ABOUT ILHA GRANDE:
The Ilha Grande
Island is located 1,5hour by boat from Angra dos
Reis or Mangaratiba, south of Rio de Janeiro City.
The approximate distance from Angra dos Reis to
Rio de Janeiro is 170km, to Paraty 100km, to Ubatuba
170km and to São Paulo City 410km. The island
is situated in the state of Rio de Janeiro and has
about xxxx inhabitants.
HOW IS ILHA GRANDE:
Ilha Grande (the Big Island) was once inhabited
by Indians from the Tamoios and Tupinambas tribes.
They named the island Ipaum (Big) Guacu (Island).
The island was discovered by the Portuguese in 1502
and was initially a haunt for pirates and slave
traders. Later they were replaced by coffee and
sugarcane plantations, but by the end of the 19th
century these plantations were abandoned and the
forest took over again. During the 70s Ilha Grande
became a State Park and a Biological Reserve. The
island has been “protected” of “mass-tourism”,
because it was a prison hosting dangerous criminals
until 1994 that kept most tourists away. Since then,
the movement of tourists has steadily increased,
but nowadays the island’s society is trying
to protect and maintain the beauty of Ilha Grande
and keep the charm and simplicity of the island’s
village, Vila Abraão.
The island is very beautiful, with lots of green,
and has fascinating landscapes, about 100 small
marvelous beaches with different characteristics,
backwaters, rivers, lagoons, waterfalls, plains,
mountains and peaks spread out over 193 km².
The proximity between the Atlantic Forest and the
sea is quite close and the paradisiacal sites are
abundant. Many beaches are accessible only by trail
or boat. Here you can find peaceful places and enjoy
the nature. Do snorkeling, diving, trips by boat,
trekking, bird watching, etc. In the village of
Vila Abraão, you find small shops, restaurants
and a variety of accommodations. It is also good
to know that the village’s beach is used as
port and not good for swimming. There is another
beach good for bath, next to the village, which
you can reach by a 10min walk, but the sand is a
bit coarse there. Therefore it is recommended to
go by boat every day, to some of the island’s
really good beaches. For those that enjoy diving,
there are several good spots for diving as well,
and it is also possible to take a diving certificate
during your stay.
GOOD TO KNOW:
There is no bank or cash-dispenser on the island
and the credit cards are not accepted everywhere,
so good to bring some extra cash. There are no roads
/ car traffic and wild camping is forbidden.
WHEN TO GO / CLIMATE:
Ilha Grande is possible to visit all around the
year. There are no big variations in the climate
on the island. The hottest period (summer) is from
November to March, when the precipitation is highest
as well. The coolest period (winter) is normally
from June to August, when it is quite dry as well.
The average annual temperature is around 24ºC,
with average annual high of 30ºC and average
annual low of 18ºC. The winter might be comparable
with summer climate in northern Europe.
HOW TO GO:
To go to Ilha Grande, as it is an island, one
has first to go to the port in Angra dos Reis
or in Mangaratiba. Angra dos Reis can be reached
by air from Rio de Janeiro by small aircrafts
on regular basis, where Packtours can book this
local flight and arrange airport transfers. But
the most common way is to arrive by land (car
/ bus) a 2,5-hours ride from Rio de Janeiro (via
road BR-101), then take the ferry boat or charter
a boat from Angra dos Reis to Ilha Grande, which
takes approximately 1,5h.
GOOD TO KNOW: Theoretically,
Packtours could arrange a “taxi transport”
from the airport or a hotel in Rio de Janeiro,
to the bus terminal (depot) in Rio, then bus ticket
for travel to Angra dos Reis, then another “taxi
transport” from the bus terminal in Angra
to the port – BUT, the cost of all this
service does not compensate the cost of a regular
DIRECT transfer “from door to door”
in a van or bus, that Packtours arrange for you.
And this kind of travel is also without doubts
more convenient and you gain/save valuable time
of your vacation as well. Packtours can arrange
regular or private transports from Rio, we make
all necessary travel arrangements you may need.
HOW LONG STAY:
For the first time visitor we
recommend at least a two night stay (to get one
full day in Ilha Grande), to able a tour in the
beautiful archipelago or make some trekking, and
at night stroll around in the small, rustic and
quite simple village. Besides the pre-booked hotel
and transport service from Rio de Janeiro, Paraty
or Sao Paulo, we recommend you to book “a
tour by boat / to Lopes Mendes Beach”.
Festival of Music and Ecology in
Ilha Grande (First weekend of July)
New and some old famous musicians and compositions
give the opportunity for the public to listen
to Brazilian music for free. The last weekend
of June, the first part of this festival is hold
on the main land, at the wharf of Santa Luzia,
and the first weekend July the second part is
hold at the village Vila Abraao in Ilha Grande.
There are several Religious processions held at
Ilha Grande, but the two main events might be
the procession of Saint Pedro (end of June) and
the Fest of Patron Saint
Vila Abraão Village
Make recognition walk in the small village, visit
some of the handicraft store and have dinner at
one of the village restaurants.
Beach of Lopes Mendes
This beach is considered as the most beautiful
beach on the island and one of the best in Brazil.
The access might be walking the trail from the
village (quite far), but the most common way is
by boat from the village to a nearby beach, a
beach that is on the opposite side of the island
and the beach of Lopes Mendes. Everyone has to
walk across the island (a straight part) but one
has to go over a mountain crest, and it can be
tiring for untrained people. The boat goes rarely
directly to the Lopes Mendes beach, as it is open
water, with very high waves. The beach is good
for surfing, and by the end of beach, there is
a nice waterfall. You may also try the donuts
they sell on this beach.
Schooner tour to Lagoa Azul or Lagoa
As the “big island” Ilha Grande is
surrounded by many small islands in a fabulous
archipelago, it is strongly recommended to enjoy
a tour by boat and visit either the Blue Lake
(Lagoa Azul) or the Green Lake (Lagoa Verde),
both very beautiful and quite similar. During
these tours, there will be stop for snorkeling
/ swimming, and also time for lunch.
Schooner tour to Gruta do Acaia.
It is a full day tour by boat, to the cave of
“Gruta do Acaia”. To visit this cave
is a great experience and take quite long time,
as it is located on the opposite side, but there
is an enjoyable tour by boat as well.
Trekking to the mountain of Pico
This trekking takes about 7 hours but by the time
you reach the top, there is a fabilus view of
the bay of Ilha Grande Island. On the way you
will be able to observe the fauna and flora of
the Atlantic Rain Forest. Before leaving the village,
you may prepare a backpack with sun screen, mosquito
repellent and you may be physically prepared and
will need a local guide orient you.
Take a “taxi-boat” to
Saco do Céu
In this beautiful bay, quite near from Vila Abraão
Village, is a gastronomic center located. It is
a very peaceful and romantic place with almost
no electric power. Here you may enjoy a lunch