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Ilha Grande  – Rio de Janeiro

Ilha Grande (Big Island) is a PARADISE for those who love nature, like me!

It’s definetely  of my favorite locations in Brazil!!

This special island is located within 3 hours from Rio de Janeiro (2 hrs by car until Angra dos Reis and 1 hour or more by ferry ), and think twice, if you  think it’s  a long way to go to just to be at the beach. … There’s much more there than many, many, many beautiful beaches, discover yourself.


Ilha Grande – Rio de Janeiro / Brazil


It’s the whole experience of being in touch with yourself that made this trip so special for me. No cars are allowed in the island, there are no ATM machines,  though credit cards are accepted is some places. So, plan in advance if you want to go there (there are many parking lots that you can rent a space, another alternative is to get there by bus ).

Ilha Grande

If you decide to go to Ilha Grande by catamara, you can even get a tan before getting there. Great ride, bring your IPod! 🙂

The main location is Vila do Abraao. There, you will find restaurants such as Cafe do Mar, the groceries store and all, and the pier where the ferry (longer ride, timetable: IlhaGrande/Angra here) or the faster, Catamara (timetable here) will arrive/depart  from Angra dos Reis.                                                                                        If you want to go to different parts of the Island, you can always negotiated with the fish boats owner’s. My tip is: only do, if you have any knowledge of Portuguese or Spanish language; otherwise, chances are you will be ripped off.

Vila do Abraao is the main location at Ilha Grande.

At Vila do Abraao you will find many pousadas (like bed and breakfast) and hostels. One time, I stayed at Pousada Agua Viva, the other time at Che Lagarto hostel, and then friend’s house). Please book in advance, as this destination is known by many European travelers, plus the Brazilian ones that go there during holidays and vacations, so you have travelers going there all year long.  If you want to avoid the crowds, plan your trip during the Brazilian “winter time” Jul-Aug,. Otherwise, you can always go to other parts of the island for a great relaxing time!

To do’s: trekking, boat trip, snorkeling, dive, go around the island in an adventure (USE local guides, please – don’t get lost) or simply do nothing : enjoy the beach and a cold drink on white sands…

Araçatiba Cove

It’s a place to relax. You don’t have much “infra-structure” as Vila do Abraao.


Ilha Grande map

But while there, I stayed at Pousada Popeye. A super cute couple takes care of the place. It’s very simple, but the room views’…. OMG! Simplicity is everything.


Pousada Popeye all the way up – Aracatiba Cove/Ilha Grande RJ


View from my room at Pousada Popeye – Aracatiba Cove – Ilha Grande / Rio de Janeiro