Ilha grande has the relaxed air of small town. The island has a lot of activities to do: hiking, more than 20 beaches for touring, snorkeling, diving, kayaking and boating around the island.
The island is in the State of Rio de Janeiro (opposite to Angra dos Reis), has 200 km2 of extension and less than ten thousand inhabitants. In this paradise there are no cars. There are streets of sand. The restaurants are on the beach and there is an open air cinema. People heard samba or bossa nova and walk carefree at the streets.
It is surrounded by abundant vegetation. Springs from the sea, stunning. Abraao is the main town, its name comes from the word “shelter”, at the time of the conquest, boats and the Spanish slave traders used Abrao Bay for refuge from pirates, hidden in the irregularities of its coasts and lush vegetation.
A week is enough to explore the island, and leave a little time to relax on the beaches, each one has a special feature.
The three best beaches of Ilha Grande
Lopez Mendez: This is the most famous beach of the island for its turquoise waters and white sand. There are those who say that it is one of the most beautiful Brazilian coast. As Ocean Beach has some ideal waves for surf lovers.
Access is by boat (only reaches the beach of you mangues well and then crosses a short trail) or but walk from Abrao, but is a 2.5 hour hike.
Dois Ríos: It is a long hike to get up there but worth it. Each corner of the beach flows into a river, then the beach is a mixture of sea and lagoon, surrounded by mangrove swamps with an atypical landscape and great biodiversity. In this beach ran a prison until the year 94. Today there are still remains of their demolition.
Aventureiro: This is the farthest Abrao beach. It is located in a State biological reserve which need a permit (which is obtained in Angra) to enter. Its exclusivity makes it the most paradisiac beach of Brazil. Here there is no electricity or hotels, only campsites. Ideal for people who want to bundle up a few days in the nature away from it all.
Besides touring all the beaches and the trilhas there are two activities to do whether you are visiting Ilha Grande:
1) Walking with Jeronimo: He is a well-liked Argentine guy who lives on the island. It organizes the better ride that can be found in Abraao. It includes ride on his boat, a stop on a Paradise Beach, a roasted fish rich and a demanding rowing in a kayak. in front of Che Lagarto hostel he ties his boat Sao Jeronimo, so it is very easy to find him.
2) Take a trip with Xico: There are several boating and boats that offer around the island but if you have a few coins more, it is worth looking for Xico. Xico, born in Abraao has all the knowledge of a local. It makes the ride around the island in his speedboat. His local knowledge allows one to get to the most beautiful spots of the island. The tour includes stop in various places of the island for snorkeling, stop to drink a beer and lunch. It has a cooler full of ice and let you bring your food and drink. Only with a boat as Xico has, it is possible to reach Aventureiro per day.
If you’re already convinced to go to Ilha Grande do not miss one minute more and book your hostel now!
Che Lagarto is one of the only hostels located on the sea. It is located at one end of the Vila de Abraão, allowing the quiet reading in the hammock from your balcony or go to sleep listening to the sound of the sea, and at the same time, it has the best nightlife. On weekend live bands play and there are organized dinners in the hostel.