of Ilha Grande, a paradise in southeast Brazil, it is easy to find accommodation.
The most famous place to stay is Vila do Abraão, known for being well-located and having bars and restaurants – another reason for its popularity is also because it is the closest access to Rio de Janeiro.
I stayed at Araçatiba, the second largest village in the region. I chose it because it was less crowded and because the nearby beaches seemed more beautiful and suitable for swimming, unlike Abraão.
It was a good choice! In fact, it had beautiful beaches in the area and great restaurant options. More than enough to enjoy the short period I stayed there.
The beaches in Ilha Grande, a paradise in southeast Brazil
As I mentioned above, the Island has more than 100 beaches and I stayed only two nights there, so I’ll highlight the ones I saw on the only tour I managed to do during the period.
Aventureiro Beach – famous inclined coconut tree
This was the beach that most enchanted me for its turquoise waters and several fishermen’s boats moored there.
Its modest fishing village practically stopped in time, preserving much of the local culture, there are just over 100 residents nowadays.
There are about 500 meters of fine silver sand, shallow sea, clear crystalline water and rough sea.
On the tour I took, I spent just over two hours enjoying the region. In one of the few snack bars next to the beach, I had a healthy pineapple sandwich, which I really liked, however my sister didn’t like it that much.
You can see traces of the ancient civilizations that inhabited the island about 3,000 years ago. I didn’t have the chance to see it because I didn’t stay long enough.
Its water is blue and green, and the sand is so, so white.
We Snorkeled very quickly and saw the beautiful marine life in the area. Some people got to see sea turtles.
We didn’t notice the slight current as we went to the bottom observing the corals, fish and stones. However when I noticed I got scared having to make an effort to get back to the sand.
We made a quick stopover at Provetá to disembark some passengers during the tour. We noticed how beautiful the beach was when observing from the boat.
Provetá is the second largest village on Ilha Grande, with 1,500 inhabitants and lots of fishermen. It is not so visited by tourists as Lopes Mendes, on the other side of the island.
It is also the main land access to Aventureiro Beach and Meros Beach.
It was the beach I chose to stay on as it is the second most popular in terms of tourism, with good options of inns and less crowded than Lopes Mendes.
There are also several ecological walk options and it is the place where several boat tours begin.
Its thick yellow sand contrasts with the dark blue water in this beautiful beach.
The sea was a bit rough, but we managed to use the inn’s Snorkel to see some fish between the rocks on the beach.
Next to Araçatiba cove, we got to visit the beautiful Praia Longa (Free Traduction – Long Beach), which is not very long by the way. But it is very beautiful, it is surround by a small village.
Dark yellow sand and green waters.
We also snorkeled in the shallow part looking the fish and marine life.
A very pleasant afternoon ended with a light drizzle.
And what to eat on Ilha Grande?
Both in Enseada de Araçatiba – Araçatiba cove – and in Lopes Mendes, you will find many relatively affordable options.
I ate some fish dishes at the inn, a hamburger near the beach and a dish too.
If you like this kind of subject, I should read Brazilian Food: curiosities about typical Northern Brazilian dishes.
Of course, it is a little more expensive than in other places because everything arrives there by boat, which makes the final product a bit more expensive.
The official website of Ilha Grande, a paradise in Southeast Brazil, is very nice and has a lot of information. If you’re passing by, it’s worth reading the island’s portal.
If you want to go deeper into this subject, read Meros Beach – Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro
Going to Ilha Grande? Tell me your expectations in the comments.