Thursday, October 29, 2009


People always laugh when I say that I am busy...but yes I am, here I am in this wonderful island!!! Taking care of danish students group who came to Rio for somedays before some important meetings in the countryside of Paraná State.
But I come to Ilha Grande very often, I always take my guests to see this magnificent island and also this is the place where I come to rest and to have fun; I like exclusive and quiet places to relax and there is not place like Ilha Grande for you to enjoy life, enjoy Nature and have a great time.

To get to Ilha Grande, we have two ways, either getting to the small piers of Mangaratiba or Angra dos Reis.

There are few options from Mangaratiba, but if you want to get to the island easier, taking the 8:00 am ferry boat is a good option, but it means that you will have to leave Rio by 4:00 am. Once you get to the island, you are at Abraão Village by 9:30 so that you can enjoy the whole day and even taking the boat tours that starts from the private pier at 10:00 am.

Another handy option from the continent is getting to Angra dos Reis, in the pier called CAIS DA LAPA where the BARCAS leave, you have the official ferry boats and also other boats that takes you to the island!!! So more or less from time to time you will have some boat going to Ilha Grande. From 1:30 pm on you will find a way to go to the island, if you get to Angra by lunch in front of the main square there is a nice local restaurant called FOGO DE MINAS, marvelous country food, actually the best of simple Brazilian food can also be found there!

In a way, if you want to go to ILHA GRANDE from Rio and you do not want to get up soooo early, so the best way is heading to Angra, but when you get to the island you will be there by the afternoon so there will be no choice but strolling around Abraão village, which is nice in a way because you can hike many trails that leads you to a nice waterfall called POÇÃO, you can also visit the old aqueduct and see some beaches like Preta and Feiticeira, it is nice to walk in the forest and see the enormous palm trees in the way, and from corner to corner you’ve got such a cool view to the main village!

By 10:00 am, it is always better to get the boat tours from this pier…you can reach the most distant beaches like Lopes Mendes or you can take boats that covers a good number of beaches and inlets going to two lagoons, one is called LAGOA AZUL and the other one is called LAGOA VERDE. I really prefer the boat ride that goes to LAGOA VERDE, but it will always depend on the tides and ocean conditions, and this kind of information just the pier staff will let you know.

All busy life in the island concentrates in the main village called Abraão, there you will find nice local restaurants with delicious sea food, home made food made by fishermen’s wives, you will find the bars where all people sit to have a cool time drinking the famous caipirinhas, sucos and our famous and fresh Brazilian beers, normally the most porpular beers here are the BOHEMIA, SKOL and ITAIPAVA.

Ilha Grande in my opinion is one of the best escapes when you spend all days in Rio and willing to find a different place in the State, the island has more than 100 beaches, you can find the privacy that you are looking for in such a delicious paradise atmosphere, the pace of life is very slow, the locals are kind and happy to see you there, and from the pier you can reach the best beaches like LOPES MENDES, DOIS RIOS, SANTO ANTONIO. For more professional hikings I know the right people who can take you there and believe me, the endless beauty you will find there will forever stay in your mind, so many birds, so many green, so many animals and such an energy that will make you feel one of our first European conquerors.

Ilha Grande is still untouched in many places of the island, if you are looking for a place in the wild where you can see what Brazil really looks like, Ilha Grande is the place!!!

Between Buzios and Ilha Grande, the island is my favorite decision. I strongly recommend my guests to see the island, people who are looking for a pleasant and peaceful place to spend at least two days with comfort and privacy; people who are looking for adventures in the wilderness; people who love the ocean and open air activities, romantic couple in honeymoon or simply romantic people who want to give a spacy taste in their lives (Like I usually do…hahahahha!!!!).
For the record, I can meet my guests when they come to the island in the cruiseline ships and take my people to some places where no ship tours can cover, so it can be a cool chance for you to see this incredible island in a very unique way!!!!

Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

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